Monthly Archives: July 2003

On Rue Tatin


I am just back from my vacation, and have so far shopped for sandwich and breakfast items, and we have eaten at Fuddruckers, McDonald’s and just finished Chinese delivery hot and sour soup. I am helping my husband set up the computers at our school, so I am in no mood to cook! On my vacation, I read On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town by Susan Herrmann Loomis. It is a wonderful book about her life in a town in Normandy, France. At the end of each chapter, there were a couple of recipes. You must also visit her website, to find more recipes, as well as information on visiting her place and taking cooking lessons!

I was going to include a recipe from her website, but instead, one of the recipes reminded me of making chicken liver pate. I love trying to use really cheap meats (such as fish pieces, stew meat, and chicken thighs) to make things, and chicken livers were about 99 cents at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. So, I went on the Internet, and basically came up with my own recipe, using ideas from Julia Child and others. It was a hit with my French conversation club, and there was enough left over for me to basically eat it for lunch all week!

Chicken Liver Pate

1 pound chicken livers

salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4-8 tablespoons butter

1 cup sherry

2 bay leaves

2 crushed garlic cloves

1. I did not clean the chicken livers, removing the connective tissue and any silver skin, but if you feel the need, have at it! Season them with salt and pepper.

2. Sautee the livers in butter in a skillet.*

3. To the same skillet, add the mushrooms and green onions. Cook 5 minutes. Add the sherry, bay leaves, and garlic. Cover the skillet and cook 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

*Now, this is where I ‘fess up. I just boiled my livers in water, then saved the water for the dog’s dinner…

4. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the contents of the skillet, leaving the liquid in the skillet to reduce by half. Add the chicken livers, 4 tablespoons butter, and reduced liquid to the processor. Blend until very smooth. Add more salt, if needed, and more butter. It is better to add less liquid first than for the pate to be too liquid and runny!

5. Spoon the pate into a decorative container or bowl, and cover with foil. Chill for at least 6 hours.

Serve with toasted thinly sliced bagel rounds or toasted French bread.

You really can’t go wrong with just a pound container of chicken livers, butter, and some sherry or brandy, along with any herbs you like! Play around a little – livers are cheap!

Recuerdos de Mexico


Well, I will soon be home, and able to make my own recipes, and blog them! Last night, I had another bowl of Sopa Tarasca, which had a very different taste to it than I had the day before. I could not place it, but it obviously had some Italian influence – which it is NOT supposed to have! I am looking again at recipes, even though I referenced one in a previous entry. Here is a recipe that I translated through google from a Mexican website:



1 cup of frijoles (red Kidney Beans)
2 tomatoes
3 cups of pork or chicken broth
1 onion (I don´t know what “trozo” is, and I like onions), chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
4 tortillas
1 cup of queso fresco, crumbled
Pasilla chile to taste (I have seen chiles negros used, and maybe they are the same!)
Oil to fry the tortillas and chiles


1. Soak beans and cook them with pork, if wanted, (or just use canned beans!) Puree them with their liquid.

2. Roast and peel the tomatoes (another shortcut – I think that Rotel now does roasted tomatoes and green chilis! There may even be roasted tomatoes on their own!). Sautee them with garlic and the onion; fry in a casserole until the garlic and onions are soft. Then puree them together.

3. Add the bean puree and the chicken or pork broth. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes, then lower the heat and let simmer.

4. Slice the tortillas in strips, fry them in oil and drain on paper towels. In the same oil, fry the chiles, drain and cut them in strips.

5. In deep bowls, place the tortilla strips and the strips of chile. Pour the hot soup over these and sprinkle with cheese.

Forgive my editorializing, but this looks about right! Some restaurants cut the cheese in cubes and put them in the bowl before pouring the broth over it!

I also decided to try the crepas con cajeta for dessert last night. I thought they were mediocre, but ever since I saw a recipe in Cooking Light magazine, I have considered making them for dessert. I think I might add ice cream and/or bananas to it, though! The recipe I referenced uses the raspberries as a garnish, I believe!

