Sweet Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions, Watercress and Guajillo Chile Dressing
Enselada de Camote con Cebollas Caramelizadas y Chile Guajillo
What makes this salad so delicious is the wonderful dressing. However if you have your own favorite homemade dressing, it will work just as well. Remember, if you use a commercial dressing, all the healthy properties of this dish will be wiped out in one fell swoop because of all the chemical addatives they contain. (KW)
For the Guajillo Chile Dressing:
¾ cup vegetable oil, olive oil or a mixture of the two
2 medium (1/2 oz. total) dried guajillo chiles (you can also use New Mexico chiles)
2 garlic cloves peeled and cut into quarters
¼ cup sherry vinegar (balsamic adds sweetness, champagne or white wine vinegar adds lightness, but the richness of the sherry is my favorite)
1 large onion, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 medium (about 2 pounds) sweet potatoes (camote amarillo), peeled and
cut into ½ inch cubes
2 bunches watercress (or verdolaga or your favorite greens)
Pour oil into a very large (12 inches) skillet and set over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the chiles and garlic. Turn and stir until the chiles are toasty smelling, about 30 seconds (if the oil isn’t too hot). Remove from the heat.
Transfer the chiles to a blender jar (leave the oil and the garlic in the pan). Add the vinegar and a scant teaspoon salt and blend 30 seconds. When the oil and garlic are cool (5-10 minutes), add to the blender, set the skillet aside without washing. Blend the dressing until smooth. Pour into a jar with a secure lid.
Return the skillet (it will have a light coating of oil) to medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring regularly until soft and richly browned, 9-10 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, ½ cup of the re-shaken dressing and 1 tsp salt. Stir well. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover, remove from heat and let cool-most of the dressing will be absorbed into the potatoes. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary.
Break the large stems of the watercress (you should have 8 loosely packed cups). Divide among eight plates, forming it into “nests”. Scoop a portion of the sweet potato mixture into each nest. Drizzle a little dressing over the watercress. Serve right away.
Recipe by Rick Bayless from “Mexican Everyday”
Cucumber Avocado Shooters or Soup
There are more uses for avocados than making guacamole or sandwiches.
Here is a delicious suggestion.
Makes about 2 – 2 ½ cups
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in 3 inch chunks
1 cup plain yogurt
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded (more or less to taste)
2 tablespoons lime juice
6 sprigs cilantro
2 sprigs for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, puree cucumber, avocado, yogurt, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and 1cup cold water or chicken stock, until smooth.
Serve in shot glasses as shooters or in a soup bowl for a refreshing summer cold soup.
Garnish with cilantro.
All Hass Avocados, no matter where they are grown in the world (80% of all avocados grown are Hass), can trace their roots to the original Hass Avocado tree that Rudie (Hass) planted in the mid 1920’s in his grove in La Habra Heights, California.
Which is why we call the Hass Avocado a California Native.
Taco Filling of Wild Greens
Tacos are one of the most popular Mexican foods. I am not talking about the hard shell, cheese smothered tacos generally served in fast food places or restaurants outside of Mexico, but the delicious, mostly healthy soft tortilla tacos. It was one of the main foods for Mexicans in pre-Hispanic times, where the tortilla served as a plate or an eating utensil.
Yield about 1½ cups
9 cups greens, about a 12 oz bunch,
amaranth, lambs quarters, spinach, collard or mustard greens or a mix of all, washed carefully to remove all sand
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil or your favorite cooking fat
1large onion, peeled and diced finely
3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced finely
2 medium tomatoes, chopped into ¼ cubes
½ teaspoon chile flakes or fresh chopped serrano chile or jalapeños (to taste)
salt to taste
Optional add-ins: boiled potatoes, fresh corn, zucchini – it’s your taco.
Choice of toppings: crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, cooked chicken (left over rotisserie chicken), fish or seafood, steak strips, bacon or refried beans for spreading on the tortillas.
Remove the leaves from the thick stems of your vegetables, in this case amaranth greens, called quelites or quintonil. When cooked the leaves will shrink just like spinach so you might not need to cut them. However if you want a finer textured filling, chop them a bit.
In a 10 or 12-inch frying pan or Mexican clay cazuela fry the onions in the oil until they start to brown. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds longer; then add the tomatoes and cook until almost soft. Add the greens all at once. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until your greens are wilted. Your mixture should be moist but not dry. Add a few drops of water if necessary. Season with chile and salt.
Add other ingredients of your choice and heat.
To serve: Spoon filling into fresh, heated tortillas, sprinkle with your favorite topping and enjoy.
Recipe from My Mexico by Diana Kennedy
from Sra. Leticia Sánchez, Comonfort, Guanajuato
Makes approximately 3 cups or approximately 600 gr.
Serves 30 on totopos @ 20 gr. each.
Between Celaya and San Miguel de Allende lies the little town of Comonfort, formerly know as Chamacuero and renamed after the former Mexican president Comonfort who died in the area.
This unusual guacamole is an old family recipe given to me by Sra. Sánchez. It is made in late summer and fall, when the peaches, grapes and pomegranates are ripe in the local orchards. This guacamole lends itself to many inauthentic innovations.
2 tablespoons (20 gr) finely chopped white onion. .
1-2 (5 gr. + ) serrano chiles, finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 cups (400 gr.) roughly crushed avocado,
about 3 medium
¾ cup (120 gr.) finely diced firm but ripe peaches,
½ cup (80 gr.) halved, seedless grapes
1 ½ tablsps (20 gr.) fresh lime juice
1/3 cup (65 gr.) pomegranate seeds
(about 1/3 of a medium seized)
Crush the onion, chiles and salt together to a paste. Stir in the avocado pulp, peaches, grapes, lime juice and half of the pomegranate seeds. Mix well, sprinkle the surface with the remaining seeds, and serve at room temperature. Pears or other fruit may be substituted.