Pipian Verde

 

author photo: Ionah DeFreitas…

When Greens Cafe opened in the mid eighties, one of our signature dishes was grilled chicken breasts with tomatillo sauce. We made the sauce by chopping onions, tomatillos and cilantro, which we blitzed with cumin, salt and chicken stock. It was good and tasty, but, I later realized, a little one-dimensional.

blacken tomatillos and onion on a hot comal…
chiles blistering on an open flame…
suffocate them in their own steam in a plastic or paper bag to loosen the skins…
removing the charred skins…

Years later, while traveling in the Yucatán, Ionah and I had a memorable Sunday lunch in Mérida, in a grand but crumbling old colonial hotel, with toucans and giant palms in the dining room, which was a kind of exotic bird house open to the sky. I kept my hat on and she wore a colorful scarf. Continue reading “Pipian Verde”

Mint pesto with Asparagus, parmigiano-reggiano and a poached egg…

 

Spring time in Denver can be a precarious time, especially if you happen to be a sensitive flower. If someone planted you within the last couple of weeks, during the recent tee-shirt and sandal spell, you would now be a wilted thing and sadly, out of luck: destined to be turned over and forked under the cold, soaked soil, because we just had a late mother of a snow storm. Continue reading “Mint pesto with Asparagus, parmigiano-reggiano and a poached egg…”

The Lemon Cure

Brother Dez skyped me from his London kitchen the other day. He said to tune in to the Iggy Pop radio hour on BBC Radio 6. It was an all Bowie show. As I was pulling it up I got to thinking about David Bowie and Iggy Pop, who arguable wrote the greatist lyric in the history of rock and roll, “I wanna be your dog.” Still relevant today in these friendliest of dog times. Then, a long buried Bowie lyric from his album, Life on Mars, came into my head, “ ’cause Lennon’s on sale again,” but which I first misheard as “There’s lemons on sale again.” Got me thinking.

Iggy went through some fast times in his youth. Take at look at his face. Those wizened lines tell a tale, like lizard tracks in the sand. He lived hard, he got sick — but he cured and got the gig with Radio 6. I believe he sticks to one glass of Bordeaux Supérieor a day these days. He recently posed for a life drawing class at the Brooklyn Museum. Does laps in his pool most mornings in his house. Calls in the show from there. Continue reading “The Lemon Cure”

Tahini Sauce

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Tahini, a puree of sesame seeds, when blended with cooked chickpeas, and seasoned with lemon juice and garlic is the Mid-East side dish known as Hummus. It’s almost always served as part of the meal, along with other dishes like Tabbouleh, Baba Ghannouj, Fattoush, and lamb or beef. Here in the US we call it a dip and bring it to parties and eat it with chips. Nothing wrong with that.

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Continue reading “Tahini Sauce”