Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Mexico

My mother shared one of her discoveries about living in Mexico with me years ago. Apparently a lot of people do not have ovens. Those who do use them for pot and pan storage. This might be why so many of my mother's friends there marvel over her sweet potato pie, although I have yet to taste a better one myself. Because most people go to the bakery for pies and cakes. Case in point. I recently emailed my mother a recipe for tres leches cake that I had come across. Her response was that she didn't need to know how to make it because she knew a great bakery at which she could purchase it.

This idea of buy it rather than cook it yourself extends to other things but the main thing that comes in mind is roasted chicken. For many years, I prided myself on my roasted chicken. Friends would oooo and aahh over the blend of herbs I used for seasoning. (Don't ask what they were. They usually depended upon what was on hand and my mood so the recipe was never exactly the same each time.) But the best part of roasting a chicken? It's a relatively easy way to impress others. Then my mother came back from Mexico one summer and promised to make some green chicken enchiladas for me. (I love the green sauce that she makes. Sometimes she makes a jar or two for me before she leaves. If only I could talk her into making albondigas once more.) I thought it was going to be a long process because she needed to roast a chicken first. Shows you what I know. Nope. Her enchiladas are made from a rotisserie chicken acquired at a deli. Gasp! Now I think it makes sense. I often don't want to eat roasted chicken. What I want is a dish, like chicken hash, that I can make from the "leftover" bird.

Yesterday I needed to get out of the house to head to the post office. There are two post offices within near equal distance to my apartment. The one I went to last week enables me to walk past Gelateria Naia -- a stop I still haven't made this summer. (I still have vague memories of the Mojito flavored gelato I had last summer. And the chai. And the champagne. And, and... You get the point. They let you have samples before ordering.) The other route would mean passing a place I have been meaning to try, Poulet. The Poulet route won out because it was getting to be dinnertime and suddenly the thought of something involving chicken was at the top of my mind.

I went with the Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary.

And then I decided that I may as well try some of the side dishes as well.

Saffron Pearl Pasta Salad.

Vegetable Medley.

Macaroni and Cheese.

And what the hell. I needed dessert as well.

Carrot Cake.

Conclusion? It may be a long time before I roast another chicken. And I'll be needing more carrot cake soon. And I think I'm going to need some vanilla bean gelato to go with the cake the next time.

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