The Oaxaca chile (Chile de Oaxaca)

An inexpensive recipe, taking advantage of cheaper and tougher parts of pork meat such as the ham hocks; but when cooked properly (slowly, for a long period of time) however these less appreciated pork cuts become quite tasty and appetizing.

Recipe for the Oaxaca Chile

Ingredients for four guests:

* 2 pounds pork meat; usually 4 ham hocks in this recipe
* 1 handful of tender green stringbeans
* 20 green tomatoes or tomatillos
* 1 ripe red tomato,
* 1/2 cup cornmeal or corn flour for tortillas
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 6 chiles guajillos
* 2 medium chayotes
* 1 onion
* 4 cloves of garlic
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 2 yerba santa leaves
* salt


1) Cook the meat in hot water with 2 cloves of garlic, the onion and salt; if you have ham hocks pork cut, this one needs to cook slowly for a long time.

2) When half-cooked, add the chayotes, peeled and cut in cubes, and string beans, stripped of their husk.

3) Soak chiles in a few hours before cold water. If you want a spicier dish, leave the chiles' veins in the recipe. Blend the chiles with enough of the water they soaked in and set aside. After, blend together the raw tomatoes, tomatillos, yerba santa leaves, remaining garlic and cumin.

4) In a saucepan, bring to heat 1/2 tablespoon butter and fry the blended chiles salsa, being careful not to burn it. Pour in the blended tomatoes and other ingredients, season and reserve.

5) Separately in a bowl, pour the corn flour with 1 teaspoon butter and salt; pour water gradually until you get a workable dough. Knead well and from that dough, make small balls, pressing them in the center thus giving them a donut-like shape.

6) When the broth boils, add the balls one at a time. Cook and when the dough balls are cooked, about 10 minutes, this Oaxaca chile is ready.

Serve by pouring the tomatoes with dough balls first, then placing an entire ham hock at the center of each plate.