I tried the corundas the other day. They are a type of triangular tamale with no meat inside. It can be served with pork, cream and salsas, as well as put into a soup.



Well, last night, I finally tried it: huitlacoche. When we were browsing the antiques stalls of Puebla, I saw two plastic bags filled with this fungus that grows on corn, and I really wanted to try and buy some. I just didn´t know if our hosts wanted to use it to make something! I had it in an avocado half, with “the sauce of the avocado” (a-hem, guacamole!) served under it. It was either cooked or canned (I saw jars of the stuff mixed with mild chiles for sale in Puebla as well). It didn´t really have too much personality. I have not experience with it, but if it is indeed like a mushroom or truffle, then I think it was over-cooked. 🙂 But what do I know?

If you are really interested in cooking corn smut (that´s what they calle it in the U.S.), then here is one for huitlacoche soup and tamales de huitlacoche.

While we were in Puebla, everywhere you looked had ads for chiles en nogada, which I had always though of as a dish for special occasions only. Here is a quote from a recipe from Diane Kennedy´s book on Mexican cooking. I found it on

“The recipe is said to have been concocted by the grateful people of Puebla, who were giving a banquet in honor of Don Agustin de Iturbide’s saint’s day, August 28 in 1821. He and his followers had led he final revolt against Spanish domination; as self-proclaimed emperor he had just signed the Treaty of Cordoba. All the dishes at the banquet were concocted of ingredients of the colors of the Mexican flag; in this dish were the green chiles, the white sauce, and the red pomegranate seeds.

It is almost worth a special journey to Mexico City or, better still, to Puebla toward the end of August. By then it is well on in the rainy season, and the fresh crop of walnuts will have been gathered. The peasants come in from the country with them, and you can see them sitting on the sidewalks at every street corner selling little piles of a dozen walnuts. Sometimes they are crammed into small paper bags, but the top one will always be cracked open so that you can see its quality. The flesh is tender, almost milky, with a very delicate flavor, and the papery skin around it can be peeled off easily. Practically every restaurant will have chiles en nogado on the menu, and no family fiesta will be complete without them during their short season.”

So, I guess that it is not too early! There were walnut vendors everywhere!

Chapulines in Oaxaca


We are now in Oaxaca, and we are ready for more food adventures! To quote another website, “The one food that is unique to Oaxaca is chapulines. In the market, farmers’ wives sell these grasshoppers from wicker baskets of small, medium and large. Apparently, the best-tasting ones are found on corn and alfalfa crops. The chapulines I tried were vermilion from the powdered chilli and looked rather desiccated, although the large ones had plump, off-white bodies. I ate them as they were – spicy, salty and quite sour from a generous sprinkling of lime juice – although they are just as good wrapped in a tortilla with chilli and a lick of salsa de tomate verde, made with fresh green tomatillos, a close relative of the tomato.

I had mine with guacamole. They smelled like a wet dog, tasted like chile and had the texture of fish scales. More guacamole was called for.

On our last night in Atlixco, we went to the square to try atole con cajeta This recipe is from another website:


This thick, hot drink, is not unlike thin mush. It was a favorite for Mission Fathers and Indians and is enjoyed all over Mexico today as it was in the past..

Mix 1 cup of corn flour (masa) or rice flour with 2 cups of cold water and a pinch of salt. To this add 2 cups of boiling water. Cook it, oh, so slowly; for 1 hour.

There are many ways to make atole:

For plain atole ~ serve as is.

For spicy atole ~ add a little chile.

For fruit atole ~ add some fresh or canned fruit

For sweet atole ~ add a little brown sugar with cinnamon

For chocolate atole ~ add cinnamon, sugar and grated Mexican or bitter chocolate to the atole and you have made champurrados ~ or a “full bodied” hot chocolate.

I had mine with cajeta, A thick, dark syrup or paste made from caramelized sugar and milk-traditionally goat’s milk, although cow’s milk is often used. Cajeta can be found in several flavors (primarily caramel and fruit) in Latin markets. It’s used in Mexico and in some South American countries primarily as a dessert by itself or as a topping for ice cream or fruit. Definition from dictionary. You can buy it in any Mexican grocery store.

