I really, really wanted to close out The Week of Huauzontles with a spectacular new recipe. But then the weekend came around, and our friends Julie and John
had a despedida, and then I got stomach sick, and then our friend Justin came to town for a few days. And next thing I know it was Tuesday. My original point with TWOH was to enlighten a few folks out there about this scruffy, nutritious vegetable. As the week wore on and I was eating The Huauz every day -- leftover from the massive one-kilo bunch I bought at the tianguis -- I ended up learning a fair bit myself. You can really eat huauzontles in just about anything -- salsa, queso, scrambled eggs. You can stuff it inside a chicken breast, roll it up and cover it with mole sauce, and it’ll be pretty fantastic. (Also, anything tastes good with mole.)
You can add it to rice and chicken broth, to soothe a delicate stomach.
And it freezes beautifully, a fact I figured out on accident, because my fridge has some frozen-spot issues. Those bitter huauzontle stems that I used to fear would ruin any dish really don't taste so bitter after all. Well, some of them do, but not the ones near the fluffy buds. I'll close out with a simple little recipe I found on the Internet, for huauzontle-stuffed chicken breasts blanketed in mole. It's perfect for when you have an extra cup of huauzontles lying around and a bag of mole in the freezer. (Two things that are quite probable if you live and cook in Mexico.) Huauzontle-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mole
Adapted from Chef Thelma Morgan Serves 4, with a side dish as a light dinner Note:
The huauz isn't the star vehicle in this dish -- that would be the mole sauce. But it's a good way to use leftovers, and it comes together quickly. I'm not including a mole sauce recipe because I tend to horde bags of mole in the freezer, and I also keep it in paste
forms. If you're interested in making your own mole, check out Pati's Mexican Table
for a seemingly easy mole poblano recipe. Or I'd love it if you left me a link to your favorite mole recipe in the comments. Mole pastes and powders can both be reconstituted with chicken broth, until they reach the desired consistency. Ingredients
1 large chicken breast, cut into four thin filets and pounded flat in the milanesa style
About 1/2 cup cleaned, boiled and drained huauzontles
1/2 cup chicken broth 2 cups mole sauce Amaranth or sesame seeds for garnish Salt your chicken breasts on both sides. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of huauzontles in the center of each one, and roll up. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add chicken breasts and sear until golden brown on all sides. Lower the flame to medium-low and add a little chicken broth, if the breasts look very dry. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until tender. While the chicken is cooking, warm your mole sauce. Spoon over each chicken breast and sprinkle with amaranth or sesame seeds to serve.