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Mexican Cuisine Recipes

by Elaine Sosa

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The following recipes are from Francisco Cisneros, chef at Guaymas Restaurant in Tiburon, California.

Chiles en Nogada (Stuffed Poblano Chilies)
Serves Six

12 poblano chilies

1/4 C. cooking oil
1 whole chicken boiled in salt water, onions, celery, carrots and garlic
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
4 oz. brown sugar
4 bay leaves
4 oz. raisins
2 oz. vinegar
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 oz. blanched walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. tomato paste

2 lbs. cream cheese
1/2 lb. goat cheese
1 C. sour cream
8 oz. blanched walnuts
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 T. granulated sugar

pomegranate seeds

Roast, clean, peel and devein chilies, making sure to slice them along one side only so they can be reconstructed after they are stuffed. Remove meat from boiled chicken and chop. Saute onion and garlic until they are soft. Add chicken, raisins, sugar, walnuts, pepper and bay leaves and saute for a few minutes. Add vinegar, cilantro and tomato paste and cook for 15 minutes. Cool mixture. Stuff chilies with cooled mixture, reheating them in the oven prior to serving.

To make the sauce, blend together sauce ingredients and heat oven to medium heat. Pour sauce over heated chilies and garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro.

Don Cacahuate ("Mr. Peanut")
Serves Six

Blend for marinade:
4 oz. achiote paste
2 C. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic

Marinate 6 double breasts of chicken in this mixture.

Peanut-Serrano chile sauce:
2 C. unsalted roasted peanuts
2 C. soybean oil
2 fresh Serrano chilies
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
1 tsp. dijon mustard
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

In blender, add oil, garlic, cilantro and chilies and blend; add peanuts, then blend. In a bowl, fold mustard, lemon juice and salt and pepper into this mixture.

Mesquite grill the chicken breasts. Onto a round plate, pour the peanut-Serrano chile sauce, place a chicken breast, lightly brush with the sauce and garnish with slices of lemon, cilantro and fresh radish.

Huachinango Entomatado (Snapper in Tomato Sauce)
Serves Two

2 oz. tomato-chile butter (see recipe below)
10 oz. fresh snapper filet
1/2 white onion, cut into wedges
4 medium mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tomato, seeded and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 chile pasilla
2 scallions, sliced into rings
1/2 C. seafood stock or clam juice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and cut into julienne strips
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 oz. olive oil or soybean oil

Heat oil in saute pan. Season snapper filet with salt and pepper. Sear snapper on both sides (about three minutes on each side). Add onions, mushrooms, scallions, chile pasilla, salt and pepper and saute for three minutes over high heat. Add garlic and 2 oz. of the tomato-chile butter and saute for another minute over high heat. Add the stock or clam juice and continue cooking over high heat for three more minutes (sauce will thicken slightly). Snapper should be cooked throughout. Add tomatoes and cook one more minute.

Serve over a banana leaf cut to fit the plate, garnishing with a radish rosette and fresh lime wedge.

Tomato-chile butter:
1 lb. unsalted butter
3 pickled jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 oz. tomato paste
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Using a food processor, add butter and soften, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until consistent mixture is formed.

The following recipes are from cookbook author and consulting chef Patricia Quintana, and they are featured at the "Sabores de Mexico" dinner/show at the Cafe Pavillon of the Sheraton Maria Isabel in Mexico City.

Flautas Jaliscienses (Jalisco-Style Flautas)
Makes 20 flautas

20 corn tortillas
2 1/2 C. vegetable oil

For the potato flautas:
2 large potatoes, peeled and boiled in salted water, drained and mashed
1 C. Oaxaca cheese or firm yellow cheese, cut into thin strips

For the chicken flautas:
2 chicken breasts, cooked in salted water with onion and garlic; remove chicken from bone, chop
1 medium onion, finely sliced into rounds
1 T. vegetable oil

For the green sauce:
4 C. water
7 green tomatoes (tomatillos), without husks
1/2 white onion, chopped in half
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Serrano chilies
1/2 C. cilantro
1/4 C. onion, finely chopped
1/8 C. cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 Hass avocado
Salt to taste

For the red sauce:
4 C. water
1 1/2 tomatoes
1 medium onion, sliced into rounds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Chipotle chilies, fried but not charred
Salt to taste

1 C. creme fraiche
1/4 C. sweet whipping cream
3/4 C. cream cheese, crumbled

For the potato flautas: heat corn tortillas. Place a small amount of the potatoes and cheese in the center of each tortilla and roll them tightly.

For the chicken flautas: combine the loose chicken with the onion and oil; season to taste. Place a small amount of the mixture in the center of each warm tortilla and roll them tightly.

For the green sauce: boil the water and add in the tomatillos, onion, garlic and chilies. Cook for 30 minutes; remove from heat, drain and reserve the liquid. Let the tomatillos cool. Blend the cooked ingredients in a food processor along with the onion, cilantro and avocado. Season to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add back some of the reserved liquid.

For the red sauce: boil the water and add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and fried chilies. Cook for 25 minutes; remove from heat, drain and reserve the liquid. Blend the ingredients in a food processor and season to taste. Add back some of the reserved liquid to thin the sauce.

Presentation: heat the oil in a large frying pan, but not too hot. Fry the flautas until they are golden, turning them carefully. Drain on an absorbent paper towel. Place the flautas on a large serving dish. Alternately top with green and red sauce. Combine the creme fraiche and sweet whipping cream and drizzle it over the flautas. Top with crumbled cream cheese.

Ceviche Acapulqueno (Ceviche Acapulco-Style)
Yield: 16 servings

For the fish:
2 lbs. red snapper fillets, chopped into small chunks
The juice of 8 large lemons
Salt to taste

For the vinaigrette:
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 Serrano chilies, finely chopped
1 1/2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
3/4 C. green olives (stuffed with pimento), finely chopped
1/8 C. parsley, finely chopped
1/4 C. cilantro, finely chopped
2 1/2 C. ketchup
1 can V-8 juice, approx. 12-oz. size
1 C. olive oil
1/2 can jalapeno chilies, finely chopped (approx. 4-oz. size)
1/8 C. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. chopped oregano
Salt to taste

Preparation: In a large glass dish, place the fish and cover it with the lemon juice and salt. Marinate for 15 minutes; remove half of the liquid. Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette, add to the fish and cover. Marinate for three hours in the refrigerator. Serve in individual goblets and top with chopped cilantro. Optional garnish: place a small skewer of olives, avocado and pickled carrots next to each goblet.

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