Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With Frid

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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:42 am

NOVEMBER: THE DAY OF THE DEAD

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A calavera decorated with Frida's name.

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The centerpiece of a Day of the Dead offering for Frida

On the last day of October, the Blue House moved into high gear. The night before, Ines the carpenter had put the finishing touches on the table that would hold our offerings to the family dead, among them Frida's mother, dona Matilde. This was in keeping with one of the Mexican people's most ancient and deeply rooted customs.

Since dona Matilde had been born in Oaxaca, Frida asked the carpenter to build the table according to the custom of that beautiful southern state, and Ines followed the instructions to the last detail. The holiday would take place on two consecutive days: November I, which honors the dead children of the family, and November 2, the Day of the Dead, also known as the Day of the Faithful Departed.

Ines had begun cutting zcmpazuchitl flowers from the family garden on the night of October 31. Some of these he scattered over the table, so that "when the little angels return they will be greeted by the brilliance and shining colors of these flowers the color of the sun." He strung other flowers together into garlands which he then placed on three wooden chests already decorated with golden flowers. The chests stood at the head of the table.

"Fridu," as I liked to call her, bad already been to the Coyoacan market for the necessities: fruit for the punch, chiles and other ingredients for the moles. She also bought tamales and other dishes dear to her mother, since popular belief had it tbat the family dead, dona Matilde among them, would come on November 2 to enjoy their favorite foods, which should be properly prepared and attractively served.

In the afternoon Frida and I went to the old Merced neighborhood in the center of town to collect her friend Carmen Sevilla, a great artist with papier-mache. Her calaveras (sugar skulls) and dancing skeletons were valued by connoisseurs of this popular genre as authentic works of art.

Frida decorated the offering table with the smallest of the dancing skeletons and sugar figurines of lambs, chickens, bulls, and ducks, along with other calaveras. The ones that Carmen Sevilla had made decorated the dining room walls and Frida's studio. The house was transformed into a place where death was an object of wonder and respect, but also something we lived with every day.

The first day of the festival Eulalia placed children's food on the table-mugs of atDle, plates of beans and mildly seasoned food, fruit and sweets. Frida provided dessert: sugar paste candies, pumpkin smothered in traditional brown sugar syrup, and sugar skulls with the names of the family dead written on their heads in sugar letters.

Year after year the confectioners made sugar skulls in all sizes, from truly astonishing life::.size ones to bite-size miniatures for the children. Frida bought four of the largest and had the names of Matilde, Guillermo, Diego, and Frida written on them as a tribute to her parents, her husband, and herself. The names of the adult members of Frida's family were written on medium-size skulls, while the smallest bore the names of Isolda and Tonito (her sister Cristina's children), Ruth and Lupe -the four youngest people in the house. Huge pumpkins were decorated with little silver and gold flags, and the center of the table was occupied by a Oaxaca platter piled with Frida's mother's favorite fruits and nuts in season: sugar cane, limes, mandarin oranges, peanuts, and jicamas. These, too, were decorated with little colored flags. Finally, Frida placed sugar paste figurines here and there on the table and, for the final touch, set candles at the four corners of a mock grave fashioned of paper flowers.

The following day, November 2, the altar was dedicated to the Faithful Departed, with special attention to dona Matilde. Early in the morning Frida placed a picture of her mother on the mock grave. This was her part in the ritual. It fell to Ioes and Eulalia to remove the offerings to the children and replace them with adult food and sweets.

Traditional foods were served throughout the day. Breakfast consisted of a.toie and chocolate, Dead Man's Bread, cookies in the shape of little bones, beans, tortillas and pasilIa chile sauce, along with the brown corn tlacoyos that Matilde Kahlo had so enjoyed. The midday meal consisted of yellow and red moles, Oaxacan beef jerky, red rice with dried shrimp, chicken sauteed in chile pipian, pumpkin in syrup, sweet potatoes in sancocho, tamales in plantain leaves, white alole and fresh fruit.

At that time Frida was teaching painting at La Esmeralda, a public art school . dedicated to furthering the tradition of Mexican mural painting. Some of Frida's students were painting the exterior walls of a small pulque shop at the corner of Centenario and Londres Streets in Coyoacan. "La Rosita" ("Rosy"). as the owner of the pulqueria was known. had agreed to let Frida's students Estrada. Bustos and Fanny Rabel use her walls to practice mural painting.

The students paid Frida a visit on November 3. She was quite proud of the offering and invited them in to see it and to eat their share of the food thaI was left on the tahle "after the departed had paid their respects." It was traditional for the living to finish the remaining food and sweets, down to wiping the plates clean.

Contrary to the usual practice, on this Day of the Dead alcoholic beverages were allowed. Frida's students contributed a delicious fresh pulque that the owner of the pulqueria had insisted they lake to their illustrious teacher. Frida also urged people to drink whisky and brandy, a practice she had picked up in New York and Paris. But when my father returned home, Frida switched to drinking tequila.

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For the Day of the Dead, a corner of the Diego Rivera Studio Museum was transformed with a special offering for Frida

MENU

Fried Bread with Syrup
Dead Man's Bread
Chicken in Pipian Sauce
Yellow Mole
Red Mole
Red Tamales
Tamales in Banana Leaves
Mixed Tropical Fruit in Syrup
Pumpkin in Syrup
Strawberry Atole
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:49 am

FRIED BREAD WITH SYRUP
(8 servings)

1 loaf egg bread, preferably a day old
2 cups warm milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
Oil

SYRUP

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 cup white wine

Cut the bread in 3/4-inch slices. Arrange in a deep bowl. Combine the warm milk and sugar and pour over the bread. Soak for 20 minutes.

