Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Z&H adventure.

Just a note. Z&H is looking for for food lovers to join our 'team'.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mole Poblano Recipe...using Taza Chocolate

Mole Poblano. Mole Poblano is Mexico's classic dark mole sauce; it's the one most Americans think of when they hear the word 'mole'. The addition of Taza Chocolate (sold here at Z&H), helps give this sauce its remarkable color and depth of flavor.


  • 9 mulato chiles
  • 7 pasilla chiles
  • 6 ancho chiles
  • 1 cup plus 9 tablespoons lard + additional as needed
  • 5 tomatillos, husked and cooked until soft
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 1- inch piece of a Mexican cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon seeds from the chiles, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 8 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 20 whole pecans
  • 20 whole almonds, blanched
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
  • 3 stale French rolls, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 plantains, peeled
  • 1 bunch thyme, chopped
  • 1 cone piloncillo
  • 6 - 7 cups chicken stock, as needed
  • 1 1/2 ounces Taza Chocolate Mexicano, chopped

To prepare:

1. Clean the chiles by removing stems, veins and seeds; reserve 1 tablespoon of the seeds. Toast chiles in a dry skillet until crisp, about 10 to 15 seconds, turning once; make sure they do not burn. Put chiles in a nonreactive bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Drain chiles, reserving the soaking water. Puree the chiles in a blender with enough of the soaking water to make a smooth paste. It may be necessary to scrape down the sides and blend several times to obtain a smooth paste.

3. In a heavy casserole heat 1/2 cup lard over medium heat and add chile puree (be careful it will splatter). Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Puree tomatillos in a blender. In a coffee or spice grinder, grind the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, and toasted seeds. Add seed mixture and garlic to the pureed tomatillos and blend until smooth. Set aside.

5. Heat 6 tablespoons lard in a heavy frying pan. Fry each of the following ingredients and then remove with a slotted spoon: the raisins until they puff up; the almonds and pecans to a golden brown; the pumpkin seeds until they pop. If necessary, add enough oil to make 4 tablespoons and fry the tortilla pieces and bread slices until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side; remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Add raisins, almonds, pecans, pumpkins seeds, tortillas, thyme and bread to the tomatillo puree and blend, using 1 to 2 cups chicken stock, as needed, to make a smooth sauce. This may have to be done in batches.

6. In a heavy casserole, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add chile puree, tomatillo puree, piloncillo and Mexican chocolate (it will splatter). Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

7. Add remaining 5 cups chicken stock, cook over low heat for an additional 45 minutes, stirring often enough to prevent the mixture from scorching on bottom.

Pizza Stones

Is it us or do Pizza Stones scream CHRISTMAS!? And they were essentially invent by Julia Child.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We love happy customers

"The Thanksgiving food was extraordinary!!!!! Thank you so much for making a great family gathering possible for us. The turkey was the best ever -- it could have been on the cover of a magazine -- I did just what you said -- beautiful and moist. The ham was the best I have ever tasted. And, all the trimmings were what I dream about when I think of Thanksgiving dinner.
I hope you had a great holiday with your families. Thank you so much for what you do."

That made our day.