Monday, January 05, 2009

Recado Negro

You all know I am mad for my condiments. I live for umeboshi paste, tamari, miso, thai chili paste, balsamic vinegar and on and on. I am wishing I had some sort of bbq area to make my own organic recondo negro. I'd make it here on my gas stove but it can really make your eyes water.

In my dreams of making my own burnt chili's I am following this terrific cooking school site in Yucatan. called Los Dos. I've been to a few places in Mexico but sometime...I would like to go to Yucatan. The food is fascinating. I think the idea of going to this cooking school would be pretty amazing.

Yucatan menus are often joked as the first "fusion cuisine' they blended Spanish with the Mayan diets.

Here is a recipe for recondo negro...

Called recado negro in Spanish, chilmole can be viewed as the Adam (or Eve!) of all moles, since its almost primordial formulation is obviously their precursor. Dried chiles are simply charred over a flame or hot coals, then ground with other spices to form a pungent, black paste. The paste is then used as a rub on meats or as a flavoring and thickening ingredient in sauces. The heat of the recado can be controlled by using hotter or milder chiles, to the diner's taste. The process of burning chiles produces an acrid smoke so fierce that it causes choking, sneezing and watery eyes, such that making recado negro within Mérida city limits has been banned. Like other recados, it is available commercially in brands such as El Yucateco and Marin, both in Mexican groceries and in the ethnic foods sections of many supermarkets. For recipes that call for recado negro, there is unfortunately no substitute.

• 1 lb. (500g) dried chile de árbol, chile ancho, or a mix of the two (the former is hotter, the latter milder), seeded and deveined
• 2 Tbs. (30ml) achiote seeds
• 5 large whole cloves
• 5 large whole allspice
• 1 Tbs. (15ml) black peppercorns
• 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) cumin seeds
• 1 Tbs. (15ml) coarse sea salt
• 1 Tbs. (15ml) dried Mexican oregano leaves, toasted (if using ground oregano, reduce quantity to 1 tsp/5ml)
• 10 large cloves garlic, peeled and charred
• 1 tsp. (5ml) white vinegar


Gardenia said...

I'm going to have to order some of the ingredients - but I'm going to try this. Last night I watched the Traveling Gourmet - he was in Mexico and I was anguishing for that food! Oh my gosh!!!!!! I'm ready for some truly FAB Mexican food - one thing struck me is that everything, including spice mixes were made by hand - and hands were very much involved in the cooking - Thank you for a great post.....loved it....

Candy Minx said...

Gardenia, check out the link for Los Dos.

And actually check out the video at Martha Stewart. She and the owner of Los dos make this amazing turkey's got whole boiled eggs inside of it...then it's poached and then the sauce which is made with the recondo negro is poured over the sliced poached turkey. The egg symbolizes life, and the black recondo negro sauce symbolizes death.

I've eaten a lot of great food in Mexico...especially, of all places Tijuana...and at a Day of the Dead festival in Tzurumútaro...but the Mayan culture and the Mayan ruins really interest me.

Now I think you better see if you can order the recondo negro sauce...I will look here in Chicago for you, I've got a place and mail you some. I don't want to see you smoke out your whole family...this stuff can burn your eyes in preparing!
Here you can check out the entire Yucatan episode ...which is really beautiful with that turkey recipe here: