Oct 2009 16

So it’s obvious I like good beer, but I like tasty grub at least as much. The past few months, I’ve thrown together some interesting dishes from a grilled watermelon, goat cheese, and fresh basil salad (which you all at the beer tasting seemed to enjoy!) to brie topped with roasted pecan and walnut pieces, halved figs, and broiled, then drizzled with honey. I’m sort of a disorderly cook. I use recipes for basic ideas but nibble my dish while cooking and add a little of this or a lot of that.

I had dinner at Los Sombreros Café on my last trip to Scottsdale. It serves authentic Mexican food made with fresh ingredients and flavors you can’t find on a Taco Bell menu; you know- none of those gorditas (“little fat ones” btw) or chili cheese burritos. The Los Sombreros menu includes items like Huitlacoche crepas served with goat and blue cheese and a pomegranate sauce, Crab and mango salad, Puerco simmered in a pumpkinseed tomatillo mole sauce, y Lamb Adobo in a sweet and spicy ancho chile sauce. These dishes get your taste buds dancing on your tongue, so let them flamenco all over it and have the flan with tequila for dessert. And the food isn’t embalmed in that customary lard grease like those other “Mexican” restaurants decorated in 99 cent store sombreros and piñatas.

I wanted to bring these flavors a mi casa so I sorta followed a recipe from the Rick Bayless Mexican Kitchen cookbook for Tomatillo Sauced Enchiladas. It’s pretty much a puree of (6) tomatillos, (2) serrano chiles, a (bunch) cilantro, and (some) minced garlic. Reduce the puree down in a saucepan about 6-8 minutos, add (half cup) chicken broth, and some sort of crema. I also added a few cubes of a roasted garlic goat cheese to thicken the sauce a little. On the filling side, sauté (2-3 leaves) swiss chard (recipe says spinach but SC gives a slightly more robust and bitter flavor which paired nicely), a diced red onion, half a pound of mushrooms (all kinds), and some shredded rotisserie chicken. Drench some tortillas in the sauce, plate them, add the filling, and roll. Top them with more sauce, crumble some cheese (goat works here too), and add some cilantro to give it that “looks like a fancy-schmancy restaurant” plating. For the beer geeks out there, paired the meal with the last of a growler filled with the Southhampton, Ithaca, and Captain Lawrence NY3 collaboration, a session Farmhouse Ale with sweet honey and a bready malt brewed for NYC Beer Week. Buen provecho y salud!