Another New Mexico favorite, "Carne Adovada" gets remade today... woo!
First, a disclaimer: If you're a green-and-red-blooded native New Mexican food purist who cannot stand the idea of your region's precious and traditional recipe being vegan-ized, read no further... (and I do understand and apologise - sorta - heh).
However, if you're vegan, yet still want to enjoy the rich, colorful, spicy flavors of the Southwest - or you're just curious what the heck I'm yammering about, read on.
Carne Adovada is traditionally made from chunks of pork, marinated and cooked in a sauce of ground New Mexican red chiles and other flavors... it's either cooked in the oven or slow cooker until the flavors absorb and the pork literally falls apart and the sauce is very thick.
Well, since my wonderfully generous friend, Shaun, sent me home from my last Southwest visit with every imaginable New Mexican goody, I've been cooking up a storm of yummy, spicy, mouth (and eye)-watering VEGAN hotness.
Yes, I did fret a bit, thinking the dry spice mix was a commercial short-cut "tourist" version of the seasonings, but not so much once I saw (Food Network) Bobby Flay do an episode on meaty-type carne adovada. He simply said make a sauce with ground red chiles, lots of garlic and oregano, add red wine and "season it to your tastes". Well, since I haven't a clue what this stuff is "supposed" to taste like, my seasoning came in handy for proportions: ground red chiles, garlic and oregano. I was inspired...
For those who feel obligated to point out discrepancies in my methods, ingredients or results, yes, I know, I KNOW it's "not even close" to real dead-animal Carne Adovada, so, call it 'Red Chile Veggie-Meat' or something less offensive to you. I just have so many Southwestern Foodie friends I'm worried about the authenticity police here... At any rate, I had fun experimenting and the end result, whatever you choose to call it, is amazing and delicious.
1 2 oz. package dry Carne Adovada spice mix
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. ground coriander seed
2 t. dried Mexican oregano
4 cloves pressed garlic
2 t. cayenne
3/4 c. ground red chile, mild or medium
1 cup water
2 Tb. oil
1.) Mix spices with liquid in non-reactive glass baking pan
2.) Put "chicken" into sauce and carefully stir.
3.) Marinate in fridge a couple hours. If it absorbs all the liquid, add more water. It shouldn't be "watery" though.
5.) Heat oven to 300°. Put gardein "chicken" and sauce into glass baking dish. Drizzle with oil and stir again.
6.) Bake until sauce is sticky and mostly evaporated or absorbed, stirring carefully every 1/2 hour or as needed to prevent it from totally sticking - It'll take at least an hour, probably longer; time will vary according to amount of liquid.
If you stir the "chicken" too hard, it'll crumble into mush, though some breakage is good. I use a wide, flat spatula and sorta lift it and move it around...
Serve with tortillas (or, sacrilege - my kids like it over rice!). Good stuff! Leftovers reheat wonderfully and make an awesome burrito filling!!