Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Post: Enchiladas Rojas de Picadillo (Ground Beef Enchiladas)

Hello fellow bloggers and readers, this month I got a recipe article published in

If you are interested and want to learn more about my families recipe for Enchiladas Rojas de Picadfillo (Ground Beef Red Enchiladas) check out the article for story behind it, recipe, and pictorials by clicking on the link below :-) Enjoy!

Part 1 of Article:

Part 2 of Article:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mole Rojo Almendrado y Encacahuetado Con Pollo (Red Almond and Peanut Sauce with Chicken)

Mole (pronounced Mole) is generally a complex sauce made of chilies, nuts/ seeds, onions, garlic, sometimes tomato and other ingredients like chocolate depending on the type.

This mole I'm presenting today is a very simple variation of Mole. I came up with it on sort of a whim when I was at my partners house and wanted to make something special for both of us :-)  so Mole popped into my head... with chicken and anything I had on hand...  So I got my creativity on and just thought of the elements of a mole. Sweet, savory, smokey, spicy, fruity, rich and then I simply let my imagination run wild combining those flavors generally fused into a mole sauce using what we had on hand. 

He almost always has almonds or almond butter and peanut butter in the pantry... I usually make sure I have on hand when I'm there dried "Chile California" which there was plenty of, and always have dried fiery "Chile Japnones" to make hot sauces on a whim ;-)... so those were key elements in the sauce... 
THE RESULTS... well a very complex tasting, rich, savory, sweet, spicy,  smokey, fruity, rich nutty sauce that is actually VERY SIMPLE to put together, but combines many elements. It's one of my partners favorites and I've made it several times a year :-) The list may look long, but you can really complete this dish in 1- 1 1/2 hrs which is fast for a Mole sauce (most Mole's take 3-5 hrs). The ingredients are generally readily available here in California and in the rest of the U.S.

Main Ingredients:
-3-4 lbs chicken (bone in skin on or no skin), pork, beef, or turkey meat
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste
-garlic powder (sprinkle all over meat)- optional
-oil, just a little enough to lightly coat pot and brown meat

Ingredients for the sauce:
-1/4- 1/3 cup oil
-7 dried "Chile California" (remove top stem, split open and remove seeds)
-1 large handful "chile japones"
-1 stick of cinnamon
-1/2 of a medium onion or 1/4 of a big one  (quartered)
-2 cloves garlic
-1 about 1 cup almonds or 4 heaping tablespoons almond butter
-1 small banana or plantain (optional)
-1 large salad tomato (quartered) or 3-4 roma tomatoes (cut in half)
-4 heaping tablespoonfuls of peanut butter (or regular peanuts) (optional)
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon oregano
-2 heaping teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
-1 large tablet of "Mexican chocolate" such as Ibarra or "Chocolate Abuelita" (may substitute for unsweetened cocoa powder about 3 tablespoons, 1/2 or more tsp cinnamon and sugar to taste or this sounds like taboo but a packet of hot cocoa would work)
-sugar (sugar to taste more or less I like it on the sweeter side, OPTIONAL)
(1) Heat a large deep pot over high heat, wash the meat you are using (I like to rinse with water, then cover in sink with water, add some vinegar, lots small handful salt, wash well, drain, rinse again, drain, then pat-dry, you may clean it however you like though I find the way I do it kills any "gamey" taste) now that meat is cleaned, drained and dried, set aside.
(2) When your pot is hot, add some oil, and then your meat to it and sprinkle generously with salt (not too much I'd say about 1 teaspoon or so to taste), sprinkle black pepper all over, and garlic powder, allow meat to brown on both sides or all over for about 10 minutes or until browned all over. (During this time we don't have to sit and wait we can PREPARE THE SAUCE) BUT do not forget to stir occasionall. 

PLEASE NOTE: If it browns too much while your spending time making the sauce, simply remove chicken from pot and set aside, then heat the pan again with chicken and all before adding blended sauce. SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW

Directions for sauce:
(1) Heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat, fry the dried chilies for about 30- 60 seconds until they slightly change color and they sort of coil or close in a way, do not over fry them because they will become bitter, remove set aside. 
(2) Now fry the cinnamon stick until you hear it pop and open a bit, remove set aside, fry the almonds, when browned remove and set aside... 
 (3) Next fry the  small banana cut in rounds or length wise, when browned set aside. Now fry the piece of bread until browned on both sides.Set aside.
(4) Then the onions, and garlic until golden brown, add the tomato in wedges and let it cook on high until it cooks through and blisters. now add tablet of chocolate and let it melt and bubble into the mixture. Set aside...
(5) In a regular blender blend all ingredients in batches with cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and the chicken powder. DO NOT ADD SUGAR YET.
(5) By now your meat should be browned, add all the well blended contents into the pot, give it a good stir, scraping the bottom of pot to get the nice drippings and fond, add more water to thin out the sauce.
(6) Once it bubbles, add enough water to barely cover meat, bring to a boil, add chocolate, sugar, any additional salt to taste, cover and leave on medium low approximately 45- 60 minutes until meat is tender, and oil rises to the top (this is how you know the mole sauce is done). 

