Friday, December 29, 2006


 The New Year is upon us and before you get to your list of annual promises of eating right and exercising have all of your friends and family over for a New Year's Day brunch. Whip up a batch of our Miraculous Menudo which is rumored to cure the most viscous hangover. And for the non-menudo eaters make up a couple of quiches and other goodies to satisfy everyone's tastes.

!Feliz Año Nuevo!

You will need
A large saucepan
1 Calf's Foot (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds)
2 pounds Honeycomb Tripe
1 large Onion
3 cloves Garlic, peeled
6 Peppercorns
2 teaspoons Salt, or to taste
4 quarts of Water
A Comal or Griddle
3 large Chiles Anchos
A Spice Grinder
A large Chile Poblano, peeled or 2 canned, peeled green chiles
½ cup canned Hominy (1 pound), drained
Salt as necessary
1 scant teaspoon Oregano

Have the butcher cut the calf's foot into four pieces. Cut the tripe into small squares. Put them into the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours, or until the tripe and foot are just tender but not too soft. Meanwhile, toast the chilies well. Slit them open and remove the seeds and veins from the chile poblano, cut it into strips, and add to the meat while it is cooking. Remove the pieces of calf's foot from the pen, and when they are cool enough to handle, strip off the fleshy parts. Chop them roughly and return them to the pan.

Add hominy and continue cooking the menudo slowly, still uncovered, for another 2 hours.

Add salt as necessary. Sprinkle with oregano and serve.

This amount is sufficient for 7 or 8 people. It should be served in large, deep bowls with hot tortillas and small dishes of chopped chile serranos, finely chopped onion and wedges of lime for each person to help himself, along with Salsa de Tomate Verde Cruda to be eaten with tortillas.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hot Rum Punch

This is the the traditional punch served during the Posadas with bunuelos or pan dulce. If you would like to make this punch but can’t find or don't like some of the ingredients (perhaps, prunes) use substitutes. For instance, tamarind pods are a primary flavor in this ponche. If you can’t find tamarind pods, substitute apple cider. It won’t be the same, but it'll still be good!

2 gallons water
4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
4-inch cinnamon stick
2 lbs. piloncillo (or brown sugar)
3 green apples, cut into eighths
1/2 cup raisins
10 prunes
10 tamarind pods, peeled (or apple cider)
6 preserved guavas
10 preserved manzanitas/tejocotes (wild apples or crab apples)
Rum or Brandy to taste (optional)
1 3-gallon pot
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1/4 cup sugar

Place the above in crock pot and heat well. Serve with 1 jigger of rum added when serving. Can leave on all day. Can refrigerate leftovers for another day. This recipe for Hot Rum Punch serves/makes 3 quart