``The first time I saw my friend Ileana fix this dish in her home in Guadalajara, I couldn't imagine what would happen to that enormous amount of milk. I discovered that the meat juices seem to curdle the milk and it begins to evaporate. You must watch this and as soon as the milk thickens and curdles, remove the pan from the oven. Then proceed as the recipe directs. I like to serve the pork already sliced.'' Roast Leg of Pork in Milk (Asado de Puerco en Leche) 1 5- to 6-pound round of pork 6 to 8 garlic cloves 2 to 4 quarts of milk 1 teaspoon peppercorns 4 bay leaves 1 tablespoon salt Pur'eed chipotle chiles Have butcher trim fat from roast. With a small sharp knife, make 6 to 8 incisions in the meat and into each cut insert a sliver or a whole garlic clove. Place meat in a deep pot and pour in cold milk to almost cover. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Marinate overnight.
The next day, heat oven to 300 degrees F. and place meat, covered, in oven. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and take roast out of milk sauce. Wrap meat in heavy foil and return to oven in another pan to continue roasting. Cover.
Cool curdled milk sauce and strain. Taste for seasoning. Flavor half of the sauce with a small amount of pur'eed chipotle chiles and leave the rest plain.
Check meat for doneness during the next hour. Uncover during last 30 minutes and allow to brown. Do not overcook; meat must slice without shredding. Carve at table or slice and arrange on a platter with some of the plain sauce. Serve chipotle sauce in a separate sauceboat.
This is wonderful with a rice pilaf, guacamole, and a tossed green salad. Corn tortillas are good for this meat dish, but it is outstanding with hot French rolls.
Serves 8. Green Chiles Stuffed With Corn Relish (Chiles Rellenos de Elote) 8 canned whole green chiles prepared for stuffing, or 8 fresh green Anaheim chiles (choose straight, plump ones) 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 can shoepeg white whole kernel corn, drained Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons chopped chives 1 ripe tomato, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves Garlic-flavored sour cream
Remove chile seeds and slit on one side. Mix oil and vinegar and combine this dressing with a mixture of next 5 ingredients. Stuff prepared chiles with corn mixture. Place on lettuce-lined serving platter and garnish with radishes and ripe olives. Spoon garlic-flavored sour cream over chiles. Thin cream with a few spoonfuls of milk. Goes well with baked Virginia ham.
Note: Use fresh corn if available; frozen corn kernels if not. Also, homemade mayonnaise can substitute for sour cream. Twisted or crooked fresh chiles are difficult to work with and impossible to fill, so do heed my advice and choose the straight, plump Anaheims. ``Cooks from all the regions of Mexico have their own versions of a corn tortilla casserole type of pie. Many use only green chile strips and tomatoes with cheese and sour cream, while others insist that the only way to make a tortilla pudding is with the regular green or red enchilada sauce. Still others use a chicken broth-based sauce with the chile strips, cheese, and cream. They are all super concoctions but I prefer one that I ate at my sister's home in Baja, Calif.'' Aztec Pie (Budin Azteca) 12 corn tortillas 1 cup cooking oil 4 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 cup chopped ripe peeled tomatoes 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds 4 cups shredded cooked chicken meat 4 cups easy Mole Sauce 2 cups sour cream 1 8-ounce package cream cheese 1/2 cup milk 1 garlic clove, mashed Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons instant chicken granules 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or more as needed
Cut tortillas in half with knife or kitchen shears and set aside to dry out slightly. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry tortilla halves as quickly as possible, to soften and moisten. Drain on paper towels.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and saut'e chopped onions and tomatoes 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, chicken granules, and coriander. Add shredded chicken.
Cut cream cheese into small cubes and pur'ee in a blender with sour cream and milk. Add mashed garlic clove, and salt to taste.
Prepare Mole Sauce as directed below. Add some to chicken mixture if it seems too dry. Put shredded cheese in a bowl.
To assemble: Line up all ingredients in assembly line fashion -- first fried tortillas, then chicken mixture, Mole Sauce, sour cream mixture, and shredded cheese.