(7) Remove from heat and serve with rice, and any sides you would like.

P.S. This is my "rasquache" style mole, my way/ "a mi manera" and it's damn delicious ;-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birria de Pollo (Chicken Birria)- Monthly Food Article Contribution

Hello fellow bloggers, I got my first position as a paid food blogger for!!!! I am now going to monthly contribute 1-2 articles a month for their website! :)

My first contribution for this month is "Birria de Pollo", for those familiar with Birria you wondering, "What Birria made with chicken?"  Well don't knock it til' you tried it!

Check out what it's all about at the link below and tell me what you think :)

Birria de Pollo by Nathan

Again thank you all for your support and feedback it is always greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Interview with contacted me for an interview. In addition they also have offered me a pending position as a paid food writers to contribute 1-2 articles per month to their website.

You can see my full interview if interested by clicking on the link below:

Thank you to everyone who supports me and enjoy my posts :)

Nathan Gutierrez

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Espinazo de Puerco en Chile Colorado (Pork Neck Bones in Red Chile)

 "Espinazo en Chile Colorado" is a soup composed of pork neck bones swimming in a rich reddish stock who's color comes from flavorful dried Guajillo or California chilies, thickened with corn masa dough. It is served hot topped with minced onion, cilantro, limes, a side of warm corn tortillas and your choice of hot sauce or red salsa. If you think this dish is going to be fiery hot and spicy fear not. The soup is actually extremely mild if you use "Guajillo" chilies, and completely absent of spiciness if you use "Chile California" (which are Anaheim peppers that when ripened red are dried).

My mother remembers enjoying this dish often growing up Zacapú, Michoacan, Mexico which was shared to her through one of her neighbors. Growing up she always liked helping around her friends mother's kitchens, and learning a thing or two from them. To this day it remains one of her favorite and most memorable dishes :)

Main Ingredients (to boil and simmer neck bones):
-2 1/2 lbs pork neck bones (washed well under running water, my mother likes to soak it quickly in water with salt and vinegar, swoosh it around for a minute then drain, and rinsing again under cold water)
 -8-9 cups water
-1/2 onion
-2 garlic cloves
-2 bay leaves
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1 heaping tablespoon chicken bouillon powder or beef bouillon
-salt to taste (I used about 1 tsp. you can use less or more)

Finishing Ingredients:
-7 dried guajillo or California chilies
-2 roma tomatoes (optional, if you have it use it, if not don't worry I didn't use it)
-2-3 raw garlic cloves
-1/2 cup of prepared corn masa dough (you could use 1/2 cup of dry maseca that has been mixed with water to a dough consistency)
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (like the spice or 2 whole ones that you grind freshly)

To garnish and serve:
-minced fresh onion
-finely chopped cilantro

(1) In a large pot, bring all the main ingredients to a boil over high heat, give a good stir, cover and simmer on medium low for 1 1/2- 2 hrs until pork neck bones are very tender.
(2) Meanwhile get the dried peppers, remove the stem, cut open and take out veins and seeds, rinse them under water, and put in a small pot if you want to add tomatoes, get two small tomatoes, cut them in half and add them to the pot together with the chilies. Cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off and allow to rest and soak for atleast 15- 20 minutes. Set aside.

  Afterwards in a blender blend the chilies with cumin, black pepper, cloves, raw garlic cloves, and masa dough along with some of the soaking liquid. Set this blended mixture aside.
(3) Now when pork neck bones are tender, remove the neck bones from the pot, and strain the stock into another pot through a strainer to get rid of any grit and pieces of things in the stock, that way you will have a clearer stock, and end up with a smooth result.
(4) Afterwards add the pork neck bones back to the pot with the stock that has been strained and bring back to a boil. Add all the contents that you blended in the blender, but strain it as you add it in.
Allow to come to a rolling boil while stirring occasionally, and when it does allow to boil an additional 10 minutes so the corn masa that was blended thickens the soup and cooks through.
(5) It should look like this after 10 minutes.

A close up
Here it is served before topping with a little bit of fresh minced onion, cilantro and lime along with some hot sauce. Don't forget to serve with a side of warm corn tortillas.

Please Note: This is not a super thick stew, it is more like a soupy gravy, if you want it thicker you could add more corn masa dough I would say up to a cup, but do not over do it, the next day it will be even thicker. 

ALSO if you like this recipe and the flavors of Chile Guajillo and California you might also enjoy my blog posts and recipes for the following recipes all of which feature those dried peppers by clicking on the titles of the following: