I had bought the ingredients to try another Rick Bayless recipe: Ancho chiles stuffed with potato and chorizo with escabeche, which in this case is sort of like a quick sweet and sour pickle sauce. Well it sounded interesting and gave the opportunity to try some different techniques and flavours. I wouldn't say it was the most successful ever but I did learn something, so all good.
The escabeche was basically frying up some carrots, adding ground allspice, garlic, cider vinegar, piloncillo (unrefined Mexican sugar), water and onions. You get a sweet-tart sauce and into it let the ancho chiles sit and rehydrate for a while. Then cook up some potatoes and chorizo, split and clean the rehydrated chiles, then stuff them with the potato-chorizo mixture.
It is actually an appetizer but I made it as the main so we had a few each instead of just one and served it with salad and corn. Pretty good but not the best ever. I think there were a couple of reasons: 1. the ancho chiles I had were of varying quality. Some were really wrinkled and didn't soften up evenly, some had really thin skin and tore too easily, etc. etc. So every one was totally different. 2. The escabeche was okay - very tart and sweet - but I was not sure whether to serve it cold or warm. I didn't really want cold liquid on my dinner so heated it before serving.
But I try some new techniques: softening the dried chiles on a hot griddle, splitting and stuffing them, etc. And the potato and chorizo stuffing was really easy and can be translated into other things in the future for sure.