Cajeta Pound Cake

I had some hot chocolate this morning:


Hot chocolate was very popular among Mexicans. The chocolate was brought from Mexico on trading ships. Chocolate beaters

[molinillos], used to fluff up the chocolate cocoa, are available in Mexican food stores. Squares of bitter chocolate are second to Mexico’s own sweet chocolate “rounds.” Milk, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon can all be used in making Mexican hot chocolate.

*2 cups boiling water or 2 cups scalded milk

3 ounces Mexican chocolate, broken into small pieces

* [the ancient Mexicans used only water]

In a small heavy saucepan bring water to boil; stir in chocolate; mix over low heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Pour the mixture into an earthenware pitcher and whip it to a froth with a wooden molinillo or mix in blender for 2 to 3 seconds until frothy. Add cinnamon to make it fit for a party. Serves 2.

Street foods of Mexico


We have had many food adventures in the region of Puebla. Yesterday, I may regret my adventurous spirit. Blame it on Anthony Bourdain, author of A Cook´s Tour. He has no fear of the food of the mercado. Following his example, I took a taste of barbecued cabrito (goat), and some sort of cactus fruit. As far as trying to follow that rule of not eating any salads or vegetables, for fear that they have been washed in local water, that is a difficult thing to do with Pablo, our host, scolding us when we try to brush off lettuce. He does not condone the wasting of food!

We had these little snacks, called memelitas at a couple of places, as appetizers. Here is a recipe from STREET FOODS OF MEXICO:


(Masa snacks with black beans, caramelized onions and cotija)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

The Masa “base”:

1-1/2 lbs. Masa Harina (processed corn flour used to make tortillas – it can be found in most Mexican stores)

Water or stock to reconstitute Masa, as needed

Place masa in large mixing bowl and begin to mix with your hands. Add a generous pinch of salt (approximately 1 tablespoon). Add small amount of water or stock, as needed, and blend dough completely until it is pliable and soft but not sticky. Roll small (ping pong ball-sized) masa balls between your hands, then press them into flat, oblong patties, 1-1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide.

Cook on a dry, ungreased griddle over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then flip each one over and cook an additional 3 minutes until the bottom is slightly speckled. Remove masa patties from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

With the “more cooked” side facing upwards, form a 1/8-inch ridge with your fingers around the edge of each patty. It should be just tall enough to hold a spoonful of filling.

Our memlitas were served with tomatilla salsa and salsa roja (red salsa), with onions and Mexican cheese sprinkled on them.

My father and I took to the markets, where I have toyed with the idea of taking home mole poblano and pipian dry bases in plastic containers. I don´t know if I would make it through customs, though! We did buy mini tortilla presses, to make the mini chalupas also served as appetizers here.

Last night, my father made a gumbo out of ingredients found in the markets of Atlixco. We were panicking, as we could not find any celery, and wondered if we should try to find a grocery store. We found the celery, and found out later that there are no conventional grocery stores in the area, as Puebla is only 30 minutes away!

Mom’s birthday meal


I am not a big fan of Blogger at the moment – and here is why:

Last night, after editing my latest entry, I went to “View Blog”, and found that I could only scroll down to a certain point, and then it would go no further – I mean, not even to the end of the entry! So, I clicked on both of my Archive buttons, and the Current Entry button that would appear, and then I was usually able to scroll through – but not always. What’s up with that? I went to my page on my husband’s Mac, and this did not occur.

Then, I happened to notice that my July 9th entry got posted twice, so I tried to delete one of the copies. When I went back to my page, they still were there. So, I tried again, and this time, when I hit “publish,” I found that I had deleted them both. I almost had a screaming fit, but, luckily, I had the entry saved, so I decided to wait a day, and repost it. I worked hard to type up those recipes, and they are both really good! So, here they are again:

I wanted to post two recipes that I made Saturday night (July 5th) for my mother and my husband. It took organization of all of my Cooking Light magazines, and searching of indexes to find it. Then, I thought that I would save myself time typing by finding the recipe on their website, so I could just cut and paste. I found my magazine, entered the “secret” word (the site is only available to subscribers now), and did several searches, but was not able to find the recipe. That’s annoying! So I have to type it myself!

