I caught it. And I am NOT happy about it. The stupid (for lack of enough brain power to think of a better word) sickness that has been ravaging the country. Or at least the surrounding area. Poor Sweet Thang is on the tail-end of a month-long battle that included antibiotics, other prescriptions, plenty of over-the-counter meds, and lots of lovin'. Drama Queen didn't get it full blast (knock on wood), she just needed a hit of decongestant to ease the pressure on her ears. Mexi caught it full-blast last week (one minute you're fine, the next you feel like you've been hit by a steamroller). I thought...hey, I'm gonna make it past it...along with Lyrical Teen. Well. Wrong. A few nights ago I went to bed fine and woke up with a sore throat and the inability to swallow gracefully. Not to mention the ice picks stabbing my brain and the crazy pains in my neck and my back. It doesn't help that I watched Contagion last week. Lyrical Teen triumphantly claimed that he was Matt Damon. And I wasn't. Grrrrrr. Okay, that will make no sense if you didn't see the movie, but I don't want to ruin it for anybody who hasn't seen it.
And you know what really sucks about not having a "real" (ie...paying) job? Lack of insurance. (No worries, the kids are covered...it's just us adults that are screwed.) So. This morning after the kids were off to get some learnin', Mexi and I decided to drive over to the local Health Clinic to see if we could be seen. Fortunately for him, he'd been there before, so he got an appointment for tomorrow. I, on the other hand hadn't, so I couldn't be seen until the end of February. Great. So, when I'm dead or close to it. So the big dilemma ensues in my head. Do I go to the emergency room and rack up a bill that will probably be about 500 smackers? I could go to our "regular" doctor and rack up a significantly lower bill, but a bill still. Or I could get some antibiotics from an "underground" source. Within minutes. No, I'm not even sure if I need antibiotics, but I have been through enough bouts of ear/sinus infections in my day to know how they feel. Add some of the Mucinex that you have to get behind the counter...good to go. I hope. Obviously that was what I chose.
But really, this is all just leading up to the reason we were out driving around this morning. After I'd tossed back 500 mg of my underground meds, hubs asked if I was hungry. Well, yes. But it hurts to eat, so I don't really crave anything. We went into one of the many local mercado/taquerias anyway and I stared at the board trying to decide what the easiest thing to swallow (literally) would be. Often times, if you know somebody or "look the part", you'll get suggestions that aren't even listed. I think this guy took one look at us and knew he had to suggest the Posole Verde. And Menudo, but if it's not the kind that involves a young Ricky Martin, then I'm not interested. Praise the heavens for posole, though. The bowl was warm and deep with a low-dose of "green" heat, chewy hominy and tons of tender chicken shreds. Once I squeezed my lime wedges over it and piled on the lettuce, cilantro, and onions...I was able to let the comfort slide down my throat with minimal pain. And funny that even in the midst of feeling like sh*t, I lamented not having my camera with me.
Okay, I know it's not very clear, but what I was trying so round-about-ly to convey is that Mexican and Southwest-style food is everyday fare for me. It's been my favorite my whole life. I have easy access to ingredients, we have an actual "Little Mexico" in our town, I'm married to a Mexican. And I realize, after talking with distant friends, that this is something I just take for granted. I can't imagine not having chiles and masa at the ready. Well, upon cooking with a great group of bloggers spread across the globe, I realize that not everybody has such easy access. What I thought was a simple, everyday dish can actually seem exotic to some. As we continue to cook through Flatbreads & Flavors (2 "assignments" a month), I look forward to being challenged by cuisines from other locales...ones that may not be so comfortable to me...that aren't "my norm". But I am ALWAYS happy to be eating Southwest and Mexican-inspired dishes like the Tortillas and Chile-Bathed Pork that you see here. For me, this is comfort food at its finest. Guajillo chiles don't carry much heat, so really it's just a bunch of very flavorful cubed pork wrapped in soft, steaming corn tortillas.
Pueblo Chile-Bathed Pork and Blue Corn Tortillas
Prep Time: overnight
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Keywords: simmer bread entree pork cornmeal chiles Southwest Mexican
Ingredients (serves 4)
- ~1¾ lbs. lean boneless pork
- 2 oz. dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
- ¾ c. hot water
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1½ c. blue cornmeal
- 1½ c. boiling water
- ¾-1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
InstructionsPueblo Chile-Bathed Pork (Pueblo Carne Adobado):
Cut pork into small chunks. Place in a shallow nonreactive dish.
Prepare chile sauce by combining chiles and water in a blender and blending to a smooth paste. Add salt, garlic, and oregano; blend well.
Pour sauce over the pork and toss to coat. Cover and allow to marinate for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat a deep skillet or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When hot, add the meat and saute until browned, stirring frequently. Add about ½ cup of water, partially cover and simmer over medium-low for 1 hour.
Serve with blue corn tortillas (or any type), crema or sour cream, and some pico de gallo (I used kumatos, scallions, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, and salt & pepper to make this pico).Blue Corn Tortillas:
Place cornmeal in a bowl, pour the bowling water over and stir to mix. Let sit for 15 minutes. Stir ¼ cup flour into cornmeal, and turn this mixture out onto a work surface spread wtih ¼ cup more flour. Knead for 2-3 minutes, incorporating the flour into the dough...adding more flour as needed until dough is soft and no longer sticky. Return dough to bowl, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into golfball size pieces and press in a tortilla press lined with plastic (or sprayed).
Cook on a preheated comal or heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) for about a minute per side,
or until flecked with brown on both sides and cooked through.
Remove and keep wrapped in a kitchen towel while you repeat with remaining dough.pork and tortillas adapted from Flatbreads & Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
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In the second half of this month, we'll head to Penang (yes, completely out of my norm) to explore with some Coconut Milk Chicken Curry and Lacey Coconut Milk Pancakes. I can't wait!Check out more variations from other participants in this challenge:
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Flatbreads & Flavors Group
Dairy-Free (don't add crema) for Allergy Free Wednesdays