As mentioned in my previous post, a very traditional dish to serve during both the Lenten and the Advent/Christmas seasons in Mexico is called “Revoltijo”, which literally translates as “jumble.” A few years ago, because of the difficulty of finding Mexican ingredients in Canada, I would not have contemplated cooking this dish, with red mole, cactus paddles, and a pot herb called romeritos, bearing the weight of giving revoltijo its distinctive flavour; with globalization, though, those ingredients may now be found fresh, canned, or in the form of decent substitutions. Also, because of my allergies, and for a nice vegetarian option, I omitted dry shrimp from the traditional recipe, and prepared a batch of the indispensable patties following my recipe for shrimp-less patties.
It might sound like a somewhat labour-intensive process to prepare each of the individual components in revoltijo, but then – as its name indicates – it is just a matter of adding everything to the pot, for a delicious jumble of textures and flavours.
Mexican Patties and Vegetables in Red Mole –
Ingredients (For 3-4 portions)
½ cup red mole paste (click here for my recipe, or from jar)
1 tbsp oil
1 ½ cups water
1 lb (454 g) baby potatoes; scrubbed, rinsed and cooked
1 cup cactus paddles (nopales); cleaned and sliced (click here for: how to prepare from fresh); or canned
1 cup pot herbs, such as salsola or romeritos; washed and drained (if not available, use baby spinach, or omit)
6 shrimp-less patties (from my previous post; click here for printable recipe)
Corn tortillas or crusty bread; to serve
To cook fresh nopales: place in a pan over medium heat; stir and cook for about two minutes, until heated through (photo below, left). Lower heat to a simmer, and cover pan with a lid. Allow to cook undisturbed for about fifteen minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated (photo below, right):
Cooked this way, the nopales are not slimy, and do not have to be rinsed. Remove from heat and reserve. Note: If using canned strips, rinse in cold water, drain and reserve.
To cook the pot herbs: Salsola and romeritos are pot herbs from the Amaranthaceae family; they both grow in salty soils. They look similar when raw, as seen in the photos below; the one on the left is salsola (also known as agretti) from my backyard garden, and on the right, romeritos from a batch in Mexico:
To prepare, the washed and drained sprigs are cleaned from any wilted tips, or tough stems, then they are added to a pot with boiling water over high heat (photos below, salsola in Canada on the left, and romeritos at my sister’s house in Mexico, on the right):
Notice the different shades of green when raw; remove from heat once they have turned a bright shade of green. Rinse with cold water and drain in a colander:
Once cooked, salsola (on the photo above, left) and romeritos (right) look very similar, and the taste and texture are also close. If not available, cooked baby spinach might be used as a last-resource alternative. Reserve.
For the patties: Prepare patties as directed in my previous post:
Save six patties for another use, or prepare half a batch to make six patties. Reserve.
To assemble the revoltijo: In a large pot, warm up oil over medium heat; add mole paste, stirring for a few seconds. Add water and continue stirring, until paste has dissolved and the sauce is smooth. Add potatoes, coating with the mole (photo below, left); incorporate cactus (photo below, right):
Add patties (photo below, left), followed by the cooked pot herbs (photo below, right):
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and allow all the ingredients to cook together for about ten minutes. Serve hot, arranging portions of all the ingredients on a plate, and covering with a generous amount of mole:
Offer warm corn tortillas or crusty bread on the side.
It was all worth it, hanging on until all the components were properly prepared and assembled in the stew, while daydreaming of a bite of those fluffy patties, soaked in mole and supplemented by the interesting combination of flavours of tangy nopales, salty potherbs and comforting potatoes:
I am bringing my recipe to Thursday Favourite Things #432 with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.
I am also contributing to Full Plate Thursday #477 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.