Here's a photo of them getting read to leave. My cousin Stella is that pretty lady in the back with the short hair. Thanks Stella for making this weekend happen! Stella's sister Faye is in the sunglasses, she came along for the fun also. That cute almost a teenage girl is Stella's granddaughter Roni, she was a lot of fun and she's almost as tall as her grandma already!
|Left to Right - My mom, My cousin Faye, My Tia Ninfa, My cousin Stella in the back, and Stella's granddaughter Roni|
|Baby J with Tia Ninfa|
|A special picture of three beautiful ladies. From left to right, My Tia Casimira, she's also my Godmother, my Tia Ninfa and my beautiful mom Tomasa who you can see from this photo is in 7th Heaven to have her loved ones with her!|
Because we knew that we were going to have many local family members coming by the house to see our visitors my mom insisted we had to make her signature dish, Chile Colorado! This time I paid attention! I didn't write down the recipe, but I think I got it committed to memory. As bad as my memory is I figure I better get it down into my blog here where I know I can find it at any time.
We started out by cleaning the chile. Mom's recipe calls for two (2) 12 ounce bags of El Guapo Dried California Chile Pods and one (1) 12 ounce bag of El Guapo Dried New Mexico Chile Pods. You can find it in almost any store here in California but if you can't find it in your local stores just google and you can probably find it on amazon.com. Mom said that the California chile is not very hot so she adds the New Mexico to kick up the heat. I love spicy so when I make it I will probably do 2 New Mexico and 1 California!
When I say we clean the chile pods what we do is pull off the stem and with a knife slice down the middle and remove most of the sees. Rinse them off in a big pot with water, then fill the pot with water and let them soak about an hour or longer.
After they've soaked and softened, you use your blender to grind them using the water they soaked in. Mom always likes a really thick sauce (I would have liked to use more water). That is all that we use for the sauce at this point. Then just set it to the side and let's go to work on the meat!
We used about forty (40) pounds of Pork Meat. I think we used Pork Butt and we cut it into bite size chunks and then browned it in a big pot with some water added until it's nicely browned and most of the liquid at the bottom is cooked out. You stir and stir and stir constantly! This smells fabulous! I just love pork meat! I was a bit flabbergasted to find out that mom didn't add any seasoning of any kind at this point. I would have thought you would add at least salt, but she said no, plus she said the salt would make the meat tough.
Once the meat is cooked sufficiently then you scoot the meat to the side of the pot and take about a 1/4 cup of flour and brown it in the corner of the same pot, this is what will help the sauce to stick to the meat and of course it's also a thickener. Stir well to coat the pork with this flour mixture. Then you pour in the red sauce until you have as much as you want.
Then the secret ingredient! You take about 8 cloves of garlic and you peel them and blend them really, really well in your blender with about 2 cups of water. Once you have the meat and the chile sauce together, you pour in this garlicky delicious mixture in and stir, then add salt to taste and some dried oregano about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons. You let this cook until it bubbles stirring to make sure it all gets enough garlic. Taste as you go along, you may need to add more salt or more oregano. (I noticed it tasted bitter and thought "Uh-Oh, now what?" You just keep adding oregano and it takes the bitterness away).
Then before your guests arrive, you pour a few beans and some of the chile in a bowl. There are rules to Chile Colorado, you don't use refried beans, Frijoles de la Olla only, that means Beans from the Pot and you can only eat it with flour tortillas. Only flour! No proper eater of Chile Colorado would dare to eat this with a corn tortilla, it's just not done! Then you sink your teeth into the deliciousness that is Chile Colorado, Tomasa Style (Tomasa is my mom's name). This is why my mom will always be The Queen of the Chile Colorado!
Does your mom have a signature dish? I think mine would be my Meatloaf Pie. I don't think Queen of the Meatloaf Pie has the same ring to it though!