Spring Seafood Stew

1 teaspoon olive oil

cooking spray

1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup dry white wine

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can fat-free less-sodium chicken broth

3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

3/4 pound large sea scallops, cut in half horizontally

2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add leek and garlic, cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Add wine and broth, bring to a simmer. Stir in shrimp and scallops, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until shrimp and scallops are done.

3. Remove shrimp and scallops from pan with a slotted spoon, keep warm.

4. Bring broth mixture to a boil, cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

5. Add butter, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in chopped tomato and remaining ingredients.

6. Divide shrimp and scallops evenly among 4 soup bowls. Spoon 3/4 cup broth mixture into each bowl.

Yield: 4 servings.

This is a very impressive recipe, and is not too expensive if you find a special on scallops and shrimp. Do not use bay scallops! I use jar garlic and canned tomatoes. If you can’t find tarragon, try basil.

It is cherry season, and I love to make a clafoutis for dessert. This one is very low calorie. Just make sure you use a container that allows the custard to rise above the cherries. You can even double it. Now, I do not pit the cherries, because I don’t mind the pits – it slows down eating – but you can pit if you want, or, in the winter time, buy frozen pitted black cherries!


1 pound cherries, with or without pits

2 tablespoons kirschwasser, brandy, or lemon juice

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup skim milk

2 eggs

grated rind of one half of a lemon

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Remove stems from cherries, and pits, if desired. Toss with powdered sugar and kirschwasser and set aside for at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a Pyrex dish (7″ x 11″, or whatever size lets the custard come up over most of the cherries) with cooking spray.

3. In a bowl, pour the flour and granulated sugar, and stir together.

4. Pour in milk and whisk until thoroughly blended.

5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and then add lemon rind, nutmeg, and vanilla.

6. Pour liquid off of cherries (If it is a liqueur, and if you like, you may make this liquid part of the 3/4 cup of milk – just add less milk).

7. Scatter cherries evenly on bottom of cooking dish.

8. Pour egg and milk mixture over cherries and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until brown and puffed.

9. Chill in the refrigerator. The clafoutis will deflate after it is removed from the oven. Serve cold.

Servings: 8

I was not too happy with my clafoutis on Saturday night. I needed to use a smaller dish, or to have doubled the recipe. I also now have a gas stove, and need to learn about how it cooks – the clafoutis was a tad overdone. Note: I have a bottle of Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine from Poitiers, France, and I usually soak my cherries in that.

Dinner Party Menu


What do you serve at a dinner party for a diabetic, a person on a gluten-free diet, and another person who is lactose intolerant? And, you only have 2 hours, including shopping time? While I am a fan of cooking exotic, ethnic foods – this was not the time! Here is what I served, with a little help from Costco and Harry’s Farmer’s Market:

Aperitif: Kir Royale

3/4 oz. Creme de Cassis, Champagne or Sparkling Wine, Lemon Twists

Pour Creme de Cassis in bottom of Wine glass or flute, Fill with champagne, Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Appetizer: Rojo’s Five-Layer Dip from Costco, served with tortilla chips

Meal: 2 Rotisserie Chickens, served with Caramelized Onions (see recipe, 7/11/03) and Sauteed Mushrooms on the side.

Mashed Potatoes, from the deli at Harry’s (a big splurge, as you pay by the pound! – but good potatoes…)

Steamed Baby Carrots and Broccoli

Dessert: Make Your Own Dessert! – (I got this idea from Martha Stewart Magazine, some buffet they featured.)


1 angel food cake, cut into slices (I got mine from Harry’s)

Meringues – if you do not make meringues, buy a box of Miss Meringues, vanilla (Costco)

1 bag of Three Berry Blend, (Costco), or other frozen fruits

1/2 gallon Vanilla Ice Cream – or you could use Vanilla pudding!