Beat the eggs lightly as for an omelet. With a slotted spoon, remove each bread slice from the milk mixture, dip in the beaten eggs, and fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on brown paper. Arrange the fried bread slices on a large serving platter and pour the hot syrup over them.

To make the syrup, cook the sugar with the water, cinnamon, and anise for about 8 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Note: For the egg bread, you can use the recipe for Dead Man's Bread. Instead of making balls, fill loaf pans about two-thirds full with the dough, let rise for 1-1/2 hours, then bake for about 40 minutes until the bottoms sound hollow when tapped.

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DEAD MAN'S BREAD
(30 pieces)

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Dead Man's Bread and calaveras for the Day of the Dead

7-1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 cups sugar, plus additional for dusting
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or butter
2 packages active dry yeast dissolved in 5 tablespoons
warm milk
12 small eggs
1 tablespoon lard
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
l/2 cup milk

Mound the flour on the counter or in a bowl and make a well in the center. Place the sugar, shortening, yeast, eggs, lard, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk in the well. Work into a dough and knead until the dough pulls away from the counter. If the dough is too soft, knead in more flour. Shape into a ball, grease and flour it lightly, and place in a greased bowl. Let stand in a warm place for 2-1/2 hours, or until doubled. Cover with a towel and refrigerate overnight.

Shape the dough into balls the size of a peach. Decorate the tops with strips of dough to look like bones. Place the rolls on greased baking sheets and let rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Dust with sugar and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, or until the bottoms sound hollow when tapped.

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CHICKEN IN PIPIAN SAUCE

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Chicken in Pipian sauce

2 chickens, cut into parts
6 cups water
2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 celery stalk
2 parsley sprigs
4 teaspoons salt
4 black peppercorns

SAUCE

1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup blanched almonds
1 tablespoon corn oil or lard
2 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon
6 guero chiles
3/4 cup olives
2 teaspoons capers

Cook the chicken with the water, vegetables, and seasonings in a large saucepan until tender. Strain, reserving the broth. Skin and bone the chicken.

To make the sauce, toast the sesame seeds lightly in a skillet, stirring constantly. Puree the sesame seeds with the almonds and 2 cups of the chicken broth. Heat the oil, add the blended mixture, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until thickened. Add 2 to 3 more cups of the broth and the chicken bouillon and simmer for 5 minutes more. Add the chiles, olives, capers, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes more and serve piping hot.

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YELLOW MOLE
(8 servings)

2 pounds boneless pork
2 pounds pork bones
6 cups water
1 carrot, cut in half
2 onions, cut io half
3 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons salt
4 black peppercorns

SAUCE

18 guajillo chiles
1/2 cup water
2 pounds tomatillos, peeled
3 green tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons lard or corn oil
5 acuyo (hierba santa) leaves
1 avocado leaf
Salt
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
6 zucchini, cut in strips

DUMPLINGS

1/4 pound lard
1/2 pound masa harina
Salt

Cook the pork meat and bones in water with the vegetables and seasonings until tender, about 1 hour. Strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Slice the meat.

To make the sauce. roast the chiles on a griddle. Remove the seeds and veins. Boil in the water for about 3 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes, drain, and puree with the tomatillos, green tomatoes, garlic, onion, and 1-1/2 cups pork broth. Heat the lard in a saucepan until very hot. Add the pureed mixture, the acuyo leaves, avocado leaf, and salt to taste. Cook for 20 minutes over low heat, adding more broth if needed. Add the green beans, zucchini, and dumplings, and continue to cook for 20 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender.

To make the dumplings, beat the lard thoroughly with the masa harina and add salt to taste. Shape into small balls and use your finger to poke a hole in the center of each.

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RED MOLE
(8 servings)

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Red Mole

3 pounds loin of pork
1 onion, quartered
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
Salt

SAUCE

8 ancho chiles
8 guajillo chiles
3 tomatoes, roasted and peeled
8 allspice berries
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons lard
Salt
3 acuyo (hierba santa) leaves, chopped
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes

DUMPLINGS

1/2 pound masa harina
1/4 pound lard
Salt

Combine the pork, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and salt to taste in a saucepan, and add enough water to cover. Cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Drain the meat, let cool slightly, and slice. Reserve the broth.

To make the sauce, roast the chiles on a griddle for a few seconds. Remove the seeds, then soak for 20 minutes in very hot water. Puree the chiles with their soaking water and strain. Puree the tomatoes, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, two-thirds of the sesame seeds, and the plantain. Strain.

Saute the onion in hot lard until translucent. Add the tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the chiles and salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes more. Add the acuyo leaves, cubed potatoes, and enough of the meat broth to make a medium-thick sauce. Cook about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add the sliced meat. Gently stir in the dumplings. Cook for 10 minutes more. To serve, sprinkle with the rest of the sesame seeds.

To make the dumplings, beat the masa harina thoroughly with the lard and salt to taste. Shape into little balls and poke a small hole with your finger in the center of each.

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RED TAMALES
(8-10 servings)

FILLING

1 pound boneless pork, cut in chunks
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, peeled
2 ounccs ancho chiles, seeds removed
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon lard
Salt

MASA

2 pounds masa harina
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lard
2 teaspoons baking powder
Salt
40 dried corn husks, soaked in cold water and drained well

Place the meat in a saucepan with water to cover. Add 2 of the garlic cloves and the onion. Cook, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving the broth. Shred the meat and set aside.

