Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Family Meal: Meal 18 - Guacamole with Chips, Mexican-Style Chicken with Rice, Watermelon with Menthol Candies

Yep, you saw that right. Menthol candies. A.k.a. Hall's cough lozenges. Yeah, it freaked me out, too. But when I looked at the package, Chef Adria was right. They're basically candy. The menthol is the only "medicine" in them. Hey, we all deserve some candy when we're not feeling well, right?

Nothing too weird here, but then again, I live in Texas, so this is basically right up my alley. The jar the mole was in was definitely interesting though. I'm still not sure how you're really supposed to get the top off. I twisted, pulled, pried, banged with a knife, and finally cranked it open with a bottle opener. There has to be an easier way. The rice for the side dish was actual Bomba paella rice that I found at Central Market. According to my research, this stuff is hand harvested once a year in small area of southern Spain, and then the little old ladies sew it up into little burlap bags. Very quaint. Not sure I believe it. The stitching on the bag was too perfect.

The guacamole was good, but not great. And yes, you may call me a guacamole snob all you want. I freely admit it. Here in Texas, our guacamole has jalapeno in it to give it just a little bit of bite. It balances everything else. Without it, your guacamole is just bland. And darn it, I missed the jalapeno. I also thought the lemon juice was a bit weird. I've only ever used lime juice, and I think the difference is noticeable. I also think it's more authentic. Unless of course you can find a limon in your local grocery store. Which I doubt. Unless you happened to live in Texas and Central Market is holding Citrus Fest. But I digress. A lime is more authentic in my mind, but the guacamole was pretty good as is.

Holy moly, why haven't I used mole sauce until now? I feel like a failed Texan. And it was so easy. Boil chicken, smother in sauce, bake. The mole was so nutty and rich and spicy. It took the chicken to another level. I wish I could claim that I made the sauce. But I spent 30 minutes trying to get the jar open, so I feel like I really worked for my dinner. The rice was a great side for the chicken, rich and creamy. It seemed almost sinful tossing that pat of butter in at the end.

And now the watermelon... I wasn't sure what this would taste like. First of all, it's February. That means that any watermelons are imported, and they are most certainly pale imitations of what you get in August. Second, you marinate the watermelon in lemon syrup and sprinkle it with cough lozenges. WEIRD. But...somehow, once again, it works. The dessert is incredibly refreshing. The menthol makes your tongue tingle and gives the watermelon that icy fresh taste. This would be incredible on a hot summer day with a sweet, fresh watermelon.

No comments: