Despite an impaired thumb, the need to cook and create still consumes me. Last night I made with my wife’s assistance Chile Lime Nuts and tonight, under the tutelage of Barbara Sibley and Margaritte Malfy’s very appealing Antojitos cookbook, I’m ready to move body and soul south of the border…to embrace the vibrant flavors of Mexico, and to just see about all those damned chile peppers.

Tonight’s choice was based, as usual, with what’s at hand…not that a desire to simply buy new and different ingredients doesn’t constantly appeal, but I thought starting with some basics would be best.

We start with corn oil and plop a couple of tomatoes, a clove of garlic, and half an onion to slowly cook.

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You can see here how after ten minutes its browning nicely.

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After this I brown the arbol chiles and set them aside with the cooked tomatoes to cool. While they cool I’m off to get some cold Mexican beers. Ole, baby.

Here are the cooked tomatoes and chiles.

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Now, into the food processor to mix and blend…then back into the skillet to emulsify and thicken a tad.

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Finally, I threw together some guacamole, grilled the local Mi Tierra meat market’s special fajitas blend on my plancha on the stovetop, and served the beer and the corn tortillas warmed in el microwave.

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A quick final note–Mexican cuisine has proven the most challenging for me; why? I can’t say, but I realize now that its getting the basic flavors down first is most important. Working with chiles…yes…. Special additional observation; Angela loved tonight’s meal, but to my delight found the salsa de chile de arbol delicious and flavorful…even after the heat smacked her.

Hee Hee.

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