Happy to be together on this day, even though we’ve been stressed and tired! My blog photos make it look like I have a lot more patience than I do. Really.
To celebrate the 15 de septiembre, Guatemala’s Independence Day, we ate some “traditional Guatemalan” food. Well, about as close as I get nowadays. I do know a few recipes, but I’m afraid that I now take the shortcut version of all the recipes I know. The other day was so exciting because at our corner grocery store I found…..tomatillos! Finally! This is the first time I’ve seen a can of them for sale (once in awhile I see the fresh ones in some stores). So Henry obligingly picked up the ingredients.
The shortcut I take on this recipe is that we buy a rotisserie chicken…that’s pre-cooked. (I call them “rosti-pollos”) So I just make up the sauce…..oops, I forgot to mention the name of the dish I’m making…it’s called jocón. Pronounced “hoe– (as in ho-ho-ho) cone“. It is a chicken with green sauce dish. Super tasty and super good for you. I mean it.
It’s easy, too. Grab the bunch of cilantro and a bunch of green onions (wash first if you wish) then throw them in a food processor or blender (I don’t have a blender) and process! Then throw in the drained can of tomatillos, process! Pour this into a pot and add the secret spices. This is one of them:
Do you know what it is? Cloves. In North America a lot of people don’t “cook” with cloves, they just use them in desserts. But cloves (called “clavos de olor” or just “clavos“) are an important part in traditional Guatemalan dishes. The same goes for cinnamon (canela)….add a piece of cinnamon bark. Add some black pepper corns (pimienta) and some salt. Is that all…clavo, pimienta, canela….I think so. Heat it up for awhile and then toss the chicken in….in pieces, and cook for a bit. That’s all I did. I know that it’s a really quick version..I’m sure somebody somewhere is rolling in their grave. (eso solo es un viejo y conocido dicho…)
The kids were a bit suspicious, some of them couldn’t remember having eaten it before, but they loved it!!! Licked the platter clean! We added a spinach salad and avocado and lime. I had honestly wanted to food-color the jocón blue…but Henry didn’t like that idea at all. I thought it was a very green meal for a blue and white holiday…but hey…I guess quetzals are green……..And now for dessert, this I made sure was blue and white.
Cupcakes with a little surprise in the middle.
WE LOVE YOU GUATEMALA, VIVA!! VIVA!! HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE!!