Indian summer visited Chicago this year, offering us glorious evenings filled with butterscotch leaves reflecting against peach, salmon, & lavender sunsets. We've been soaking up summer's fair well adieu and anticipating autumn's givings of persimmon branches, heirloom marigolds, and bittersweet. The last few weeks have been inspiring and fantastic. Mountains of centerpieces, quintessential autumn temperature & delicious meals, all surrounded by designing, apple & pumpkin picking, and bellies full of laughter with friends & family. September & October may be our best of 2011, so far!
(Florists need a little love, too)
Those plate dahlias are just as ridiculous as that incredible Pho from Tank.
I've been cooking a lot more than usual these days, mostly because our apartment is no longer an inferno. Paprika chicken, leftover egg bakes, and the most amazing thing that has happened in a while.., Caleb's pumpkin seed mole. I'm not sure where he found this, but hot damn, you should make it.
1. Place 3 boneless chicken breasts in a pot covered with about an inch of water. Simmer for about 15 minutes until it cooks through, and then place it on a plate off to the side. You can keep it warm with a little tinfoil tented over it.
2. Rost a serrano & poblano chili pepper over the flame on your gas- stove until it's nicely blackened. If you don't have a gas stove, you can also broil them, either way, make sure you rotate them so all the skin is nicely charred. Once they're ready, move them to a little bowl off the to side, and cover them with plastic wrap. This is going to steam them, and about 15 minutes later, rub off all the char & remove the stems, seeds and ribs. The dice 'em up.
3. Puree the chilies, 1 small onion that was diced, 2 garlic cloves, a cuppa cilantro leaves, some dried oregano, some cumin and 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds. Don't forget to add half a cuppa chicken or veggie broth. All this combined will make a nice paste.
4. In a skillet heat some oil and add that paste you just made. It is going to smell incredible. Add about 1.5 cups of broth (I actually didn't do this, I only added lime juice) and season with a touch of salt.
5. Add in your chicken. You can probably use pork, too. I don't think there are rules with this. You only heat if for about 5 minutes, on medium -low.
6. Serve and enjoy!
I carved my own pumpkin & toasted the seeded for this little meal. I also roasted the pumpkin with a little bit of cumin and added it to some brown rice for a side dish. Then we used them leftovers to make tacos. And then we used the leftovers from that for an egg bake. I'm telling you. This was a good, good week.