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Wow! Thank you CC. I could not have made better suggestions myself.

Nancya,

First of all, I'm flattered. I hope the soup won't disappoint you!

Second, need anything for main course or will CC's suggestions suffice? Just in case:
  • Seafood Stew (shrimp, scallops and cured salmon with coconut milk and salsa verde) or
  • Drunken Chicken
The chicken got drunk with Tequila!!!


Book at home but could post it tonight if interested!

:p

[ July 05, 2001: Message edited by: pooh ]
 

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Drunken Chicken
(Pollo Borracho)
Yield: 4 servings

½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dry sherry, heated
½ cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
1 small chicken (about 3 ½ lbs.), cut into 6 to 8 pieces
½ cup corn oil or other vegetable oil
1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup blanched whole almonds
½ cup whole pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ½ cups Chicken stock
1 cup tequila (preferably Sauza or Herradura)
1/3 to 1 cup white vinegar (see note below)
1 tablespoon sugar

Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour the hot sherry over them. Let sit at least 20 minutes to soften the raisins. Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a flat plate or dish. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour to coat evenly. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until not quite smoking. Fry the chicken pieces until well browned on the outside but not cooked within, about 10 minutes. Work in batches or with two skillets if you don't have one big enough to hold all the pieces comfortably. Place the browned chicken in a baking dish or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, scraping the pan to dislodge any browned bits of chicken, until the onion is golden and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2 minutes. Add the olives and plumped raisins with any unabsorbed sherry; cook, stirring occasionally, another 2 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in about 1/4 cup of the chicken stock. Add the rest of the stock to the skillet along with the tequila and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring and scraping. Add 1/3 cup of the vinegar to the mixture along with the sugar; stir to combine and taste to judge the effect. Continue to add vinegar (up to 1 cup in all) until the desired tartness is achieved.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Let it boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens and the flavours meld, about 10 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the baking dish and bake until the chicken is tender but not overcooked, about 20 minutes.

NOTE: The level of vinegar in this sweet-and sour dish would not be considered excessive by many Mexicans, but it may be a bit much for some people here. Begin with a small amount and add more to taste.
 

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Flour Tortillas
(Yield: 48 small (4-inch) or 24 large (6-inch)

6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 ½ to 2 cups water warmed to 115 degrees F (warmer than lukewarm, but not hot)

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. With two knives or your fingers, cut or rub the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly pour 1 ½ cups of the warm water into the mixture, at the same time working the ingredients together with your fingers. When all the water has been added, continue to work the mixture with both hands until it gathers together in a ball. The object is a somewhat soft but not sticky dough. Add a little more water if necessary, but the dough is not terribly forgiving of adjustments. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth and silky, about 5 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and make 12 equal-sized balls from each piece. (For larger 6 inch tortillas, divide each quarter of the dough into 6 rather than 12 pieces). Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out. Shape each ball of dough in your fingers as follows—the process is easier to carry out than to describe—flatten the ball slightly and hold it in your two hands with your thumbs on the top side and other fingers underneath. Lightly pull the dough out from the center on all sides, not stretching it much, but pulling it enough so that you can tuck down the edges between your thumbs and first two fingers to produce a somewhat rounded shape. (It's as if a flattish mushroom cap had fat edges you could tuck down, pulling and pushing to round the shape.) Cover the shaped piece of dough with a damp towel. Continue until you have shaped every ball of dough, keeping the completed ones covered. Let rest 20 minutes, covered.

On a lightly floured surface using a small, lightly floured rolling pin, roll out a ball of dough to a circle about 1/16-inch thick and 4 inches (or 6 inches) in diameter. Repeat with 3 more balls of dough, covering them with a towel as you are done. Be ready to cook them quickly.

Heat an ungreased griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Place a tortilla on the griddle and cook until the underside is speckled with brown spots and small bubbles appear on the top, about 30 seconds. Turn the tortilla with a spatula and cook the other side until it is also speckled, about 30 seconds more. Now encourage it to puff slightly by quickly pressing it first on one side and then the other slightly by quickly pressing it first on one side and then the other with a bunched-up tea towel or a weight such as a heavy can. (If using a cast-iron skillet, be very careful to avoid brushing the hot sides with your hand!) Remove to a plate, let cool slightly, and wrap snugly in a napkin or tea towel. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, rolling, cooking, stacking and covering them as they are done.

NOTE: Tortillas should be used quickly, but can be reheated very successfully. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet in a preheated 300 degree F oven until heated through, about 5 minutes. A second method is to reheat them one at a time on a hot griddle. Or heat them (stacked, not individually) in a microwave oven 30 to 40 seconds. Flour tortillas freeze beautifully.
 

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Welcome Nancya.

Just be careful with the vinegar. Taste and taste again before every addition. You will know when to stop...it's an acquired taste!

If ever you try it, please send me your comments.

And let us know how your moon ceremony turns out.

:p

[ July 06, 2001: Message edited by: pooh ]
 
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