Soak the chiles in the hot water for 10 minutes. Puree with the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Saute the puree in hot lard for 3 minutes. Add the shredded meat, season with salt to taste, and cook for 3 minutes more, until thickened.

To prepare the masa, beat the masa harina with 1 cup of the pork broth for 10 minutes. In another bowl, beat the lard very thoroughly until spongy. Add to the beaten masa harina with the baking powder and a tablespoon of salt. Beat well. Spread 1 tablespoon of this mixture on each corn husk and top with a small amount of the pork filling. Fold the long edges of the husks toward the center to enclose the filling, then fold the ends up to shape each tamale into a tightly wrapped package.

Pour water into a tamalera or large steamer. Place a layer of corn husks on the bottom, then stand the filled tamales upright around the edge of the steamer. Cover and cook for 1 hour, until the tamales are cooked through. To test, remove and open a tamale; the filling should separate easily from the husk.

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TAMALES IN BANANA LEAVES
(8 servings)

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A dish of Tamales in Banana Leaves

FILLING

1 pound boneless pork or chicken
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
Salt
1 tablespoon corn oil or lard
2 cups pureed tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

TAMALES

1 pound masa harina
1/2 cup lard
Salt
3 large banana (or plantain) leaves

Place the meat in water to cover, with 1 onion cut in half, 1 garlic clove, and salt to taste. Cook slowly until very tender. Let cool, drain, and shred the meat with two forks.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute 1 finely chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove until translucent. Add the meat and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and salt to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomato is well cooked and thickened.

To make the tamales, set aside 2 tablespoons of the lard. Beat the masa harina with the remaining lard and salt to taste for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is spongy.

Hold the banana leaves over an open flame for a few seconds until they soften and become pliable. Cut 1 large leaf into 6-inch squares. Grease. the outside surface of the squares with the reserved lard. Place a portion of masa on each square and top with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the filling. Fold the edges of the squares toward the center, enclosing the filling and making a tightly wrapped rectangular package. If you like, tie each one with a strip of leaf.

Place a layer of leaves in the bottom of a tamalera or large steamer. Cover the leaves with water. Arrange the tamales in the tamalera or steamer, cover, and steam for 1 hour, until cooked through.

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MIXED TROPICAL FRUIT IN SYRUP
(8 servings)

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Mixed Tropical Fruit in Syrup

1/2 pound piloncillo, cut in chunks (or 1-1/4 cups dark brown sugar)
4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
12 large tejocotes
4 3-inch pieces sugar cane, peeled and cut in strips
3 oranges, peeled and sliced
6 guavas, cut in half and seeded

Boil the sugar, water, and cinnamon for about 15 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly. Add the fruit and cook for 15 minutes more or until the fruits are tender. Remove from the heat and cool completely before serving.

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PUMPKIN IN SYRUP
(8-10 servings)

1-1/2 cups water
4 pounds piloncillo (or 10-1/2 cups dark brown sugar)
1 pumpkin (about 10 pounds)

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, to make a syrup.

Peel the pumpkin and cut it in chunks. Remove the fibers and seeds. Score the pulp in diamond shapes. Arrange the pumpkin chunks in a large enamel saucepan, placing the first layer skin side up and the remaining layers skin side down. Add the syrup, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 2-1/2 hours, until the pumpkin is well soaked in syrup and has turned a deep caramel color.

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STRAWBERRY ATOLE
(8 servings)

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Strawberry Atole in a hand-decorated mug and plate from Guanajuato

1-1/4 cups masa harina
6 cups water
2 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
3/4 cup brown sugar

Dissolve the masa harina in 4 cups of the water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Strain.

Puree the strawberries with 2 cups of water and the sugar. Drain.

Combine both mixtures in a large saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve piping hot.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:51 am

DECEMBER: THE POSADAS

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Christmas posada at Lupe Rivera's house. On the table are Stuffed Pambazos and tostadas and Sugared Fritters

Frida grew up in Coyoacan in the cloistered religious atmosphere of turn-of-the-century Mexico. Then as now a series of celebrations took place beginning on December 12, the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico. These festivities are part religious and part secular, but they all have to do with the cult of Mary and the birth of her son, Jesus. In the Blue House December was particularly festive because of the fuss made over Diego Rivera's birthday on December 8, which is also the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Some of Diego's friends called him "Concho" in keeping with the tradition of naming boys and girls born on this day "Concho" and "Concha," the male and female diminutives of "Concepcion."

From December 16 to Christmas Eve there was a celebration every night in one neighborhood or another of Coyoacan. In these festivities, called posadas (literally, "inns"), children and adults enacted rituals that were part secular, part religious. Afterwards, they broke pinatas. Then sweets and traditional toys were handed out and a special meal was served. On December 24 -- Noche Buena in Spanish -- it was customary to eat a special Christmas salad and guajolote, as the turkey is called in Mexico. In the past the meal was served after midnight mass. The thanksgiving mass, also called "the rooster's mass," was held on December 31; it was customary to serve the dinner after twelve o'clock, so that one could bring in the New Year by eating twelve grapes in rapid succession, one for each stroke of midnight.

The next holiday took place on January 6. This was the feast of the Epiphany, featuring the rosca de Reyes (Epiphany cake). Whoever found the miniature baby Jesus in his slice was obliged to host the tamale dinner on Candlemas, February 2.

