Many of our guests who luxuriated in the Casa cuisine, as well as those that had the opportunity to have taken a cooking class by our extraordinary chef Ruby during one of the week long all inclusive workshops, have requested, (and been promised), that we would make her recipes available.  We have decided that, from time to time, we will post a different recipe from the Casa kitchen, for an entree, a salsa, desert, etc.  These are all vegetarian versions of traditional Mexican cuisine from the region of Jalisco, where our chef Ruby is from, (breakfast and lunch in the Casa consist of abundant, delicious vegetarian preparations).  She learned cooking from her mothers side since she was a small girl, and we are fortunate to have her delightful personality and gastronomical artistry at the Casa.  So please, “follow us” –  join our blog so you’ll know when we add new posts, (hopefully 1 a week), visit our website: www.ArtWorkshopVacations.com and sign up there for our enewsletter and friend us on Facebook: Casa Retreat

Bien Provecho – Enjoy!

From The Casa Kitchen – Rubys’ Recipes

Remember – Mexican culture is really about the “Manjana Attitude” (read about this on our website in the short writing “ a Message from your artist host/facilitator). – So take it easy, relax, don’t sweat it if you don’t do it “exactly”, (I’m really bad at following instructions, something about aversion to authority), anyway, the main point –as in almost anything you do, is to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Most ingredients for Mexican Cuisine are pretty common in the U.S., (in fact a lot of our produce, etc. comes from Mexico). Some spices, cheeses, chilies and other foods, etc. if not available in your local grocery, can easily be found in Latin groceries in most cities.

Chiles Rellenos:

Take 6 To 8 Poblano chilies, (these are usually not “picante” spicy, depending on when they are harvested), lay the chilies on the flame of your burner, (you could also use a broiler), rotating the chilies till they are slightly charred.  Place the chilies in a plastic bag and seal for 15 minutes so they can “sweat” – this way the skins can easily be pealed off, allowing the batter to adhere to the chilies.  After sweating simply, peal or rub the skins right off, then slice the chilies length wise, (do not remove the “cap”), open them, (careful not to rip them apart), and remove the seeds, (seeds are a little picante). Then stuff with a rectangular bock of cheese approximately 1, 1.5 inches square by 3-4 inches long, (at the Casa we use a delicious Mexican Gouda or sometimes a Manchego) you can also use a mozzarella or another of your favorite cheeses as well as rice / vegetables, cooked meat, seafood, etc., whatever your personal preference. After stuffing seal them by “sowing” the chile together with a toothpick –(don’t forget to tell your guests to watch out for the toothpicks –you’d hate to bite one into the roof of your mouth).

Salsa or “Stew” for the chilies:

Ruby often multi tasks when she’s cooking –preparing several simultaneously, it’s really quite amazing to watch.  One thing to do as the pablano chilies are roasting on the fire, (remember to turn them every so often, you want them slightly charred blackish, but you don’t want charcoal), is to prepare the salsa or stew that they will soak in before serving.  Begin with 5 tomatoes, (Ruby uses large, what we call “Plum” tomatoes), cut in half, place in a blender with 3 Huajillo chills, I pinch of oregano, I clove of pealed garlic, half of a large onion, add 4 tablespoons of water and blend on low for 3 or 4 minutes.

In a large pot, ad some oil, (canola is what Ruby uses for this), enough to cover the bottom of the pot with a thin layer, add 2 slices of onion and heat (on medium flame), till they start to brown slightly, then add the salsa to the pot along with a half cup of water.  Meanwhile, cut 3 carrots and 3 potatoes in thin strips, (approximately ¼ to ½ inch square by 3 or 4 inches long and add these to the salsa. Cook this covered till the veggies are soft, then add the chilies after you have done the following:

“Batter” – In a large bowl, break 6 eggs. Separate the yolks from the egg whites (save them in a separate bowl to be added back in latter), using an egg beater, whip the egg white still it all rises in a “fluffy meringue”, then place the yolks back in and whip a little more, (for about a minute). Place some flower, (sometimes Ruby uses a mixture of Maiz (corn) and white) on a plate and roll the peppers in the flour, covering well. You can even pick some up with your hand and “dust” the pepper all over, this is so the eggs will stick to the pepper.

Heat ½ a liter of oil in a pan, then dip the peppers in to the whipped eggs and place them into the hot oil and cook till brown then in a strainer to drain.  When thoroughly drained, add the peppers to the hot salsa-stew and you are ready to serve, usually over a bead of special rice, a recipe which will be in our next newsletter!