Roasted tomatoes. Cazuela. Canela. Harina. Rajas. 15 minutes. Crema. Queso.Coming home, I was just as confused as you might be. So, I sauteed onions and garlic in olive oil. When soft, I added some canned roma tomatoes and their sauce and a stick of our canela. You should only use canela, not commodity cinnamon. It's a different bark and the canela has a warm, woodsy flavor while the cinnamon is harsh and astringent. I let this cook and reduce a bit. Then I added some previously roasted, peeled and chopped Poblano chiles. After seasoning with salt, I added some fresh mozzarella cheese and a big happy dollop of creme fraiche. I removed the canela stick and being cheap, I gave it a quick rinse and will use it for something else in the future. I believe Lupe fried the flour in the oil to make a roux but I don't think this is needed at all so I skipped this step. Long, slow cooking in a wide pot, like a cazuela (or even a Windsor pot) encourages evaporation and tastes better than a flour-thickened sauce. This was incredible. Great with tortillas or rice and even though it doesn't sound like a main course, a bowl on its own was just perfect.
In Hidalgo, a meal with my pal Lupe is essential. She is a great cook. I would almost describe her cooking as colonial. She prefers good olive oil to manteca (lard) and while she's fiercely patriotic and loves all aspects of her Mexican culture, there's a European sensibility to a lot of her dishes. When we were filming the article that featured the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project for Sunset Magazine last year, Lupe made this dish and it's forever haunted me. She told me it was from Michoacan and called Minquiche. I've done some research and there are similar elements but I think Lupe's dish has morphed into something even more delicious than the original. If you are an expert on the cuisine of Michoacan and want to set me straight, it would be my pleasure. My notes are rough.