Frida was delighted by all of the year-end festivities; perhaps they brought back happy memories. Whatever the reason, during the time I lived with her and my father she followed the traditional practices down to the last detail.

In the winter of 1942 Frida was very far from neglecting the posadas, roscas, and neighborhood children. She took special care in celebrating each and every one of the December holidays. From Diego's birthday to February 2, the doors of the Blue House stood wide open to children, neighbors, the rowdy Kahlo family, and any friends who lived in the area.

On the day before the first of the posadas that Frida organized in 1942, we made the customary visit to La Merced market, where we purchased three pinatas, shaped like a boat, a star, and a rose, along with everything we needed to fill them -- the tejocotes, limes, oranges, and peanuts that would fall to the ground when the children broke the pinatas open with sticks. We also bought little woven palm-frond baskets in several colors to use for the food and modest toys that would be handed out at the end of the party.

The posada began when the children from Londres Street separated themselves from those who had come from other parts of Coyoacan and came into the patio of the Blue House. The others, who stayed outside, asked the ones inside for a room at the inn (posada) to spend the night, and they refused.

The words of the exchange go like this:

(outside) En el nombre del cielo
os pido posada,
pues no puede andar
mi esposa amada.

(inside) Aqui no es meson
sigan adelante,
yo no he de abrir
no sea algun tunante.

(outside) No seais inhumano
dadnos caridad,
que el Dios de los cielos
te lo premiara.

(inside) Ya se pueden ir
y no molestar,
porque si me enfado
os vay apalear.

(outside) Venimos rendidos
desde Nazaret,
yo soy carpintero
de nombre Jose.

(inside) No me importa el nombre
dejenme dormir,
pues que yo les digo
que no hemos de abrir . . .


When the doors finally opened so the "holy pilgrims" could enter the make0believe inn, the boys and girls dashed to the spot where the pinatas hung, anxious to be blindfolded so they could whack the pinatas until they burst open and dropped their contents to the ground.

Afterwards there was food for the children and for the adults, who began arriving after dark. Frida brought in three of the best specialty cooks from the Coyoacan market to help prepare the meal. While they were busy frying the pambazos, tostadas, and the fillings of chorizo, chicken, and beans in green or red sauce, other women prepared tortillas. Stuffed with squash blossom, pigs' feet, cheese or potatoes, they would be fried on the spot, so the guests could enjoy freshly made quesadillas of every conceivable kind.

Frida's reasons for celebrating Christmas Eve in the traditional fashion had more to do with the local holiday spirit than with religious belief. Her first idea was to take a stroll through Centenary Park before going to her older sister Matilde's house for dinner. Frida led me, Ruth, and a group of friends on a visit to the fair that had moved into the Park for the Christmas holiday. On our way we saw booths offering sweets from all over the country, while Frida searched out special Christmas toys to add to her collection.

She was especially fond of cardboard dolls in acrobat outfits and colorful rag dolls with black cloth hair that looked like ancient wigs. The smaller the doll the more it was to her liking. She also bought inexpensive puppets that were sold in booths or at special stands where there was a little bit of everything.

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A detail of one of Frida's Tehuana costumes

What she loved most, though, were the whistles. They came in various sizes and made different sounds. She used them to call for Chucho, Eulalia, and Ines, and she created quite a stir when she did. On that Christmas Eve she stuck a few whistles in her purse and blew on them vigorously the whole time we wandered around.

Eventually we braved all obstacles and made it to the fair. We went on I don't know how many rides: the carousel, the whip, bumper cars, and the wheel of fortune. On the last of these, Frida's skirts flew up over her head at the top of every turn, and the crowd down below yelled themselves blue in the face when the wheel came around and her skirts fell into place. This was how the people of Coyoacan discovered that the famous painter did not wear underpants. Imagine the scandal!

To make the evening complete we attended midnight mass, which was considered even more outrageous than the wheel of fortune. No one paid any attention to the sermon, distracted as they were by "that godless Communist Frida Kahlo" who sat there listening to the priest just as calm as she could be.

It was after midnight when we arrived at Matilde's house. My friends were truly amazed by Frida's energy and enthusiasm, but the best was yet to come. My father had not had dinner; he was dying of hunger and in the worst of moods. Throwing his doctor's advice, his diet, and his medication out the window, he set out to devour everything Maty could provide. Determined to offend everyone present, he sat at the head of the table cursing the Catholic Church and the servants of God with a lack of manners and sharpness of tongue that were unusual even for him. The ensuing uproar guaranteed that a traditional Rivera-style Christmas had indeed been celebrated. We drank a toast of excellent cider and went home happy.

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Self-Portrait with Monkey and Parrot, 1942

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A still life with the Mexican flag, after a painting by Frida

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A locket with a portrait of Frida

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MENU

Cream of Peanut Soup
Fish in Scallop Shells
Christmas Turkey
Christmas Salad
Squash Blossom Quesadillas
Stuffed Pambazos
Tostadas
Revoltijo
Sugared Fritters
Cocada
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:59 am

CREAM OF PEANUT SOUP
(8 servings)

1 large tomato
1/2 medium onion
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons corn oil
2 cups shelled peanuts
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream
Finely chopped parsley
Shelled peanuts

Puree the tomato and onion with the water. Drain.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the peanuts for a minute, stirring constantly. Remove the peanuts with a slotted spoon. In the same oil, saute the tomato mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until thickened.

Grind the peanuts with the chicken broth and add to the saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Stir in the cream and correct seasonings, if needed. Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley and peanuts.

