Tuesday 28 August
Contrary to what they show in the Old El Paso commercials, when we want Mexican food we don't get out the crunchy machine-made taco kit while whacking piñatas and squealing "Ay-ay-ay!" We go back to Holt's New Mexican roots and make a platter of chiles rellenos, Farmers' Market poblanos stuffed with melty cojack cheese and fresh cilantro, dipped in seasoned cornmeal, and fried up crisp.
Barbara had also bought some fresh borlotti/cranberry beans at the Market, and instead of cooking them Italian style as usual, she tried a more Mexican style. They got shelled and boiled for an hour under a half inch of water, while in another pan she made a sauce of a minced garlic clove in oil, then a teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander, Chimayo flaked chile, and a squirt of tomato paste stirred for a minute or two; then four chopped Roma tomatoes and a dash of salt and sugar got added and cooked down. At the end, she poured the tender beans into the sauce and simmered it until Holt got home to fry the chiles. They were saucy and savory, best served warm rather than hot.
And luckily, David Warda had given us a precious bottle of his own deep-flavored salsa roja; a swipe of that was the perfect Mexican-Assyrian finishing touch.