From the grill, a casserole, or a mason jar full of hibiscus, award-winning Mexican chef, TV personality, cookbook author, and food writer, Pati Jinich shares some delightful recipes that will not only satisfy your hunger but also your thirst.
6 ears of corn
5 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing grill
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pre-heat the grill to medium, or set a grill pan over medium heat. Once hot, brush with oil.
Cook the corn for about 20 minutes, flipping with tongs every once in a while. Also, cook the scallions for about 10 minutes, flipping occasionally as well. Remove both from the heat when charred, cooked and softened. Set aside.
Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until charred and softened. Remove from the heat, making sure to reserve the oil and tomato juices.
Shave the corn kernels off the cobs and place in salad bowl. Cut white and light green parts of the scallions into 1-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add the mint, chives, vinegar, and the reserved oil and juices from the tomatoes. Mix well. Incorporate the tomatoes. Gently toss and serve.
For the Pine Nut Mole
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped white onion
1 cup raw pine nuts
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped or broken into pieces
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon packed brown sugar or to taste
For the Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound white button or baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, peeled from just below the tips to the bottom, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper 12 corn tortillas
6 ounces goat cheese, cut into chunks (about ¾ cup)
2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted, for garnish
To make the mole:
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until completely softened. Stir in the pine nuts and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant and changes color and the pine nuts are light brown and smell toasty. Raise the heat to medium- high, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and break down, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the ancho chiles, orange juice, broth, salt, and brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chiles have rehydrated and plumped up and the sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes more.
Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and let cool for a few minutes, then puree, in batches if necessary, until completely smooth.
Rinse out and dry the pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and heat over medium heat. Add the pine nut mole, cover partially, and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has darkened and thickened a bit more. Cover and set aside.
To make the filling:
Heat the oil in a large skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and let them sear and brown, without stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan and add the butter to the middle. When the butter begins to foam, add the asparagus, thyme, orange zest, salt, and pepper to taste, stir together with the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Heat and lightly toast the tortillas on a hot comal or skillet.
Dip a tortilla in the mole, place it on a plate, and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mushroom and asparagus mixture and a tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese. Roll up into a chubby enchilada and place seam side down on a serving platter. Continue with the remaining tortillas and filling.
Reheat the sauce if necessary. Spoon a generous amount of sauce on top of the enchiladas (use it all if you wish), garnish with chives and toasted pine nuts, and serve.
Text excerpted from Mexican Today, ©2016, by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/HoughtonMifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Makes 8 popsicles
For the Jamaica Concentrate (makes about 5 cups)
8 cups water
2 cups, about 2-3 ounces, dried hibiscus flowers depending on how tightly you pack the cups
1 1/2 cups sugar or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or to taste
For the Jamaica Popsicles
2 cups jamaica concentrate
¾ cup mango peeled, pitted diced
Chocolate morsels to taste, optional
Shredded coconut to taste, optional
To make the concentrate:
In a saucepan, pour 8 cups of water and place over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the jamaica flowers, simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. When cool, strain into a heat proof glass or plastic water jar. Add the sugar and lime juice, mix well, cover and refrigerate.
When you’re ready to make the popsicles, pour 2 cups of jamaica concentrate into 8 4-ounce molds. Add pieces of mango, chocolate and coconut. Place in freezer until set and frozen, about 4 to 5 hours. Remove from the molds and enjoy!
Born and raised in Mexico City, Pati Jinich is the James Beard Award winning host of the PBS Television series PATI’S MEXICAN TABLE, going on its seventh season nationwide. Pati is also resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. and author of two cookbooks, Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking and Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen. A former political analyst focused on Mexican political institutions and US-Mexico relations at the Inter-American Dialogue, she holds a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. She switched policy papers for cooking pots to make exploring and sharing Mexico’s cuisine her life’s work. Check out Pati’s series “Pati’s Mexican Table” on PBS.
Photo courtesy Jennifer Chase.
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