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FISH IN SCALLOP SHELLS
(8 servings)

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Fish in Scallop Shells

1-1/2 pounds fresh robalo, guachinango, or other firm white fish
2 onions
I bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
2 cloves
2 teapoons salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
4 cups water

SAUCE

1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons oil
3 jalapeno chiles, chopped
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons softened butter
Bread crumbs

Place the fish with the onions, seasonings, lime juice, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, and remove from heat. Strain the fish, let it cool, and flake it.

To make the sauce, saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the chiles, saute for a few seconds, then add the tomatoes and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until thickened. Gently stir in the fish and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Butter 8 scallop shells or individual ovenproof plates. Fill with the fish mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes and serve.

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CHRISTMAS TURKEY
(10 servings)

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Christmas Turkey; the tureen belongs to the Rivera family

1 small turkey (about 13 or 14 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1 cup butter, softened

STUFFING

4 hard rolls
1-1/2 cups milk
1 large onion, chopped
1/3 cup lard
Turkey giblets, washed and chopped
3 cups chopped celery
2 tart apples, peeled and chopped
15 pitted prunes, chopped
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper

Wash the turkey thoroughly. Dry well, inside and out. Rub the surfaces with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey and rub with half the butter. Place the turkey breast-side down on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Roast in a preheated 425ºF oven for 15 minutes. Turn the turkey breast-side up and roast it for 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and brush all surfaces with the remaining butter. Return to the oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced, basting every 20 minutes.

To make the stuffing, break up the rolls and soak them in milk until soft. Press to drain well. Saute the onion in hot lard until translucent. Add the giblets, saute for a few minutes, then stir in the celery, apples, prunes, and nuts. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the drained bread, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture is dry. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before stuffing the turkey.

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CHRISTMAS SALAD
(8 servings)

2 medium jicamas, peeled and sliced
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
2 medium beets, cooked, peeled, and diced
3/4 cup shelled peanuts, chopped

VINAIGRETTE

6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon boney
Salt and pepper

Arrange a circle of sliced jicama around the edge of a large round serving platter, then the orange slices and, in the center, the beet slices. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with peanuts.

To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend well.

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SQUASH BLOSSOM QUESADILLAS
(4 servings)

1 pound masa harina
Salt
Oil
Water
Corn oil or lard

FILLING

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
2 tablespoons oil
5 cups squash blossoms, stems and pistils removed and discarded, blossoms chopped
1 cup water
Salt

Combine the masa harina with enough salt, oil, and water to form a smooth dough. Shape the dough into thin tortillas. Place some filling in the center of each tortilla, fold it over, and press the edges together to seal. Fry in hot oil, one or two at a time. Drain thoroughly on brown paper and serve hot.

To make the filling, saute the onion and chiles in hot oil until the onion is translucent. Stir in the squash blossoms, cook for 1 minute, then add water and salt to taste. Cook briefly to blend the flavor and thicken the mixture. Remove from heat.

Note: Quesadillas can also be filled with Oaxaca cheese or any other cheese that melts.

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STUFFED PAMBAZOS
(8 servings)

PAMBAZOS

3-3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
7 tablespoons butter or vegetable shortening
4 eggs
1/2 cupmilk

STUFFING

1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon lard
1 pound chorizo, crumbled
3 potatoes, peeled, cut in cubes, and cooked
3 chipotle chiles, pickled or in marinade, chopped
Salt

GARNISH

2 ripe avocados, mashed
1 head romaine, shredded

VINAIGRETTE

6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

To make the pambazos, sift the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the eggs and enough of the milk to make a smooth dough. Roll out on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 4-or 5-inch circles. With a rolling pin, shape the circles into ovals. With a sharp knife carefully score a cross on the center of each oval -- be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. Fry in hot oil or lard until golden and puffed. Drain on brown paper. Fill the hollowed center with the stuffing. Garnish with avocado and the lettuce dressed with vinaigrette. Serve hot.

To make the stuffing, saute the onion in hot lard until translucent. Add the chorizo and cook until lsft. Add the potatoes, chiles, and salt to taste. Continue to cook until the flavors are blended and the mixture has thickened.

To make the vinaigrette, combine the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.

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TOSTADAS
(8 servings)

24 tortillas
Oil
1-1/2 cups refried beans
Green sauce
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
3 chilled pig's feet in tomato sauce, chopped
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
4 chorizos, crumbled and fried in a small amount of oil
Sliced tomato
Avocado slices
Sour cream
Anejo cheese, grated (or aged cheddar)
Salt and pepper

GREEN SAUCE

2 pounds/1k tomatillos
2 garlic clovers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 jalapeno chiles
1/2 cup/125 ml. water
1 small bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons lard or corn oil

To make the Green Sauce, combine all the ingredients except the lard in a saucepan. Simmer until the tomatillos are tender and cooked through. Let cool slightly, then puree. Simmer the sauce in hot lard until the flavors are well blended.

REFRIED BEANS
(8 servings)

1/2 pound lard
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cups cooked beans
1 cup cooking liquid from beans
Salt
Grated anejo cheese (or parmesan)
Totopos (fried small tortilla triangles)

Heat the lard in a skillet. When it starts to smoke, add the onion and saute until golden. Add the beans and cooking liquid. Mash the beans to make a puree. Season with salt to taste. When the beans are well fried and pull away from the bottom of the pan when stirred, removed from the heat.

