Squab Jalisco Style

Hunting is popular in Jalisco, where squab and quail are abundant.

½ cup olive oil
16 chiles anchos, seeded, deveined, washed, and dried
1 quart water
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium white onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
salt, to taste

8 squab or quail, 3 to 3½ ounces each, cleaned and singed
½ cup olive oil
8 teaspoons butter, in pieces, plus ½ cup butter dried oregano, to taste

8 masa casseroles (See recipe below)
8 sprigs parsley
Prepare the sauce: Heat oil in a frying pan. Add chiles and sauté just until wilted. Remove. Mix water and vinegar. Soak chiles in this mixture for 40 minutes. Remove chiles, and reserve soaking water.

In a blender or food processor, purée chiles with garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, peppercorns, salt, and a small amount of the soaking water.

Prepare the squab: Put squab in a baking dish and top with sauce. Drizzle with a little of the oil, dot with butter pieces, and sprinkle with oregano; let stand for 1 hour.

Remove birds from sauce; reserve sauce. Preheat a heavy skillet for 25 minutes. Heat remaining olive oil and ½ cup butter. Fry squab for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done, turning and basting continually with sauce. Remove birds from pan.

Simmer sauce for a few minutes, until thick. Cut each bird in half.

To serve: Place a masa casserole on each of 8 plates. Cover with sauce. Top with 2 squab halves, pour sauce over each half, and garnish with parsley.


Individual Masa Casseroles, Tapatía Style

3¾ quarts water
1 pound pork loin, in chunks
1 white onion, halved, plus 1 large white onion, finely chopped
½ head garlic, plus 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs marjoram
salt to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
½ cup olive oil
4 tomatoes (2½ pounds), roasted and pureed
⅔ cup green olives, minced
⅔ cup raisins
½ cup almonds, skinned and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup beef broth

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
8 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons baking powder
1¾ pounds fresh masa or equivalent made with masa harina
⅓ cup water
1½ teaspoons salt

5 chiles poblanos, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
salt to taste

1 bunch cilantro

Prepare the stuffing: Heat water in a large saucepan. Add pork, halved onion, garlic head, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium heat for l ½ hours. If necessary, add more water. Remove from heat and cool. Remove pork from broth and shred. Reserve broth.

In a separate saucepan, heat oil. Brown chopped onion and garlic. Stir in tomatoes, olives, raisins, almonds, cumin, 1 teaspoon pepper, beef broth, pork, and salt. Cook over low heat until mixture thickens, about 40 minutes,

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Prepare the dough: Beat butter with an electric mixer for 10 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and beat for 5 minutes. Add egg yolks and baking powder. Mix.

Knead masa with water, 1⅓ cups reserved pork broth, and salt. Gradually add dough to butter mixture, mixing thoroughly. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Add to dough, and knead.

Grease and flour 8 ¾-cup molds. Line molds with waxed paper, and grease again. Fill each with ¼ cup dough, covering bottom and sides. Place 1½ tablespoons of stuffing on top of dough, and top with another layer of dough. Seal to first layer. The molds will be about three-quarters full. Bake casseroles for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Keep hot.

Prepare the sauce: Mix chiles, heavy cream, half-and-half, and salt.

To serve, turn casseroles out onto plates. Cover with sauce, and garnish with cilantro.

One large casserole can be made from this recipe, using an 8- or 9-inch ring mold. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes or until done.


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