Defrost the berries in the microwave, and add sugar (brown or white) and juice from 1/2 a lemon (OR a liqueur!), and let them sit and soak. You may want to “cook” them on High for 2 minutes to get the juiciness started. The Three Berry Blend is blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. If you use a blend with peaches, you might want to cut them up!

Set the elements up in an attractive way – or just plop them down, like I did! People can then choose to use one – or ALL – of the elements to build a dessert! I particularly like the meringues, crumbled in large pieces, with ice cream and berries!

It all went very well, if I do say so myself. I thought of this because I had tried to share my recipe for Trifle*, and it got lost, and I also read a recipe for Pavlova, an Australian dessert. Both involve layering cake or meringues with pudding and fruit, so this gives people a chance to do what they like. I would like to use pudding next time – and maybe either learn to make meringues, or go to the Argentinian bakery and see if they have flat meringues to use.

*By the way, my trifle recipe is not very complicated – it involves doing to frozen fruit what I did with the berries above, making cook and serve pudding, and buying an angel food cake from Harry’s. Then, I cut up the cake, and layer pudding, fruit, and cake until I have no more – or no more room!

When I purchased Slow Cooker Cooking by Lora Brody…


When I purchased Slow Cooker Cooking by Lora Brody, I had already decided to try the recipe for Caramelized Onions which was in a preview article in Cooking Light magazine. If you click on the link above, you can look inside the book at her recipe, which calls for the onions to be sliced first, unlike the recipe below. I would slice them first, so as to avoid the danger of dealing with slippery, whole onions later!

Unfortunately, the recipe in Cooking Light said to cook the onions for a full 24 hours! I kept looking and looking at the onions as they reduced more and more, and turned browner and browner. I finally cried “Chicken!” at around the 15-16 hour mark! Then I read the recipe in the cookbook, and it said 12-14 hours, but she added that it was almost impossible to overcook them. I disagree! I also tried skimming off and saving the onion butter, because it can be used to season things, but I finally threw it out – maybe next time!

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Yield: About 5 cups onions and 2 cups liquid

“Whenever Vidalia or Sweet Maui onions show up in my local market, I buy a whole case, run home, and get out my slow cooker. I promise that the heavenly aroma of onions gently simmering will make your kitchen the most sought-after room in the house. The addition of these sweet golden brown onions and their cooking liquid will enliven a multitude of dishes in a way you never dreamed possible. Be sure to make extra to freeze – having them safely tucked away is like having extra money in the bank.” – Lora Brody


6 to 8 Vidalia or other sweet onions (approximately 2-1/2 pounds), 3 to 4 inches in diameter, stem and root ends removed, peeled and left whole

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

one 10-ounce can chicken or vegetable broth

Place the onions, butter, and broth in a slow cooker set on low and cook until the onions are deep golden brown and very soft, 12 to 24 hours. Different slow cookers will take different amounts of time. It’s almost impossible to overcook this, so go for the deepest brown.

Use the onions and liquid to flavor soup, stock, and stews. They make a wonderful addition to risotto, a perfect pasta sauce, and the world’s best pizza topping (first drain off the liquid).

Store in zippered plastic bags in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer up to 1 year.

Variations: Add cloves of peeled elephant garlic or a handful of shallots along with the onions.

Here are some recipes that I plan to try with my caramelized onions (safe in the freezer!):

French Onion Soup

2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans beef broth
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can fat-free chicken broth
1/4 c. dry Sherry
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 c. caramelized onions with juice (see recipe)
2 c. plain, butter-flavored or garlic-flavored croutons
4 deli slices (about 4 oz.) Swiss cheese
4 tsp. Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Place a broiler rack 6 inches from the heat, and turn on the broiler. Remove fat from the beef broth and pour the broth into a 4 1/2 quart Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat. Add the chicken broth, Sherry, Worcestershire, garlic and thyme. Stir well. Cover the pot and bring it to the boil.

Meanwhile, place 4 ovenproof bowls on a large baking sheet and set aside. When the broth boils, add the caramelized onions and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 minute to incorporate the onion flavor. Remove thepot from the heat.