CHILLED PIG'S FEET
(8 servings)

8 pig's feet, washed and cut in half
1/2 onion, studded with 2 cloves
2 garlic cloves
10 peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
2 cups vinegar
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano

SAUCE

4 pounds very ripe tomatoes, quartered
Salt
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Sugar

Place the pig's feet in a large saucepan with the onion, garlic, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, and water to cover. Cook until tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. Rinse well and remove the largest bones.

Combine the vinegar, white pepper, thyme, and salt to taste. Place the pig's feet in this mixture and marinate for at least 2 hours. Drain off the marinade, cover the meat with the sauce, sprinkle with the oregano, and serve very cold.

To make the sauce, cook the tomatoes, covered, with salt to taste (but no water) for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool slightly, puree, and drain. Add the chopped onion, oregano, and salt and sugar to taste.

Place the tortillas in a hot oven until toasted. Fry in hot oil until crisp and drain on brown paper. Spread the tortillas with refried beans. If the beans are too thick, thin with a little water. Top with green or red sauce to taste and shredded lettuce. Add the chopped pig's feet to 8 tostadas, chicken to another 8, and chorizo to the rest. Top the chicken and chorizo but not the pig's feet with tomato slices. Top all with avocado slices, sour cream, and grated cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

**********

REVOLTIJO
(8 servings)

2 pounds romeritos, well washed
6 nopales, cut in strips
14 guajillo chiles
2 ancho chiles
2 cups water
1 tomato, roasted
1 small onion, roasted
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 tablespoons lard
1-1/2 pounds small potatoes, cooked and peeled
5 ounces dried shrimp, soaked
6 ounces fresh shrimp, cleaned

SHRIMP PATTIES

2 eggs, separated
4-1/2 ounces dried shrimp powder
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Oil

Cook the romeritos in salted water for 15 minutes and drain well. Cook the nopales in salted water for 15 minutes and drain well.

Roast and devein the chiles. Place in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, simmer briefly, then puree the chiles and cooking water. Strain. Puree the tomato, onion, and garlic. Strain. Heat the lard in a large saucepan. Add the pureed tomato and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Add the pureed chiles and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the romeritos, nopales, potatoes, dried shrimp, and fresh shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Stir well, then add the Shrimp Patties. If mixture is too thick, thin with a small amount of broth.

To make the Shrimp Patties, beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the egg yolks thoroughly. Gently stir the yolks into the whites. Add the shrimp powder and bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into patties and fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on brown paper.

**********

SUGARED FRITTERS
(8 servings)

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Sugared Fritters and Christmas candies served on antique porcelain confectioners.

3 to 4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
l/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Lard
Sugar and cinnamon

Sift 3 cups of the flour with the baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the butter with the eggs and milk. Slowly beat in the flour mixture to form a smooth dough. Gradually add more flour, beating vigorously, until the dough is stiff. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Shape into small balls about the size of a walnut and brush with melted lard. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

Roll out the balls until they are thin and flat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Fry in hot lard until golden. Drain on brown paper and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

Note: If you like, serve the fritters with a syrup made from piloncillo or dark brown sugar, a stick of cinnamon, and water.

**********

COCADA
(6 servings)

4 cups milk
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 coconut, peeled and grated
6 egg yolks, beaten

Boil the milk and sugar until thickened. Add the coconut. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat. Gradually add the egg yolks, beating with a whisk until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a pudding. Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until lightly golden.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:00 am

JANUARY: LA ROSCA DE REYES

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Frida's brushes still hang from her easel in the studio of the Blue House

On the eve of the Epiphany -- Feast of the Three Kings -- Frida decided that, in the name of family tradition, there had to be a get-together in the Blue House to cut the rosca de Reyes (Epiphany cake). She informed everyone of her plan and assigned us all a task. Since she grasped at any pretext for making a trip to town, she determined to buy the rosca at La Flor de Mexico, one of the finest coffee shops.

The shop stood at the comer of two famous streets: Venustiano Carranza and Bolivar. It was an area that attracted the most powerful members of the old aristocracy, which dated back to the days of Porfirio Diaz. Staunch defenders of the status quo and bitter critics of the Revolution, this privileged elite gravitated toward the renowned district's coffee shops at the end of a day spent shopping or looking after its investments.

Frida, who had been aware of la Flor de Mexico's reputation since she was a child, stormed defiantly into the place, which was overflowing with le tout Mexique who had come to La Flor to drink cafe au lait and chocolate with their rosca de Reyes and pastries. She loved to "epater les bourgeois," as my father often said, especially those members of what she called "the would-be aristocratic petite bourgeoisie." Her entrance caused a sensation. The extravagantly ornate Tehuana attire and pre-Hispanic jewelry caught the attention of the audience, and when she was soon identified as "the Communist painter, wife of that ogre Diego Rivera," nasty remarks began to fly. For us simply to be there was cause for hostility. I tried my hardest to turn invisible, but Frida only laughed and said in a loud voice, "Don't fall apart on me, Piquitos. The only thing you can do with people like this is tell them to go to hell."

A waitress in a black dress and white collar, apron, and cap showed us to a corner table on the outside patio, an area that was almost always closed. It was an unbelievable setting. Huge ferns and azaleas of every color competed with the honeysuckle and jasmine vines that climbed the archways, infusing the place with their unique and powerful aroma.

The rays of the setting sun warmed us as we waited for the chocolate to have the same effect. Frida ordered the biggest and most expensive Tosca on the list. While we waited for it to be wrapped, we had sweet sherry and a snack of those cookies that are called cat's tongues.

