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Moonlight and Mariachis
Mexican Buffet (cont.) (McIlhenny Company)

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that's-great-flavor? That's salsa! That's musica in your mouth!"

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Moonlight and Mariachis Mexican Buffet

Recipe Source:

Outdoor Pleasures:
Picnics, Parties, and Portable Feasts

by Elizabeth Sahatjian, 1985, Stewart, Tabori & Chang

Pico de Gallo
(Fresh Tomato and Jalapeño Sauce)
Mixiotes de Camarones en Pepian Verde
(Shrimp in Tomatillo and Pumpkin Seed Sauce)
Rajas con Crema
(Chili Strips with Mozzarella and Cream)
(Chicken with Fruit and Almonds in Tomato Chili Sauce)
Cochinita Pibil
(Pork in Orange and Annatto Marinade)
Zarela serves a very appropriate light, refreshing dessert of fresh mangos to
round out the buffet. Otherwise, we would suggest the fresh fruit of your choice,
or selections from the following excellent summer fruit dessert collections:

Cold Fruit Soups
Magnificent Melons

“Throughout the meal, pitchers of fruity red and white sangria and icy Mexican
beer provide refreshing coolers.
’People always associate Mexican food with a party,’ Zarela [Zarela Martinez,
chef and owner of Café Marimba in New York City] remarks. It is fare for cele- brating, for enjoying with close friends; hospitality is at the core of my culture.’
Mastery of the cuisine began with her mother, a well-known Mexican cook,
from whom Zarela learned the exquisite regional specialties of her country,
dishes, she explains, that are found only in the home in Mexico, not in any
restaurant kitchen.”


(Chicken with Fruit and Almonds in Tomato Chili Sauce)

“Manchamanteles, a traditional recipe from Oaxaca, offers a rich
contrast of textures and flavors…”

1 onion, quartered, plus 1 onion, chopped
9 garlic cloves, crushed
5 bay leaves
Two 3 1/2-pound frying chickens, cut into pieces
6 fresh New Mexican red or ancho chilies,
cored and seeded
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
Two 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, juice
reserved and tomatoes coarsely mashed
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground canela or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry Sherry or dry red wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
One 16-ounce can pineapple chunks,
drained and juice reserved
3 tart cooking apples, cored and cut into 8 wedges
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup golden raisins
6 dried peach halves, cut into 2 pieces
6 dried pear halves, cut into 2 pieces
10 dried apricots, halved
1 cup slivered blanched almonds

In a large saucepan or kettle, place the quartered onion, 3 of the garlic
cloves, 4 of the bay leaves, and 8 cups water. Simmer over medium-low
heat for 15 minutes. Add chicken pieces and poach over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Reserve the poaching
Place chilies in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain
and place in a blender with 1/2 cup of the reserved poaching liquid, and
the remaining 6 cloves garlic and blend until puréed. Strain the mixture
through a sieve, discarding the pulp. Set purée aside.
In a large skillet, heat the lard or oil, add the chopped onion and sauté
over medium heat for 2 minutes until softened, stirring frequently. Add
the tomatoes and their juice. Stir in oregano, canela, cloves, cumin, and
the remaining bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook
over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in the Sherry, sugar, vinegar, and reserved pineapple juice. Simmer 2 minutes longer. Stir in the pepper
purée and simmer 1 minute longer. Let sauce cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees [F].
Meanwhile, remove the skin and any fat from poached chicken pieces
and place them in one layer in a 3- to 4-quart ovenproof casserole. Spread pineapple chunks, apple wedges, prunes, raisins, dried peach and pear
pieces, apricot halves and almonds over the chicken.
Pour part of the cooled chili and tomato sauce into the blender and blend
until pureed. Puree remaining sauce in batches. Strain sauce through a
sieve, discarding the pulp. Pour sauce over chicken and fruit. Bake for
30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Adjust seasoning if
necessary and serve hot. Makes 8 servings.


Cochinita Pibil
(Pork in Orange and Annatto Marinade)

One 2-ounce jar annatto or achiote paste (see note)
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
One 2-pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into 2-inch squares
1 package fresh banana leaves or aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees [F].
In a small glass bowl, soak annatto in orange juice fro 15 minutes, breaking
up with a fork as it softens. Place annatto, orange juice, garlic, vinegar, and cumin in a food processor or electric blender and process until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper and pour into a large, shallow glass baking dish.
Place pork in baking dish and turn to coat meat thoroughly in annatto marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight or for at least 6
hours before assembling dish.
Line a large, ovenproof casserole with banana leaves, fanning overlapping leaves out from center and allowing them to hang over the casserole edges about 6 inches. (If using foil, allow the same amount of overhang.) Pile the
pork and marinade into the casserole and fold leaves or foil over the top to cover completely. If using leaves, cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 2 hours
or until pork is very tender.
Let cool. Remove pork and shred or cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Pile into a
serving dish and pass with soft or hard taco shells for guests to fill with
the pork. Accompany with Pico de Gallo sauce or Pepian Verde Sauce.
Makes 6 servings.

Note: The marinated pork may also be piled onto individual banana leaves, folded into packets and baked on a baking sheet cover with foil for 10 minutes, or until heated through. Serve as an entrée with hot corn or flour tortillas and salsa.
Annatto seeds may be used, but they are very hard and require a marble mortar and pestle or a lava stone to grind. If using powdered annatto seeds, add extra orange juice, extra cumin, and about 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano [to make a paste].

Moonlight and Mariachis, Page 1

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