As I’ve stated in other posts, it’s very hard for me to pick only ONE favorite Mexican dish. Today’s entry, however, is comfortably settled in the top five and could very well vie for the second spot (nothing will ever make Chilaquiles fall from no. 1).
Chicharrón (fried pork rind) is eaten in my house as a pre-lunch snack or in a chile sauce. While,as far as I know you can make any chile sauce you want, the most common flavor is salsa verde. Yet, for me, the version with chile morita (a small, smoked red jalapeño, similar to the chipotle) is the winner. The recipe below belongs to Chayo, who has been cooking for my family for 29 years and who learned from my grandma. She spoils me when I come visit, and on Friday was kind enough to make this dish for me and teach me so I can replicate it when I’m far away.
CHICHARRÓN EN SALSA DE CHILE MORITA
Yield: 4-6 persons.
Cooking time: One hour total, 30 mins. of active time.
Five medium tomatoes
On a comal, if you have it, or a skillet (on the surface as-is, do not add any oil or anything), roast the tomatoes until they are charred and black on most of their surface (they will soften as they cook). Roast also the garlic cloves, the onion quarter and the chiles (three if you are shy about the heat, more of you’re not). The chiles will roast fast, remove them quickly, as they will burn and become bitter. Place then in the cup of warm water to soften. Let them soak for about 5 minutes. In a blender, combine the peppers, soaking liquid, tomatoes, garlic and onion. Blend well.
Warm about one tablespoon oil in a pot. Add the extra slices of onion and the blended chile/tomato mix. Add the chicken bullion, two cups of water and salt to taste. Lower the temperature to medium and let the sauce cook for about 10-15 mins until it thickens a bit (if it gets to covering a spoon well, it’s dried too much and you’ll need to add more water). Add the pork rind, mix and continue cooking for another 15 mins. Add more water if it gets to be too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning before you serve.
Serve with warm tortillas and black beans if you like.