Making Mexicana

Two dishes to cook on Mexican Independence Day

Making Mexicana

Mexican Independence Day falls on September 16 and we asked two Doha-based chefs to share their favourite classic Latin American recipes with us. Try them in your own kitchen.

Chicken Pibil Yucatan Style

Chef Pablo Fernandez of the newly revamped award-winning Mexican restaurant Salsa in the Doha Marriott shares a dish from the Yucatan peninsula

Serves 4

1 x whole chicken
1 x packet of achiote paste (you can substitute this with chili paste)
200g blended tomato
150ml orange juice
3 x garlic cloves
150g white onion
100g red onion julienne
Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish
50g rice
Jalapeno peppers
Bay leaves

• Blend the achiote with the orange juice, garlic, white onion and tomato (you can add some chili if desired).

• Blanch the chicken for a few minutes in boiling water then take it out and cut into quarters.

• With the blended preparation, marinate the chicken and then wrap the meat with banana leaves and set in oven until it’s cooked through.

• To begin creating the garnish, cook white rice.

• Then cook the jalapeno peppers with some carrot in a mixture of oil and vinegar until soft. Add bay leaves, black peppercorns and set aside until plating.

• Present the chicken in the open banana wrap with rice and the marinade.

Beef enchiladas with mole sauce

Chef Salvador Franco shares a popular recipe from the kitchens of stalwart Tex-Mex venue Paloma in the InterContinental Doha.

Serves 2
Ingredients for stuffing

250g ground beef
2 x garlic cloves, chopped
1 x red onion, chopped
60g raisins
50g unsalted peanuts
50g Cajun seasoning
2 tomatoes, chopped
20ml corn oil
10g black pepper powder
30g salt
6 x corn tortillas or flour tortillas

Grated cheddar cheese
Ingredients for sauce
1 x red onion, cut in half
2 x tomatoes, cut in half
2 x garlic cloves
Cumin seeds
2 x cloves
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3 x ancho chili pods previously soaked in water
150g sweet chocolate
Salt and pepper to taste

Method for stuffing
• Heat a medium size pan, add the oil  then onion and garlic and sauté for around five minutes until translucent. Then add the tomatoes.

• Mix with the beef, powders and nuts, cooking for another five minutes. Taste for preferences and keep it warm and moist by covering it.

Method for sauce
• Add 200-300ml of water to a pot and bring to boil. Add the soaked ancho chili pods, onion, garlic and spices, constantly stirring.

• Remove from the stove but before it cools down add the chocolate and a bit of salt to taste.

• Pass through a chinoix or colander to get a fine sauce (keep it warm). If the sauce is too thick then add some regular stock.

Plating up
• Poach the tortillas in a skillet with a bit of hot oil then stuff the meat and fold in half.

• Cover with the mole sauce and cheese then garnish with onion if you like.

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