Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mexican Chili Slices with Sangria de Mayo

At last week's Alive After Five street party in downtown Sanford, I made the appetizers for Julie Kessler's "Earth to Metal" art opening show at Art Affair Gallery. My fair was simple yet, so I was told, delicious: Mexican Chili Slices served with a Mexican Sangria. Here's how I made it.

For the Mexican Chili Slices, start out by making your chili several days ahead of time:

For the Chili:
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Medium Hot Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Hungarian Half Sharp Paprika
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 oz. tomato paste
In a skill, begin to brown the ground chuck, addin the onion just as it starts to brown. Cook over medium to medium high heat until all liquid has evaporated and it just begins to sizzle. Remove from heat and strain off the grease. When strained, return to the hot pan, continue to cook and add the minced garlic, cooking about aminute until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, and tomato paste and mix well, then add the rest of the spices. Bring just to a simmer, then simmer on very low about two hours. If mixture becomes too dry, add a bit of beef stock, but do not let it get too thin. Once it has simmered a good long time, remove from heat, allow to cook, then cover and refrigerate for several days.

For the Vodka Barbecue Sauce:
  • 1 24 oz. bottle ketchup
  • 3/4 cup vodka
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15-30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. Will keep several weeks.

For the Chipotle Crema:
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 whole chipotle chili in adobo with the sauce
Mix all ingredients in a food processor. If it's too spicy, you can add a bit more sour cream.

You will also need about 3-4 12" flour tortillas.

To assemble, warm the chili to just above room temperature to make it easy to handle. Spread about 3/4 cup chili on a tortilla, staying 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll up like a pinwheel, then roll in aluminum foil, pinching and twisting the ends, to make a round loaf like a sausage. Repeat, using all the chili. Refrigerate overnight to set.

The next day, unwrap the rolled chili and bias slice about 3/8 of an inch thick. You should get about 13-15 good slices per roll. Arrange on a platter and top each with a dollop of the Mexican Crema and a squirt of the Vodka Barbecue sauce. Garnish with a small piece of cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

For the Sangria de Mayo you'll need:
  • 3 bottles inexpensive Merlot (I used turning Oak from Wal-Mart!)
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeeze orange juice
  • 1 large Red Delicious apple, cored, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 Large Granny Smith apple, cored, quartered and sliced thin
  • Two large naval oranges, quartered and slice thin
  • 1 Lime, quartered and sliced thin
  • 2-3 fresh Lemons, quartered and sliced thin
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 allspice berries
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 2-liter bottle lemon lime soda.
  • assorted apples/oranges/lemons, sliced thin for serving.
Put all ingredients thru the 12 cloves into a large pitcher, stir, and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, transfer 1/3 of liquid to a separate pitcher, add 1/3 of the lemon-lime soda, and serve in small glasses that are already prepared with some additional slices of mixed apples/lemons/oranges. Serve and enjoy! Repeat until you've served it all.


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