What would go well with cochinita pibil?
April 7, 2010 11:09 PM   Subscribe

I need a creamy Mexican-ish side to go with a spicy roasted pork main course.

I've made cochinita pibil a number of times, but I've run into a problems pairing it with other dishes. While a salad has worked, I think something creamy and cool would cut against the heat of the dish. I'd like to stay in the same continent if possible, but any good ideas are welcome.

One note: I make it with less lemon juice, so unlike authentic preparations it is more savory than tart.
posted by uri to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:13 PM on April 7, 2010

chilled raw cherimoya!
posted by 256 at 11:21 PM on April 7, 2010

Sweet potatoes? They're pretty sweet by themselves, but you could add some honey or brown sugar or cinnamon to make them sweeter if you wanted.
posted by MadamM at 11:45 PM on April 7, 2010

Guacamole and/or homemade refried black beans. Both are creamy and are traditional sides from that continent.
posted by chrchr at 11:52 PM on April 7, 2010

Best answer: Sweet corn is a traditional, high sugar ingredient in Mexican dishes intended to "cut the heat" of spices and peppers. Various corn flour preparations, such as masa de harina and masa nixtamalera preserve much of the corn sugar, while making additional corn proteins and vitamins nutritionally available; combining these kinds of masa with other dairy ingredients, like mild cheeses and sour cream, can have a subtle cumulative effect, too. The heat of the main dish is tempered and reflected on the palate by the sweet sugars of corn, and the complex proteins from milk products, and then played off onion, bean and avocado flavors, or heart of palm, or other vegetables, to make a complex whole, for the entire meal.
posted by paulsc at 1:57 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't have fancy words like paulsc, but he's totes right. I'd want a side of corn cakes, sour cream and black beans to go with the main dish. Maybe some rice too.
posted by mullacc at 2:46 AM on April 8, 2010

Vegetarian here; the suggestion may or may not go with pork? But: Rajas con Crema (can be mild or spicy; fiddle with pepper type and cream content according to your needs)
posted by kmennie at 5:43 AM on April 8, 2010

i was going to suggest stuffed jalapenos (you can substitute a mild pepper for the jalapenos) but kmennie's rajas look pretty darn good, too.
posted by msconduct at 6:35 AM on April 8, 2010

Best answer: I'd pair it with pickled red onions, homemade tortillas (or if you don't want to bother with that, at least try hard to find fresh ones at a local mercado), some crumbled cotija cheese. Refried beans for sure.
posted by rocketman at 6:47 AM on April 8, 2010

I often pair stuff like that with pinto beans with different seasonings. You can mash them a bit so they turn creamy, and the flavor pairs well with pork.
posted by scrutiny at 7:12 AM on April 8, 2010

I'd make some corn pudding.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:20 AM on April 8, 2010

seconding corn pudding. mmmmmm.
posted by xbonesgt at 7:52 AM on April 8, 2010

I looked over the menus of Rick Bayless's restaurants to see what they pair it with. I thought they kept it on the menu all the time but apparently not. The only pibil they list right now is the torta (sandwich), which has the roasted pork with black beans and pickled onions, and a super hot spicy habanero salsa on the side. (I've had this torta - it's awesome, but beware of that salsa! More than a drop at a time can actually hurt!)

I had it once at Frontera Grill - I don't remember what all it came with, but I think it might have just been black beans and flour tortillas. We had flan for dessert, though.
posted by dnash at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2010

As soon as I read your question, I immediately thought of a creamy polenta, perhaps some queso fresco mixed in.
posted by General Malaise at 8:29 AM on April 8, 2010

Following up with the corn suggestions. Fonda San Miguel in Austin makes a great corn pudding, but you could even use polenta or grits. Corn is very American, even if it doesn't sound too Mexican.
posted by Gilbert at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2010

I second the idea of polenta. Also, consider making a creamy version of Mexican rice by tossing in some cream cheese or creme fraiche. It would be like a quick, fakey risotto.
posted by TrarNoir at 10:33 AM on April 8, 2010

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