Sometimes, when I type the date of the current week, I'm shocked by how late in the year it is. It's almost September. My oldest will soon have his 3rd birthday. And he was just born last week! ~grin~
This summer, I've loved Top Chef Masters. I love the show anyway, but it has featured one of my very favorite chefs of all time, Rick Bayless. When we were newlyweds, my husband had one request for supper.... tacos. All.the.stinking.time. Seriously, the man wanted to eat them once a week. He grew up in a "it's Monday, it must be meatloaf" sort of house, and weekly seemed normal to him.
This was not going to happen in my house.
So, I had to figure out something. And quick. We got married late June 2001, moved in together September 2001, and in December my lovely, lovely Cooking Light magazine provided a HUGE breakthrough for which I'm forever grateful. They featured an article on Mexican food that was really all about Rick Bayless. I made a couple of the recipes, and I fell in love. My brother bought me his cookbook for Christmas, and I devoured it.
I had my answer! I'd just start cooking good Mexican food, I'd call it tacos, and sure, we'd have "tacos" once a week. And, that's what happened. Now, I can truely say that Mexican food is probably my favorite cuisine, except old school Southern food (isn't your mama's food always the best?). And that, my friends, is why I cook a lot of Mexican food. I worked in a Hispanic clinic for a while, and all the staff used to tease that I cooked more Mexican food than most folks from Mexico. They weren't that far off. We really love the flavors.
So, this week's Publix meal is a Mexican one. Bet ya' didn't see that one coming! This recipe is a bit long, but it's just the style that Bayless uses to write. His recipes are straight-forward, just wordy and with a good number of ingredients. Very, very worth it, though.
This recipe is from his cookbook Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. It serves 8, with leftover mole. I freeze it, then use it to sauce roasted chicken or for enchiladas. Mole is good stuff. You should try it! Some of these ingredients are a little different, but the Publixes near me have awesome Latino sections, so the ingredients are very easy to find. If you are in Atlanta, there is even a specific Latino Publix down off Jimmy Carter with WAY cool stuff.
Braised Turkey in Teloloapan Red Mole
16 medium (about 8oz. total) dried ancho chiles--approx $1
22 medium (about 51/2 oz. total) Dried Guajillo chiles--approx $1
1/3 C. (about 1 1/2 oz.) Sesame Seeds
1 small avocado leaf (or 1t. aniseed)
3 Bay leaves
About 1 1/2" of cinnamon, preferably Mexican Canela (you'll need enough to yield about 1 1/2teaspoons ground)
1t whole black peppercorns
1t. dried thyme
A heaping 1/2 t. dried marjoram
1/3t whole cloves
The pit from 1 avocado
2 slices dry firm white bread--$0.20
2 stale corn tortillas--we always have these at my house--pennies
2 Cups rich tasting lard or vegetable oil (you need this much for effective frying; not all goes into the sauce)--I have a source for lard, but I'll price it with veg oil, cause that scares people--$0.93
1/3 C. unskinned almonds--$0.75
1/3 C.unskinned or Spanish peanuts--$0.50
1/3 C. hulled pumpkin seeds--$0.20
1/3 C. Raisins--$0.15
1 medium white onion, sliced--$0.20
9 cloves garlic, peeled--$0.25
2 Large (about 5 oz. total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cut into quarters--$0.30
1 medium large (8 oz.) tomato, cut into quarters--$0.50
7-8 C. Chicken or Turkey Broth--make your own--free
1 Lg. Whole, Boneless (about 3 3/4 lbs.) turkey breast (skin still on), split into two halves--on sale $0.99/lb--$3.75
1 scant cup (about 5 oz.) finely chopped Mexican chocolate--approx $1
Salt, about 3T, depending on the saltiness of the broth
Sugar, about 1/3 C
A bunch of flat-leaf parsley, garnish--grow your own!
Serve with white rice ($0.30) and corn tortillas ($1.29/lb).
Total cost--$11.97 to serve 8 with leftover mole
And, as always, for more $5 meal inspiration, check out $5dinners's bargain meal of the week.