I had a fresh chili rellano for breakfast yesterday along with frijoles and tortillas straight off the grill. On my way out of the Mercado I bought a loaf of crusty bread, half a chicken, and 3 chicken livers (plus the hearts and gizzards).

I took lunch in the Mercado at 1:30 and had a nice bowl of caldo de rez (beef vegetable soup) that I doctored up with fresh salsa and squeezes of lime. My bowl of soup, flavor wise, is actually three. First, I savor the broth and enjoy it as it is in all its beefy vegetable goodness. After a few spoonfuls I add a scoop of the fresh red table salsa. The flavor of the broth changes with the addition of the roasted tomatoes, hot chilies, cilantro and onion. Then after a few spoonfuls more I add the squeezes of lime and the flavor changes again to something best described as ‘brighter’.

For dinner I cooked the half chicken with ground cumin but sauteed the livers separately in butter with a little salt and fresh basil. On the front of the cumin package it says ‘made in Mexico’; which I reckon is the physical grinding part, while on the back it says that it is a product of Iran. Hmmm. I guess that cumin either isn’t part of the crippling economic trade sanctions against Iran or that Mexico isn’t playing along.

I ate the chicken livers (pink in the center) smeared on crusty toast for dinner last night as a poor man’s foie gras with a bit of greens by way of crunchy purslane that I plucked from the terrace. I think the British nose to tails guy, Fergus Henderson would have used fresh parsley but hey, we use what we have.

Tonight I have company coming so I am making coconut rice made from fresh coconut which I’ll serve with the cumin chicken from last night. Very easy to make and very delicious. Sarah and I got hooked on coconut rice on our visit to Cartagena a couple of years ago. It is one of those light, flavorful and cheap Caribbean staples that once you try you keep coming back to.

It’s 8:30 am here which means it’s breakfast time. I wonder what Gaby’s got for us this morning. She does a pretty fabulous pork rib stew done in a mole sauce. Sunday’s gastronomical breakfast celebration is reserved for Maria’s (one stall over from Gaby’s) most excellent menudo.

So to you – cheers – eat healthy, eat good.

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