Two of the Rivera and Kahlo families' oldest and dearest friends came into the coffee shop: the painter Jesus "Chucho" Reyes and the incomparable Jesus Rios y Valles, whom Frida had been calling "Chucho Landscapes" since elementary school (Chucho is a diminutive of Jesus and Rios y Valles translates into English as "Rivers and Valleys"). From the moment they sat down with us we were in paroxysms of laughter. This further outraged the good ladies and gentlemen who until our arrival had been enjoying an atmosphere of peace and quiet as they dunked their egg bread in handsome porcelain mugs.

Before we knew it, it was dark. Frida invited the two Chuchos back to Coyoacan with us. The Kahlo clan awaited us impatiently. Don Guillermo was beside himself with annoyance at his daughter's latest escapade.

Frida's sisters Luisa, Adriana, and Matilde were afraid of their father's anger. Cristina tried to persuade Frida to say she was sorry. Adriana's husband, Veraza -- el guerito" ("the blond boy") -- managed to aggravate the situation by tripping against the dining room table. It was such a ludicrous accident that we all broke into laughter, and don Guillermo stormed out in an even worse humor.

When the incident was behind us, we cut the rosca from La Flor de Mexico. Cristina's son Tonito, the youngest person present, cut the first slice; the rest of us followed in strict chronological order. The figurine was in Adriana's slice, so she was automatically required to throw the party on February 2, the Virgen de la Candelaria's feast day, when tradition dictated that everyone eat tamales of all different kinds.

Frida and I and Chucho Reyes and Chucho Landacapes watched a parade of specialties pass before our eyes -- "watered" chocolate or chocolat au lait, cocoa, black or lemon tea, ham rolls, torta de cielo, tacos with sour cream, flautas, red and green chalupas, and a tremendous variety of desserts, cookies, and little pastries. These were all dishes that Frida had ordered to complement the rosca. Of all these dishes the ones that made the greatest impression on the guests were the torta de cielo and the tacos with sour cream -- two of the Blue House's most frequently praised recipes. We used to make the torta de cielo at my father's house in Guanajuato. It is a typical regional dish with a twist specific to that city: the top layer is scrambled egg sprinkled with sugar. In Mexico this is considered an unusual side dish for a formal dinner.

The tacos were also made according to an old recipe from the days when sour cream fermented at home (nowadays people substitute yogurt). Other recipes were typical of Guadalajara and Puebla cuisine, making for a meal that reflected the diversity of Mexican cooking.

Frida provided a surprise at the end, when she suddenly appeared bearing two enormous platters. These were her favorite desserts, macaroons and gaznates (fried cookies), which she herself had made. Chucho Landscapes proposed that we toss a coin the way they used to do in elementary school -- whoever got "heads" won a gaznate, "tails" a macaroon. Amid great hilarity we played this game until the platters were empty and the feast of Epiphany was over.

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A detail of the wall decoration in the dining room of the Blue House

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The ingredients for a rosca de Reyes, the traditional dessert for the feast of the Epiphany

MENU

Rosca de Reyes
Hot Chocolate Drink
Torta De Cielo
Tacos with Sour Cream
Flautas
Red and Green Chalupas
Macaroons
Gaznates
Eggnog Mold
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:13 am

ROSCA DE REYES

Image
A rosca de Reyes photographed in a Porfirian-style dining room in Mexico City.

3-1/2 cups flour
1 envelope active dry yeast dissolved in 5 tablespoons warm milk
3/4 cup sugar
7 eggs
4-1/2 ounces butter, softened
1/4 cup warm milk
Salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small porcelain doll
3 ounces dried figs, cut in strips
1/3 cup candied cherries
l/2 cup candied citron, cut in strips
1/2 cup candied orange, cut in strips
1/2 cup candied lemon, cut in strips
1 beaten egg
Sugar

Mound the flour on the counter or in a bowl and make a well in the center. Fill the well with the softened yeast, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, a pinch of salt, the cinnamon, anise, raisins, and vanilla. Mix into a dough and knead for about 20 minutes until the dough pulls away from the counter. Shape the dough into a ball. Brush it with softened butter, and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, until doubled in bulk.

Place the dough on a floured surface, knead lightly, and shape into a ring. Poke the doll into the dough and arrange the ring on a buttered baking sheet. Decorate the ring with candied fruit and let it rise again for 1-1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 40 minutes, or until done. You know the rosca is done when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

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HOT CHOCOLATE DRINK
(8 servings)

2 quarts milk
l/2 pound Mexican chocolate, cut in chunks (or semisweet chocolate flavored with cinnamon)
Sugar

Heat the milk with the chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is dissolved. Add sugar to taste and simmer for a few minutes more. Beat vigorously with a whisk until foamy, then pour immediately into cups.

**********

TORTA DE CIELO
(8 servings)

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Torta de Cielo served in green pottery from Oaxaca

6 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1 recipe white rice
1 recipe picadillo

WHITE RICE
(4 servings)

1 cup rice
2 T lard or 3 T corn oil
1/2 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove
1 celery stalk
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 c. chicken broth

Soak the rice in very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain it; rinse it in cold water; then drain very well. Saute the rice in hot lard or oil for a minute or so. Add the onion and garlic. When the rice sounds like sand as it is stirred in the pan, add the celery, lime juice, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the celery and serve.

