Saturday, February 18, 2012

Asado de Puerco

This is a very easy dish and is a bit on the spicy side. So if jalapeƱos are tough for you to eat, you might want to use only 4 chiles instead of the 7.  This is an authentic Mexican dish that is popular in Northern Mexico. I used, as a base, a recipe from "The Authentic Mexican" cookbook, but I did tweak it a bit. I added the flour and peanut butter to thicken the sauce. The peanut butter gave it a smoother texture and removed some of the heat. Click here to buy the book. This came out just perfect! I made some home made flour tortillas to go with it!


7 Medium dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 an onion diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
2 C water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. peanut butter

1. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and place the chiles on the skillet. Be sure to lay them flat. Toast them on both sides by pressing down on them with the back side of some tongs. Do this for only about 2-3 minutes on each side. You will see them change colors. Then cover them with water and submerge them for about 30 minutes in the water, then drain and reserve 1 cup of the liquid.

2. Transfer the chiles, the reserved water, the garlic, the onions, the cumin and the oregano onto a blender. Blend until smooth.

3. Using the same pan, heat the oil and brown the pork cubes until they have just turned brown. About 8 minutes.

4. Add the puree in the blender to the pan and continue to cook until the sauce turns darker. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the pieces of the pork. Cook for a total time of 5 minutes or so.

5. Transfer the pork and puree mixture to a bigger pot and add 2 cups of water and salt. Bring heat to a low simmer.

6. Whisk in flour and peanut butter.  Simmer over medium heat for 1 hour add more salt if needed. Stir occasionally.

 I hope you enjoy this delicious dish!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows - Movie Review

What a fantastic movie! Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law do a marvelous job in the second movie of Sherlock Holmes! If you loved the first movie, you will absolutely love love love the second one! I will even say that it is better than the first! This movie is definitely going on my Christmas wish list!

In the movie, Sherlock Holmes is dealing emotionally with facing the reality of his best friend (Watson) being married. There is also another crisis afoot and Holmes again menacingly lures Watson into another case. The cinematography is phenomenal and there are several "Holmes' views" in the movie where everything is done in super slow motion with pain-staking detail.

Of course, there are scenes that just plain crack you up and scenes where you're squirming in your seat. Thankfully the movie is free of vulgar language and sexuality.

There is a scene were Watson, at his bachelor party, becomes intoxicated. There is also another scene where both, Holmes and Watson are intoxicated. There is partial nudity scene of Mycroft (Holme's brother), walks around the house naked. His backside is shown, but there is NOTHING sexual about it. Some girls swing on some trapeziums but they are modestly dressed. There is smoking throughout the movie. There is a scene where Holmes dresses up like a woman and there are some sexual insinuations while Holmes and Watson wrestle on the ground. There is a pretty brutal torture scene where Holmes is suspended by a butcher's hook. There are several fight scenes where bones are broken.

Movie length: 129 minutes
Rating: PG-13

My Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wheat Challah Bread - Recipes

Our family just enjoys Challah bread. My son loves to smell it! I have to keep them away from this bread with yells and scolds!  I usually use this recipe with normal flour, but decided to use wheat flour this time. With the weather being a little cold outside, the smell of freshly baked bread just makes you feel all warm inside. I can't wait for my husband and the kids to come home to the smell of this delicious bread. Here's the recipe.

2 packages dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
2 Cups very warm water
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C oil
4 tsp salt
3 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 C honey
7 1/2 C wheat flour

Egg Wash ( 1 egg with 1 Tbsp water mixed well)
Sesame seeds (optional)

In a large bowl mix the yeast and water well. Add sugar, oil, salt, and eggs. Mix well. Add roughly 3 cups of flour. Mix until there are no lumps. Then add honey and mix in. Let mixture rest for about 5 minutes. Gradually add the rest of the flour (4 1/2 cups).  Oil board and hands and knead for 10 minutes. Put dough back in bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Once the dough has doubled, punch down dough and cut in half. (This amount makes two rings). Cut your half into three pieces and roll out into long ropes. Braid the ropes by placing one rope in the middle and then making an X with the other two ropes on top of the middle rope.  Braid one side down and then the other side. Pinch the ends and tuck them under. Then brush on egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees.

If you hit the bread lightly with the back of a spoon,
and it sounds hollow, it's ready!