Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Day of the Dead 2007

I interrupt the saga of culinary adventures in China to celebrate the Day of the Dead. November 1st, the day after Halloween, is a big holiday in any country with a large Catholic population celebrating all our dearly departed and in Mexico, parts of Central America and many neighborhoods in the U.S., it's known as Dia de los muertos. I'm nostalgically missing Dead bread right now (a sweet yeast bread with lots of spices, often in the form of bones) but we're taking advantage of the national holiday in Italy and having a Mexican dinner party. Among other things, I'm serving "Sopa de chile poblano y espinacas" (Poblano Spinach Soup). As usual, this is adapted from a recipe in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

The recipe goes like this:

6 poblano peppers roasted, seeded and peeled
6 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp salt
1 cup smoked ham in a 1/4 inch dice
1 cup cooked potato in a 1/4 inch dice

In a large stock pot, pour in 1 cup of the stock and bring to a boil. Add the cleaned spinach leaves and the poblanos and cook until the leaves are thoroughly wilted. Take off heat and blend with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. A Day of the Dead video to puree soup by: Return to the pot and add the cream and salt, bring back to a boil and add the ham and potatoes. The smoky quality of the ham makes a nice foil to the spice of the poblanos and the richness of the cream. Serve immediately near the tomb of your favorite deceased relative accompanied by plenty of smoking incense and lively mariachi music.

Happy Day of the Dead everyody!

6 Comments:

Blogger hellomelissa said...

now may i please have the deadbread recipe? PlEaSe?! :)

it's been just the right weather for soup (finally) so maybe i'll give this one a try. especially since we have so much wonderful hispanic produce in this area.

6:22 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Mmmm. Sounds lovely! I love that you put music too as well..

11:17 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Wow, Susan, I didn't realize the Mexicans had such an elaborate celebration for the "Day of the Dead" fascinating! Do the Mexican restaurants do anything special on this day I wonder?

5:45 PM  
Blogger Beenzzz said...

This recipe sounds wonderful. I'm starving now and I have to go to bed in minutes.

5:39 AM  
Blogger rowena said...

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate ognisanti! At least it's way more fun to be chowing down on some awesome mexican grinds rather than being told which country your dish came from! {muahahahahaha!}

Thanks for the input Susan...I was quite surprised to see that Dear Abby is very much alive and still kicking. ;-) Now about them chicken legs that I see below this post -- I think I might give that a try the next time we're at the inlaws. I'd love to see us battling it over Italy and China!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Melissa, Oh yeah! I forgot about that! It's pretty easy and I'll be sure to make it soon.

Hi j., The music played at the Dia de los muertos is always a lot of fun!

Hi Lotus, Mexican bakeries go wild with all sorts of elaborate Dead breads and candy skulls with people's names written in them in frosting.

Hi Beennzzz, No midnight snack for you!

Hi Rowena, You've gotta bring a pedigree of your next dish to the family dinner table. like an article about the history of it so that when the cognata claims otherwise, you can whip out the proof!

2:31 PM  

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