Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crazy mom makes dinner, from scratch, for a play date

Before SOME people start thinking that I eat gourmet meals every night I just have to say that dinner last night was an egg over easy wrapped in a tortilla and some leftover crab salad (bought, not made).

Tonight, however, I did cook. I had been talking to the mom of one of the Big Monkeys friends and we finally made plans for them to come to dinner tonight.

I have got to say, what a well behaved family (probably the fact that the dad is a cop and the mom works at the LA jail). Everyone is very soft spoke, polite and the 11 year old son played nicely with the 6 year olds on the trampoline.

Anyways, I was SWAMPED at work and ran out of there at about 5:20pm. I got to Trader Joes at 5:45pm, grabbed a couple of items and was home at 6pm. They were supposed to be at our house at 6pm. Luckily they were running a few minutes late.

When people (other than my closest friends) come over, I feel the need to cook something from scratch, or at least my version of scratch ;)

As I was looking through my database of recipes I want to make, this one looked easy and quick. It ended up definitely NOT disappointing. We were eating by 6:40pm!!

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the ingredients - I was too busy trying to at least START dinner before they came.

Leo Maya's Chicken with Green Sauce
Posted by
Mario Batali, September 13, 2007 at 4:00 PM

Our Acapulco-born babysitter, Leo, makes some of my favorite things to eat. At Christmas she makes turkey in a dark mole with toasted sesame seeds. In winter, she makes great enchiladas with soft, never-fried tortillas and a braised beef filling with queso fresco. She makes great albondigas (meatballs) with rice and beef or pork. And this week, she took some seasoned pork and made a kind of chili or sloppy joe mix with toasted dried corn that we ate as sandwiches on toasted burger buns.

But of all the things she makes, our favorite is a killer chicken and green sauce that she makes once a week.

That's why some of the best real cooks in my restaurant kitchens are from Mexico or Latin America—they watched their families make great food from scratch every day.
It's great to watch a natural cook because she does not consult a recipe—she just knows. And that's why some of the best real cooks in my restaurant kitchens are from Mexico or Latin America—they watched their families make great food from scratch every day. They simply understand that
sofrito goes in first when you make a braised dish or that coaxing flavor out of something lean sometimes means to cook it very well done and chopping into small pieces and dressing it with citrus and scallions.

That said, this is the easiest thing to watch and make. She takes 2 pounds of chicken drumsticks and thighs (I used chicken breast) and removes the skin and sets them aside. Then she takes 3 pounds of husked tomatillos, 6 cloves garlic, and 2 serrano chiles (I used Trader Joes bottled tomatillo salsa since they didn't sell tomatillos and I was running late)and places them in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drains them. Still warm, she places them into the blender with the juice and zest of 3 limes and 1 bunch of cilantro and blends until just smooth (I skipped this step). She seasons it with salt (a lot) and then puts the sauce in a pan with the raw chicken, bringing it to a boil and then simmering it for 25 minutes (I put the tomatillo salsa, garlic paste, juice of 1 lime and 1 bunch cilantro in to the pan with the raw chicken). After that, she finishes it with the juice of another lime and a handful of chopped scallions (did the lime, skipped the scallions).

This was very quick and yummy! I served this with whole wheat pasta, sauteed zucchini and mushrooms and green beans.

The kids had a great time and were sad to part company.

I am submitting this recipe to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap. If you found me through Gayle's Blog, welcome. I hope you enjoy my blog, the recipe and leave a comment.


Under the Influence said...

Looks delicious! When can I come to dinner?

DarcyLee said...

This looks amazing! I trying this one for sure! And yes, I found you through Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge.

Lee the MWOB Queen said...

Oh you can't fool me Julia - that egg over easy with crab salad wrapped in a tortilla IS a gourmet meal!! To ME! :-)

Okay well even if it isn't, that Leo's Chicken extravaganza that you whipped up in 30 minutes sure is!! You are my cooking hero and I hope to learn a thing or two from you about cooking. :-)

We'll start tonight!! :-)

Sassy Britches said...

My tummy is GROWLING! Fabulous.

bernthis said...

YOu did THAT in less than an hour? I can barely make a pb&j in less than ten minutes.

Sprite's Keeper said...

I'm about to eat my canned soup lunch and now I'm very depressed about it.
Looks good!

I am Harriet said...

I have to say, my life got a lot less complicated when my kids took on jobs and became responsible for their own dinner. :)

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Jo - Next time you're in LA, you're invited.

Darcy - Thanks! I hope you stick around.

Lee - seriously? a fried egg is gourmet? We will talk :)

Sassy, Bern This, Sprite's keeper -Thanks. It really was super easy, especially with the tomatillo salsa cheat.

I am Harriet - I really actually LOVE to cook, just don't get to do it as often as I would like.

Keri said...

What a yummy dish! Glad you and the kids enjoyed what looks like a fabulous dinner with great company.