This is Alan’s last year in high school. So it is only natural that we ended up with an episode in the new season of Pati’s Mexican Table called “Alan Goes to College,” where I try to show him how easy it is to make some of his favorite things including these Mexican overloaded double-baked potatoes…It is truly ridiculous how good they are, and you can make them a whole meal on any school night.
It is the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I am hurrying like a mad woman. For a week, I have been testing recipes to give you something new for your Thanksgiving table. I tested a sweet potato cheesy casserole, a sweet potato hash, a sweet potato soup and a sweet potato torte. I even tried a mash and a soufflé.
If you are going to try a new potato salad, it has to be this one. It’s rich. It’s filling. Yet at the same time, it’s light and bright. How can this happen? You may wonder… Soft tender potatoes are combined with an exuberant poblano chile rajas, or strips, and lightly caramelized red onion mix.
A Mexican immigrant cooking Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same night in the cold Eastern region of the United States may sound a bit odd to some. For me, it turns out to be an unexpected opportunity to bring all my pieces together. Which has my mind reeling about the just as unexpected possibilities for the menu. See… ever since I can remember, I have felt like I am treading between worlds.
Before she died, my maternal grandmother, whom we called Lali (remember I’ve told you about her before?) gave me Gloria Miller’s Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook. She was fascinated with Chinese cookery. She was also very good at it. What she loved the most were the stir-fry dishes: fast, tasty and healthy. So, she bought herself a wok.
I hadn’t heard about Thanksgiving until I moved to Texas. Yet, I took my first shot at cooking the meal that cold fall of 1997 in the vast yellow plains of Dallas. Inspired by the glossy food magazines, cookbooks and TV shows, and wanting to immerse myself in the American experience, I baked, cooked and stirred while feeling homesick for my family’s home-cooking. It took years of living in the US for me to grasp the depth and warmth of the holiday and the menu, many failed turkeys and side dishes along the way.
Though I am no painter, this I know to be true: Throw in four primary colors onto a painting palette and mix randomly. Whatever combination you come up with, there will be a Mexican rice that catches the spirit of those tones.
Right off the bat, you must understand: I heart chorizo. Especially the kind I grew up eating in Mexico. It comes in deep-burnt-reddish links of fresh, moist, exotically seasoned ground meat that, once fried, becomes crisp and filling bites with bold flavors and a thousand uses. My oldest son’s quick choice for breakfast is chorizo fried until it browns and crisps, with a side of white toast.
In this post, I have invited Cristina Potters to be a guest and share one of her favorite recipes. Cristina is the author of Mexico Cooks!, a culinary and cultural website about all things Mexico. She is also known for giving outstanding tours.
Our friends Tamara and Sean are crazy foodies and fans of the richness and versatility of chilies. So after receiving the invitation to join them next week for their Thanksgiving feast, I started playing with options on what to bring; with chilies of course.