Coat a 15-inch oblong Pyrex baking dish with a small amount of Mole Sauce. Place a layer of tortilla halves in dish, followed by a thin layer of chicken mixture. Add a thin layer of Mole Sauce, followed by sour cream mixture and a light sprinkling of shredded cheese. Repeat.
Two layers is fine, but if you can make 3 layers it looks prettier. End with a layer of sour cream, more Mole Sauce, and plenty of cheese. If you have ingredients left over, assemble in a small dish, such as a glass pie plate.
Bake in a 350-degree F. oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and the sauce has begun to bubble.
This is great served with a crisp tossed salad, guacamole, and refried beans. Serve with garlic bread or sour dough bread -- never more tortillas. If baked in an oblong dish serve 3-by-3-inch squares; if baked in a pie plate, serve in wedges. Serves 8 to 12. ``Mole, a multichile sauce with traces of chocolate and sugar, is available in Spanish or Mexican groceries. It may be called mole poblano paste.'' Mole Sauce 1 pint prepared mole poblano paste 3 cups strained chicken broth 1 tablespoon Hershey's cocoa 3 tablespoons hot water 1 tablespoon vinegar 6 garlic buds peeled 2 tablespoons lard 2 tablespoons flour Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
Mix cocoa with hot water until smooth. Dissolve mole paste in chicken broth, using blender. While blending add cocoa paste, vinegar and garlic. Add more chicken broth. Sauce must not be too thick to start.
Melt lard in skillet and blend in flour, cooking until golden, then add blender mixture. Rinse out blender with 1 cup warm water and add. Taste and correct seasoning. Start adding sugar until sweetness is agreeable to you. Hot Green Rice (Arroz Verde Picoso) 6 poblano chiles, stems, seeds removed (or 8 California peppers with 1 jalapeno) 1 cup chopped green onions 4 romaine lettuce leaves 2 cups cilantro leaves 4 cups water Salt and pepper 6 garlic cloves, finely mashed 1/4 cup salad oil 2 cups long grain rice 1/4 cup melted butter
Place 3 chiles, 1/2 cup onions, 2 or 3 lettuce leaves, 1/2 cilantro and 2 cups water in blender. Pur'ee until almost liquefied. Empty blender contents into a bowl and repeat with remaining chiles, green onions, lettuce, cilantro, and 2 cups water. Combine, mix, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Strain. Heat oil and saut'e rice. Add blended liquid mixture. Cover, cook 30 minutes or until liquid is almost all absorbed. Add some melted butter, replace lid, and cook 5 or 10 minutes more until all liquid has been absorbed. Serve on a white platter and garnish with slivers of canned pimiento.
Tip: Try not to brown rice, as green color will show only with white rice. Pound Cake (Marquesote) 3/4 cup butter 3/4 cup sugar 3 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 1/4 cup sifted flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light, about 5 minutes if using electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
Sift together dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture with a folding motion. Mix well. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch pan, flour lightly, and shake excess flour out. Grease bottom only.
Spoon in batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until done. Cool in pan. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on top very lightly using a strainer or flour sifter. Serve directly from baking dish if desired. Serves 6 to 8.
Note: This may also be baked in a tube pan -- for 1 hour at 300 degrees F. Cr^epes (Crepas) 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups milk 2 eggs 2 tablespoons melted butter 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Blend in blender one minute. Strain. Set aside.
Heat a 6- to 8-inch skillet and smear the bottom with butter. (I keep a cold quarter-pound stick of butter nearby, but away from stove heat, for this purpose. The butter melts instantly.
Pour 1/4 cup of batter into skillet and quickly rotate pan so batter covers bottom in a thin film.
Return to heat and cook until light brown. Loosen with wide spatula, turn, and cook other side until light brown.
Spread less attractive side of cr^epe with soft butter, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar, fold, and set on wax paper. Keep covered. Makes 20 6-inch cr^epes. Special Filling 1 cup cajeta de leche (caramel spread) 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat cajeta de leche in the top of double boiler. Whip cream, flavor with vanilla, and fold into warm caramel sauce.
Pour 2 tablespoonfuls over each folded cr^epe.
Note: Cajeta de leche is a thick, caramel vanilla flavored sauce, available in Spanish and Mexican sections of large supermarkets.