My cooking project for today was to make the opening recipe in my latest, favorite cookbook: Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-inspired Dishes from My Kitchen to Yours, by Aaron Sanchez.
Carl recognized Aaron’s name as one of the judges on a kitchen show ,”Chopped” I had read a review of this book on either the Seattle Times or the NY times. I asked for it at our local Deming library. Don’t know if they ordered it because of me, but from the pristine look of the book, I may be the first reader. Now If I can just keep it looking that good as I try out different sauces. The cookbook has recipes for 15 chile sauces, mostly Mexican. Then, following each sauce, there are several recipes using that sauce.
The majority of these recipes are for meat, but the sauces work great in all kinds of recipes.
My favorite sauce is the Garlic Chipotle Love sauce, so named because the smells and tastes reminds Aaron of his mother’s cooking while he was growing up.
The recipe called for 12 cloves of garlic. I peeled 12 cloves of the garlic we grew in the garden. Which was two very large heads, each with 6 thumb size cloves. Probably equivalent to double or triple regular cloves ;-) I put them and a cup of olive oil into a pottery ramekin bowl and baked it the wood stove oven for an hour, until the garlic cloves were soft.
Then I let the garlic mixture cool for a bit before dumping it and the rest of the ingredients into the blender: (chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, grated lime zest and salt.) (For the recipe details see Aaron’s website for Garlic Chipotle Love sauce)
I didn’t have any lime zest, so I popped a couple cubes of frozen lime juice from an ice cube tray. A few days ago, Carl and I had hand-squeezed several limes that needed to be used. The juice filled three trays. Now I’m ready for any recipe calling for lime juice. (This idea came from my 94 year old Aunt Juanita, who has a lime tree in her Central California back yard.)
After the Garlic Chipotle Love sauce was finished, I took half a cup to make the Smokey Bean Dip, using red beans (they were in the pantry) instead of black.
I poured the rest of the Garlic Chipotle Love sauce into another ice cube tray. 12 ice cubes of 2 TB each. The next time I make a pot of beans, I’ll throw a couple frozen Garlic Chipotle Love cubes in. And I’ll put one in the pressure cooker the next time I cook brown rice.
Dinner tonight was corn chips and the Smokey Bean Dip. The dip had a very nice bite and loads of mellow garlic and cilantro flavor.
Carl suggested a side of sour cream next time. And there will definitely be a next time. I even licked the bowl of the Garlic Chipotle Love sauce.
And I finally ordered my own copy of Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-inspired Dishes from My Kitchen to Yours, by Aaron Sanchez. (I actually ordered it through an Amazon.com reseller and got it for under $2, plus $4 shipping ;-), though that meant the PG website didn’t get a commission to help support it.)