Once in a while I find keeping it simple is better
May 18, 2007
Sometimes I’m accused of making things too complicated. If I am guilty, it is partly due to the complex nature of traditional Mexican food. Consider their national treasure of sauces – mole poblano- which can have more than two dozen ingredients depending on whose version you use.
Then there is the farmer mentality instilled by my mother – difficult is better than easy in the long run. If it’s heavy, it’s expensive. No pain, no gain, right? Not necessarily, and here is a case in point.
A couple of weeks back, we did a fundraiser with Global Voice, a youth service-exchange program here in Virginia City in which some of our students spend two weeks living and working with Mexican students at their school in Escuinapa, about an hour and a half south of Mazatlan.
Through this cultural emersion, they hope to lessen cultural gaps resulting in “a world that works for all.”
Another result of this exchange was a batch of recipes from the mothers in Escuinapa which typifies their everyday cooking. We selected a couple of them for the party and went to work.
The chicken dish which they called Pollo Poblano had only three ingredients, plus the chicken. I had my doubts. But then we tasted the finished product and were surprised. Even stunned. It was like finding out the Holy Grail isn’t really a cup.
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With only three ingredients and about 20 minutes of work, the moms had achieved a delicious sauce that could easily take the place of the far more ambitious mole verde, which we make occasionally for the restaurant.
I’ve included both the mole verde and the poblano cream recipes so you can see for yourself. I suggest making the mole first. Otherwise, after making the simple but tasty poblano cream sauce, you may not feel the need to go any further than Escuinapa.
• Brian Shaw and his wife, Ardie, own the Cafe del Rio, 394 S. C St. in Virginia City.