Not long after my trip to Oaxaca, several of the cruisers on the dock at Marina Mazatlán sponsored a cooking class by Juli of the “Mi Cocina” taco stand. Although it sounds unprepossessing, this stand, located on a side street leading inland, one block north of the Dairy Queen (a major landmark!) in the Gold Zone, turned out affordable and interesting dishes consitently enough to keep a loyal cruiser clientele. The sponsors of the class were motivated by a long-standing friendship with the Mi Cocina family and by a particular dish – Chiles Colache -- they were making on Fridays. Chiles Colachi, we were told, is a traditional dish from the Mazatlán area served during Lent. I was particularly excited because it sounded very much like the special “secret” stuffed chiles I’d had at El Naranjo in Oaxaca.
Reflecting cruisers’ interest in food, the cooking class swelled to about thirty people! Juli was a little overwhelmed, but she (and the sponsors, who, it turned out, found their boat galleys to be the site of all the pre-class prep!) were very organized. Not only was the demonstration a success, but all participants got two chiles per person to take home for dinner. They were “muy rico” as the Mexican’s say for “yummy”, and they were indeed very similar to the Oaxacan dish, which, as far as I could tell and remember contained only flor de calabaza (squash blossoms which you can buy fresh or canned in Mexico!) in addition.
Chiles Colache by Juli of Mi Cocina
4 Poblano chiles (substitute Anaheims if necessary; choose long,
Prepare chiles for stuffing (Outside of Mexico it is not easy to
find Poblano chiles, but California Anaheim chiles will do. Always
choose the longest straightest chiles for easy handling and presentation.
Fresh chiles must be peeled. There are two ways to do this. You can
roast them over a gas burner until the skin blackens and blisters
or you can achieve the same thing by frying the chiles in oil instead
of roasting them. The blistering effect is more even, and there are
no calories added as the chiles are to be peeled! After roasting
or frying, put the hot chiles in a paper or plastic bag to cool.
When cool enough to handle (You might want to wear gloves, as these
chiles can have irritating oils) clean peels from chiles under running
water (or in a bowl of water if water is limited). Make a slit in
the side of the chile, leaving stem intact and remove the seeds and
pitch leaving insides clean.