Divide the soup among 4 bowls and sprinkle each bowl with 1/2 cup croutons. Lay a cheese slice over the croutons. Sprinkle each cheese slice with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese (or more to taste). Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 1 minute or until the cheese melts. Using pot holders, serve at once, making sure to warn diners that the bowls will be very hot.

Caramelized Onions can also be used in Pissaladiere, a Provencal pizza with onions, anchovies, and black olives. I also found an recipe for Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Chicken, which I may make on Sunday.

Say what you want, but I really love the taste of …


Say what you want, but I really love the taste of cow tongue. I have even found an endless supply of it at the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. I don’t make it often, because it is fatty, but it makes wonderful sandwiches! It’s the best part of the cow, and, for you squeamish people out there: if you didn’t know what it was, you would love it, too!

Beef Tongue in a Slow Cooker


3-1/2 pounds beef tongue
2 quarts water
6 whole cloves
6 whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt
4 each bay leaves
1/4 cup vinegar


Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or until tender. Remove tongue from pot and plunge into cold water. With a sharp knife remove outer skin, then gristle and fat from the root. Chill if desired or serve hot. Slice thinly and serve plain, or with horseradish or mustard sauce. It makes delicious sandwiches when served cold.

And here’s one I’d love to try – I got it off of the Internet:

Lengua – Phillipines recipe!

Serves: 4 – 5


1 piece ox-tongue, thoroughly cleaned and sliced
Lea and Perrins sauce
salt and pepper
10 pieces calamansi (Calamansi is a small lime-like fruit found in the tropics. Lemon is the best substitute.)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium onion, sliced
1 can (12 ounces) Cream of Mushroom soup
button mushrooms
button olives (green olives?)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated cheese


Marinade ox-tongue in Lea and Perrins sauce, calamansi, salt and pepper for an hour. Fry tongue and when browned, braise for 30 minutes. Saute garlic and onions in butter. Add soup. Garnish with mushrooms, olives and grated cheese.

Doesn’t that sound yummy?

Lengua – beef tongue – is a popular thing to eat in Mexico. Many taquerias here in Atlanta have burritos, tacos, and tortas (Mexican sandwiches) made from beef tongue. Okay, enough about the tongue!

I just had chilaquiles, which I have never made, b…


I just had chilaquiles, which I have never made, but still love. They are not easy to find in your run of the mill Mexican restaurant, but when I find them, I order them. My favorite is chicken chilaquiles with green sauce, cheese and crema, but my Mexican students have made some for me, and they are invariably with a red sauce, and spicier! I have a fear of frying, so I will probably either bake the strips, or cheat and use tortilla chips. Here is the closest to what I like – I found it on The Food Network


For tortilla strips:
3 cups vegetable oil
2 (8-ounce) packages corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

For chilaquiles:
1 large onion chopped
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds shredded cooked turkey meat (4 cups)
3 cups roasted tomatillo salsa, recipe follows
6 ounces Monterey Jack, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
3 ounces queso fresco or feta, crumbled

Heat oil in a 3 1/2-quart flameproof nonreactive shallow casserole or deep skillet to 375 degrees F. Fry tortillas in batches, turning occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute, and transfer to paper towels to drain (return oil to 375 degrees F between batches). Carefully pour off all but 1 tablespoon hot oil into a large metal bowl to cool before discarding.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook onion in oil in casserole over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened. Add broth and turkey and simmer, uncovered, stirring, until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups salsa and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and toss with Monterey Jack and tortilla strips.

Bake chilaquiles, uncovered, in middle of oven until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Whisk together creme fraiche and milk. Serve chilaquiles topped with creme fraiche, cilantro, and cheese.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa:

1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos or 3 (11-ounce) cans tomatillos
5 fresh serrano chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat broiler.

If using fresh tomatillos, remove husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. If using canned tomatillos, drain and measure out 2 cups. Broil chiles, garlic, and fresh tomatillos (do not broil canned) on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes.

Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Puree all ingredients in a blender.

Yield: 3 cups

Alternately, you could just buy Tomatillo Salsa!