I decided to make a fairly simple menu with week. Everything could have been cooked in the hour before our friends arrived. I made the chili a couple of hours early so it could simmer on the stove to blend and meld flavors.
There were 11 of us for dinner this week (7 adults; 4 child).
The chili is roughly based upon this recipe I posted last year. I tried a slightly different approach to the chile flavor. I toasted and rehydrated 3 ancho & 1 casabell chile peppers. I then blended the chiles with 4 garlic cloves, about 1/3 cup of the liquid I used to rehydrate the chiles and 1 Tbsp. dried Mexican oregano. I strained the resulting compound to remove the skins. I used this in place of garlic & chili powder from my original recipe. The flavor was more subtle than the ground chili powder.
I made the yellow rice with achiote oil. Achiote oil is made by simmering annatto seeds in oil for ~5 minutes over medium-low heat. I used 1 Tbsp. annatto seeds to 1/3 cup peanut oil. Strain the seeds from the oil. You should end up with an orange-yellow colored liquid.