A cookbook dedicated to the foods inspired by the region’s beauty and diversity, Taste of Tucson discovers through recipes and photos the unique mix of cultures that create Southern Arizona’s incredible cuisine.
Award-winning photographer and cookbook author Jackie Alpers shares her own inspired food creations in this book as well as her favourite restaurants’ dishes, while incorporating the history of the Sonora region, the mysticism and lore, and how it has contributed to the food of the people who live there.
Building from tried-and-true basics and tutorials on tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, and huevos rancheros, she divulges secrets to making Sonora’s most unique savouries and sweets, including Chicken Mole Amarillo, Adobo Pulled Pork, Red Pozole, Dark Chocolate and Coffee Figgy Pudding Cakes, and more.
For cooks of all levels, from anywhere in the world who loves to dine on this Southwestern region’s foods, this cookbook welcomes you to bring Sonora’s best and most iconic tastes into your own kitchen.
Chicken Mole Amarillo
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate-based cousin, this version of mole Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Café Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favourites. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty salad, as Suzana would.
FOR THE MOLE
8 yellow bell peppers
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 yellow tomatoes
2 Güero (Caribe) chiles
½ cup raw sesame seeds
1 cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), plus more for garnish
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped white onion
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
6 (6-inch) corn tostada shells
2 teaspoons granulated chicken flavoured bouillon, preferably
FOR THE CHICKEN
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped white onion
6 boneless, skinless chicken
breasts or thighs
1 bay leaf
Corn tortillas, for serving
Preheat the broiler. Place the bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and chiles on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and broil until the skins are blackened and charred about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the stems, seeds, and skins from the peppers, tomatoes, and chiles.
In a dry 12-inch skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden brown, about 2 minutes, stirring to keep from burning. Remove from the skillet and let cool. Toast the almonds and pepitas in the same skillet until the pepitas puff up but do not darken, about 2 minutes; remove the almonds and pepitas from the skillet and let cool. Once cooled, transfer the sesame seeds, almonds, and pepitas to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the broth and blend until smooth.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion along with the oregano in the oil until the onion is tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pureed nut mixture and stir well. Reduce the heat to low.
Place the roasted peppers, tomatoes, chiles, and another 1 cup of the chicken broth to the food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add it to the onion-nut mixture in the skillet.
Break the tostada shells into pieces and pulse in the food processor or blender with the roasted garlic, bouillon, and 1 cup broth. Stir into the skillet mixture. Continue to cook the mole, stirring often, over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add the fourth cup of broth.
While the mole is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in another large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the ¼ cup chopped onion, the chicken, and bay leaf until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Pour the mole over the cooked chicken and allow it to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve garnished with pepitas with the tortillas on the side.
Recipe reprinted with permission from West Margin Press.