Asparagus-Potato Stew a la Mexicana

This is a mole-style stew that uses dried chiles but no chocolate.  The chiles are only slightly spicy.

Remove the seeds and stem from 1 dried New Mexico Chile and 1 dried Ancho or Mulato Chile.  Place in a bowl and cover with 3 C. boiling water, then cover.  When the chiles are soft, puree with the liquid.

Dice 1 Leek.  Finely dice 2-3 carrots.  Saute over low heat in 3 T. olive oil for 10-15 minutes, until the leeks are nicely browned.  Add 1 T. cumin powder and 1 t. coriander powder.  Stir to coat.

Add the chile broth and one 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes, stir to combine, then bring to a boil and simmer.

Dice 1 lb. of potatoes and add to the broth.

Meanwhile, remove the tough bottoms from 1 bunch of asparagus.  Cut the stalks into 1 inch pieces, slicing any fatter than a Sharpie marker pen in half lengthwise.

Wash 4 C. spinach.

When the potatoes are tender, add the asparagus to the stew.  Simmer until it is tender, then add the spinach and remove from heat.  (Alternately you can saute or grill the asparagus and add just before serving).

Season with salt and pepper and serve with limes and chopped cilantro.


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