Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fiesta Part I (Mexico)

The time has come. The end of our learning for now. After we have made a flag, and a piñata, decorated the piñata, and created sugar skulls it is finally time to enjoy the yummy flavors of Mexico. Once again, Miss Celina helped us out here and loaned us some Mexican CDs to listen to and some cookbooks to be inspired by. I thought about doing a Taco Bar, but decided against it in favor of a dish that we love and rarely eat. Although, a Taco Bar might be in our near future, just because. 

In Mexico the main meal of the day is eaten around 2:00 in the afternoon. Even though we usually have our celebrations around 5:30 in the evening, we thought it would be best to try to be authentic and eat at 2:00 in the afternoon. 

While I prepped the food we listened to this and while we ate we listened to Alejandro Fernandez and I asked the trivia questions.

For drinks we mixed up some margarita mix with ice in the blender, we skipped the tequilla, it *was* only afternoon for crying out loud. 

My plate. Yum!
Chicken And Tomatillo Chimichangas.
Guacamole with chips and salsa.
Mexican Rice.
Dessert: Garbanzo cake with fresh pineapple. 
I know it sounds weird and I was reluctant to try it but Garbanzo cake is surprisingly delightful.

Usually I post a link to the recipes, but this time you are in for a treat, I am typing them up because they came from a book not a website. See the bottom of this post for information on finding the book (Please note *These are NOT my recipes*, I borrowed them from the book).

2 Skinless chicken breast fillets
1 Chipotle chili, seeded
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Onions, finely chopped
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp Ground cumin
1/2 tsp Ground coriander
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground cloves
Scant 2 cups drained canned tomatillos
2 1/3 (14 oz) Pinto beans
(8) Flour tortillas
Oil for frying
Salt + Pepper

1. put the chicken fillets in a large pan, pour over water, add chili. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes (until chicken is cooked). Remove and chop the chili. Shred chicken.
2. Fry onions until translucent. Add garlic and spices. Cook 3 Minutes. Add tomatillos and beans, cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Add chicken and chili pepper. 
3. Spoon filling in middle of tortilla. Fold in all sides.
4. Fry in oil until crisp. Drain on paper towel. 
After we ate it was time to break the piñata. Eliana got the first whack, then Aiden. It was pretty rugged, two layers of paper maché worked well. They really wanted the treats that were inside and they eventually got it. 

2 x 10 oz Cans chickpeas, drained
4 Eggs, beaten
1 Cup Superfine Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange

1/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven 350˚. Tip chickpeas into a colander to drain them thoroughly, then rub the peels off. Put skinned chickpeas in a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Spoon the puree into a bowl and stir in the eggs, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, orange rind and juice. Grease loaf pan.
3. Pour the cake into the pan. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours until skewer comes out clean.
4. Remove cake from oven, let stand in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Remove the cake from the pan, place on a wire rack and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Leave to cool completely.
*Serve with fresh pineapple

Check back on Monday to see the breaking of the piñata and the final wrap up of our Mexican tour. 

** The recipes posted above are from the book "Mexican, Best Ever Recipes" by Jane Milton. It can be purchased here.  (Chicken and Tomatillo Chimichangas p.95. Garbanzo Cake p.159)**

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