I have a passion for food, but especially cooking since I get to be a bit of a mad scientist. After almost a decade of eating prepackaged food, I came back to cooking from scratch and learned why I loved it so. I grew up around several different types of cuisines, and even more ethnic backgrounds. Everything is interesting to me, culinarily.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Winter Holiday Dinner 2015
I had not made any holiday meals since Thanksgiving 2011. In
the past I cooked using either my ex’s family’s recipes or those belonging to
my family. I decided that for 2015 I would create my on traditions. I have
wanted to make pipián sauce for years, specifically pipián rojo de pepitas. Pipián
rojo de pepitas is a red pipián sauce using pumpkin seeds which are known as
pepitas in Spanish. I first found this in a jar from Doña Maria brand sauces. I
loved the heat and the depth of flavor. I used to have a cookbook with a pipián
de pepitas recipe, but it was lost.
When I decided to go looking for Mexican cuisine cookbooks,
one had to have a version of that recipe. That is why I bought 1,000 Mexican
Recipes by Marge Poore. It did not hurt it had other recipes I liked. This was
going to be my gravy for the winter holiday dinner. I decided if I was making pipián
de pepitas, I would go with Mexican or Mexican inspired dishes. Since I made
this on Christmas Eve, December 24,
2015, and ate it again on Christmas Day, I refer to it a winter
holiday as opposed to the specific day.
Pipián rojo de Pepitas
I made the pipián rojo de pepitas twice, once following the
recipe and the other swapping the dried anchos for the dried guajillos. I
preferred the guajillo version. The ancho version was tasty, but it had no kick
or heat. I found a pipián rojo using guajillos, but it was a sesame seed
version. To go with the season, I wanted pumpkin seed pipián. Pipián is a sauce
using seeds or nuts and is a form of Mexican mole sauce.
Since I was just cooking for me, I only planned on making a
turkey breast not a whole bird. I was going to adjust the recipe accordingly. I
found this wonderful roasted turkey recipe. It used a guajillo chile pepper
marinade and roasted the bird in banana leaves. After watching a few Mexican
cuisine cooking/food shows I was intrigued about using guajillos. Guajillos
were easy to find. I had to go to an Asian market to find the banana leaves.
This turkey was most succulent turkey I have had in long time.
Turkey breast in guajillo marinade roasted in banana leaves
As my side dish I decided to make esquites. Esquites is a
Mexican roasted corn salad. It is related to elotes, a Mexican
street food. The main difference between the two
dishes is that elotes is corn on the cob and esquites is corn off the corn. Both
have lime juice, chile powders, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, cilantro, and of
course corn. I found a great recipe online. However next time I will tone down
the lime juice just a tad.
I found a recipe for Masa Stuffing online. Masa is the flour
used to make corn tortillas and tamales. I changed the recipe since I was
already making a corn side dish. I replaced corn with canned diced tomatoes and
black beans. This recipe also needed more water or broth, because it resulted
in being too dry. The pipián sauce and cheese were used to moisten the stuffing
after making the dish.
This was a fantastic winter holiday meal. I loved all the
dishes, some needed some tweaks. That is always the case with new recipes. I
will include links to the online recipes.