This week's loteria theme is La Bandera - The Flag. The flag of Mexico is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms charged in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico following independence from Spain during the country's War of Independence, and subsequent First Mexican Empire. Red, white, and green are the colors of the national liberation army in Mexico. The central emblem is the Aztec pictogram for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of their empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island. The coat of arms has an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake. The coat of arms is derived from an Aztec legend that their gods told them to build a city where they spot an eagle on a nopal eating a serpent, which is now Mexico City.
So the menu to honor the Mexican flag includes bandera enchiladas -- three kinds of fillings, three kinds of sauces -- and a bandera dessert of green and red fruit. Keep in mind that I made the enchiladas up from scratch using leftovers from my freezer, so your enchiladas may vary.
Las Enchiladas de La Bandera
Step one: Make the fillings:
Pork filling: Cooked pork tenderloin pulsified in food processor with cream cheese, basil and honey.
Steak filling: Grilled rib-eye steak mixed with sauteed yellow squash and shallot.
Chicken filling: Grilled chicken with red salsa and a bit of asadero cheese (just enough to bind the filling together.)
White Queso Sauce for the chicken filling: I microwaved 1 cup of shredded asadero cheese with ¼ cup of heavy cream, a bit of shallot, fresh cilantro, cumin and a bit of serrano pepper. I put the microwave on 50% power and stirred often.
Chimichurri Sauce for the steak filling: Process all of these ingredients in a food processor: 1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro, 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Cheater’s Roja Sauce for the pork filling: I had some Mexican corn chowder soup leftover from lunch out with Meredith, so I added a little adobo pepper and paprika to make the sauce red.
Step 3: Assemble the enchiladas, cover with sauces, and bake.
Red, Green and White Parfait