Adiós, San Cristóbal

Well faithful readers, after three long moths of waiting here is the next update of El Sinfin.  

 To make up the delay, dear readers, here is the link to our first full length album, available for free to stream and download at http://soundcloud.com/search?q%5Bfulltext%5D=el+sinfin.  Hope you enjoy!

Iglesia de la Merced, San Cristóbal

In late June, we returned to San Cristóbal to begin work on recording our self-titled album, El Sinfín.  A mere two weeks before we were to begin, we were introduced to what would become the support band for the record and got busy teaching them the songs and rehearsing for our release show which took place July 9th.  We managed to record, mix, and master the album with the help of our friend Tom Martin, of Dubworks Studio, in less than a week.  For those who have never had the experience of  training musicians to play your music, laying down tracks, overdubbing, and mixing/ mastering, getting it done in less than a week is quite the feat.  Special thanks to Tom for his incredible efforts, without which we surely would not have met our deadline!   We are quite pleased with the results, however, and we have managed to nearly sell out the first run of two hundred copies since  releasing it!  Sales of the record along with the money we receive for playing shows has completely financed our travels for the last three months, which begins an exciting new stage in our lives, being professional traveling musicians!

Robert recording guitar

  The rest of July (after the  week-long party that followed the CD release) was spent playing shows in San Cristobal, doing a bit of travel with our friends from the Soulfire Project (http://www.soulfireproject.net/lang/en-us/photos/) , moving from our apartment and moving in for our last week with our friend and neighbor, Mac.   Here are a few photos of our two homes in San Cristóbal, firstly our apartment and Mac´s beautiful house right next door.
Andy, Harmony and Mac

After nearly four months of making the city of San Cristóbal our home, we packed it in and headed to warmer climes in Tulum, on the Caribbean coast.    We have been here for the last month, performing nearly every night and living in a cabaña on the beach in a funky and beautiful little resort called the Diamante K  http://diamantek.com/After paying to stay there for a couple of days, we proposed to perform in the bar a few times a week in exchange for the room, and after a brief audition they  graciously accepted.   Since then, we have been happily living the dream on the spectacular beach of Tulum, spending our nights performing in several local bars and restaurants.  Our long, lazy days are spent working on new music, swimming in the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean and visiting cenotes, which are the surface caverns and lagoons of the worlds´s largest underground river system.   
 We are currently planning on returning to Colorado for a few weeks to visit family and friends, and resume our travels towards South America in October.  In the meantime, I plan to continue updating with some pics of Tulum, as well as some of our visit to Colorado.  A couple of special recipes to enjoy in the meantime:
 
Chiles en Nogada
This is a recipe traditionally prepared around Christmas in various parts of Mexico.  It is basically a variation of the Chile Relleno recipe, a roasted, skinned poblano chile stuffed with a meat, fruit and nut combination, served with a creamy sauce made of almonds and pecans and milk.  Traditionally it is garnished with pomegranate, but since they were out of season, we used local blackberries.  The combination of meat, sweet and savory flavors, as well as the sour blackberries contrasting with the creamy sauce was a flavor explosion, and many of the guests who tried it counted it among the best meals they had ever eaten!  The recipe takes a while to prepare, so it is really for special occasions.  We made it to commemorate our friend Lorena´s birthday, as well as the gathering of good friends!   This version of the recipe was created by combining my friend Paco´s  memories of his mother´s recipe, a couple recipes we found on the internet, as well as some personal and seasonal touches.   It is best to get the almonds and pecans for the sauce soaking the day before, but we did it just   a few hours beforehand, and it came out just fine. 
Chiles:
8 Large Poblano chiles, roasted over open flame or BBQ until blackened, cooled, stems, charred skin and seeds removed (the easiest way to do this is cut the top off carefully and remove the seeds with a paring knife)
Stuffing:
1 lb. ground beef
1  lb. ground pork
4. oz. butter
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup pineapples (or oranges), diced
3 big cloves garlic, minced
1 8 oz. can peaches in syrup (NOT drained, Paco was insistent the syrup is necessary to complete the dish!)
Salt to Season
 Sauce:
1 cup almonds
1 cup Pecans
1 qt. whole milk
8 oz. Queso Doble Crema, (or other sharp, creamy cheese like feta)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp.  ground cinammon
1/2 tsp ground clove
 Salt to season
For the stuffing:
Sautee both beef and pork with butter in large pan over high heat until fully browned, remove from pan and set aside.  Sautee onions, garlic and a pinch of salt in the same pan until onions are translucent.  Add chopped pecans and sautee three minutes.  Add fresh and canned fruit, as well as tomatoes, raisins and the cooked beef and pork.  Bring to a low boil and let simmer until flavors meld, and season with salt and black pepper.
For the Sauce:
Place the almonds and pecans and milk and let soak overnight (or at least a few hours in the refrigerator).  Drain milk from nuts, reserving milk, and blend nuts in blender, slowly adding milk until nuts have been processed into a smooth paste.  Blend with all remaining ingredients in batches  and place in a large bowl.  Depending on how thick the cream you are using is, don´t add all the milk until you are sure you need it.   Season with salt.
When the meat and sauce mixture are done, stuff the prepared chiles with the meat mixture and drizzle with the sauce.  Garnish with fresh blackberries and a pinch of cinammon.  The recipe is meant to be eaten at room temperature!
 
Rice with Black Corn and Forest Mushrooms
1 cup long grain rice
1 tomato, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 ears black corn (seasonal), kernels sliced from the cob
1/2 lb forest mushrooms (oyster, lobster or tree), roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp oil
Sautee black corn kernels along with onion and garlic 1 minute over high heat in medium saucepan with tight fitting lid.  Add forest mushrooms and sautee until they have lost most of their liquid.  Adding a pinch of salt expedites this process greatly.  Add rice and  sautee until slightly toasted.  Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a low boil, replace lid and simmer until done, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before seasoning with salt.
Thats all until next time.  Hope you enjoy the music and the food!
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Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 11:29 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice post. You are living large. I want to hear some of the music. Best of luck in your travels.
    Luke

  2. It’s so amazing to see these photos, it really brings me back! I miss Mexico SO much. Also, I listened to your recorded songs and WOW. I love what you did with my favorite one, St. Peter’s Barroom. Great job guys…I wish I could see you play live again. Still your biggest fan :)


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