Northwest NEWS

February 14, 2000

Home & Garden

Dining In: South of the border

Mexican Beans and Greens

Mexican Beans and Greens

   1 small white onion, coarsely chopped, about 1 c.
   2-3 canned chipotle chile peppers
   3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
   2 Tbsp. chili powder
   2/3 c. vegetable broth or water
   1 Tbsp. canola oil
   2 8-oz. cans black beans
   3 c. cooked mustard greens, collards or kale, or 10-ounce package frozen greens
   1/3 c. chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

   Place the onion, chiles, garlic, and chili powder in a blender. Add the vegetable broth or water, and process to a rough pureé. Heat the oil in a small Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the pureéd chiles and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, with their liquid. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep the beans from sticking, for 15 minutes so the beans absorb the flavor of the seasonings. Heat the greens in a microwave or in a pan with just enough water to steam them. If using frozen greens, cook according to package instructions and drain.

   To serve, divide the greens among 4 shallow soup bowls. Ladle in a cup of the beans. Sprinkle the cilantro over the beans, and serve. If desired, pass a plate of warm corn tortillas; roll the beans and greens in the tortillas, or tear them in small pieces and mix the tortillas with the beans. Each of the four servings contains 241 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado Salsa

Avocado Salsa:
   3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
   1/2 c. coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley
   1/2 c. chopped green onion, divided
   2 Tbsp. green pepper sauce
   1/8 tsp. salt
   1 large, ripe avocado, peeled and diced (about 1-1/2 c.)
Chicken Quesadillas:
   1 12-oz. package Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 12 thin slices
   2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
   12 fajita-size (6-inch) flour tortillas
   Green pepper sauce

   Combine tomatoes, cilantro, 1/4 c. chopped green onion, Tabasco sauce, and salt in food processor; process briefly until chopped but still chunky. Pour into bowl; stir in avocado. Set aside. Place one cheese slice and 2 Tbsp. chicken on half of each tortilla. Sprinkle generously with Tabasco sauce and top with chopped green onion. Fold tortillas in half. Lightly grease large heavy skillet and place over medium low heat. Cook quesadillas approximately 45 seconds per side or until lightly browned and crisp. Serve hot with avocado salsa.

Pork Loin with Apricot Mole

   3 medium tomatillas, chopped
   3 Tbsp. canola oil
   1/2 c. almonds, chopped
   12/ c. sesame seeds
   4 garlic cloves, chopped
   2/3 c. dried apricots, chopped
   1 slice white bread, toasted
   6 oz. dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
   2 1/2 lb. boneless pork loin, well trimmed and untied
   6 c. fat-free chicken broth
   1 Tbsp. cocoa
   1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
   1/8 tsp. ground cloves
   4 Tbsp. sugar

   Place the tomatillos in a cold non-stick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned and soft, 4 minutes. Scrape them into a bowl. Wipe out the pan. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Cook the almonds, sesame seeds, and garlic until golden, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes. Add to the tomatillos. Add the apricots. Break the toast into the bowl. Set aside. Tear the chiles into 1-inch pieces. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in the skillet. Cook half the chiles, turning them with tongs, until they soften and their inside is a lighter color, 30 seconds. Do not let them smoke. Remove the chiles to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining chiles. Cover the chiles with hot tap water. Soak until they are soft, 20 minutes.

   In a large Dutch oven, heat the remaining oil. Brown the pork, turning as needed. Transfer the meat to a plate. Do not wash the pot. Pureé the chiles. Press the chile pureé through the strainer. In the unwashed blender, pureé the remaining ingredients with the tomatillo mixture and 3 c. of the chicken broth. Strain it back into its bowl. Cook the chile pureé in the Dutch oven until it has the thickness of tomato paste, 15 minutes. Add the tomatillo pureé and cook until the mole thickens again. Stir in the remaining broth. Half cover the pot and simmer until the mole coats a spoon well, 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lay the pork in the mole, turning it once. Cover and cook in the oven until a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees, 30-40 minutes. Let pork rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve with mole. Each of the 10 servings contains 256 calories and 12 grams of fat.