CHICKEN PICADILLO

3/4 cup cubed cooked zucchini
3/4 cup cooked peas
3/4 cup cubed cooked carrots
3/4 cup cubed cooked potatoes
3/4 cup cut-up cooked green beans
1-1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon lard
3/4 cup tomatoes pureed with 1/2 large onion and drained
3 jalapeno chiles pickled in vinegar, chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt

MASA

2 pounds masa harina
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons sugar
Salt
1 pound pork lard

40 to 50 dried corn husks, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes and drained well

To make the picadillo, combine the cooked vegetables with the chicken. Heat the lard in a large skillet, add the pureed tomatoes, and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable-chicken mixture, the chiles, almonds, raisins, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

To make the masa, combine the masa harina with the broth, sugar, and salt to taste. Beat well for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the lard until spongy. Combine with the masa harina and beat for 2 minutes more.

Place a heaping tablespoonful of masa on each corn husk. Top the masa with picadillo. Fold the long edges toward the center to enclose the filling. Fold the ends of the husk to wrap the tamale and give it shape. If you like, tie the tamales with a strip of corn husk.

Place a bed of corn husks on the bottom of a tamalera or large steamer and pour in 4 cups of water. Stand the tamales upright around the edge. Cover and cook for 1 hour, until the tamales are cooked through and the filling pulls away easily from the husks.

Beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff. Beat the egg yolks and fold carefully into the whites. Reserve 1/3 of this egg mixture.

Fold the remaining egg mixture into cold or lukewarm rice. Place half of the rice in a greased round or rectangular baking dish. Spread with the picadillo. Make another layer with the remaining rice. Spread with the reserved egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until everything is hot and the egg mixture has puffed slightly.

**********

TACOS WITH SOUR CREAM
(8 servings)

3 pounds tomatillos
1/2 cup water
6 serrano chiles, roasted
Salt
Lard or corn oil
24 tortillas
1 pound panela (or feta) cheese, cut in strips
2 cups sour cream

Simmer the tomatillos with the water until tender. Puree the tomatillos with the chiles and salt to taste. Heat 2 tablespoons lard in a saucepan, add the puree and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

Heat lard in a skillet. Dip the tortillas briefly in hot lard, then in the tomatillo sauce. Fill the tortillas with strips of cheese and a bit more of the sauce. Roll and arrange in a baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce and the sour cream. Bake at a low temperature until heated through.

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FLAUTAS
(6-8 servings)

20 large tortillas
1 cup cooked and shredded lamb
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken breast
Corn oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 head romaine, shredded
1/2 pound anejo cheese, crumbled (or parmesan)

RED SAUCE

12 guajillo chiles, roasted
1 or 2 garlic cloves, roasted
Salt

GREEN SAUCE

20 tomatillos
4 serrano chiles
1 garlic clove
Salt
1 avocado, peeled and mashed

Fill 10 tortillas with lamb and 10 with chicken. Roll tightly and fry in very hot oil. Drain on brown paper. Arrange the flautas on a serving platter. Top one end of the flautas with Red Sauce, the other end with Green Sauce; pour the cream in between -- to resemble the Mexican flag. Garnish with lettuce and sprinkle with cheese.

To make the Red Sauce, soak the chiles in hot water for 15 minutes. Puree with the garlic, salt to taste, and as much water as needed to make a medium-thick sauce.

To make the Green Sauce, cook the tomatillos, chiles, and garlic in a small amount of salted water. Puree and mix with the avocado.

**********

RED AND GREEN CHALUPAS
(8 servings)

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Red and Green Chalupas served on a green pottery dish from Oaxaca

3 pounds masa harina
6 tablespoons lard
1-1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 pound anejo cheese, crumbled (or parmesan)
1 medium onion, finely chopped

GREEN SAUCE

1 small onion, finely chopped
15 to 18 tomatillos
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 serrano chiles
Salt
1 tablespoon lard

RED SAUCE

2 large tomatoes, roasted, peeled, and chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
4 serrano chiles, roasted
1 tablespoon lard

Shape the dough into 18 thin, somewhat oval tortillas. Cook on a griddle. Pinch a border all around the tortillas so they can hold a filling. Return to the griddle and top each chalupa with 1 teaspoon lard. Top half of the chalupas with Green Sauce; the rest with Red Sauce. Divide the chicken, cheese, and onion among them all. Remove from the griddle and serve piping hot.

To make the Green Sauce, puree all the ingredients except the lard. Heat the lard and add the puree. Saute until the flavors are blended and the sauce has thickened.

To make the Red Sauce, puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chiles. Saute in hot lard until thickened.

**********

MACAROONS
(makes about 40)

Image
Gaznates and Macaroons, on the table in the corner of the studio Diego added on to the Blue House for Frida

2-1/4 cups blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
Egg whites as needed

Grind 2 cups of the almonds with the sugar. Gradually stir in enough egg whites to form a soft dough. Drop by the tablespoonful on a baking sheet. Garnish with the remaining chopped almonds. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

**********

GAZNATES
(makes 18 to 24)

4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup flour
Aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol) or rum
Egg whites
Lard or oil
Confectioners' sugar
Ground cinnamon

Beat the egg yolks thoroughly with the baking soda. Gradually add the flour, making a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball. Moisten your hands with aguardiente and pat the dough. Repeat 3 times. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll it out as thin as possible (keeping the rest of the dough covered to avoid drying). Cut into medium-size squares. Moisten two opposite corners with egg white and press them together to make a tube. Fry in deep hot lard. Drain on brown paper and roll in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. These cookies can also be filled with pastry cream or cocada (see page 198).

COCADA
(6 servings)

4 cups milk
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 coconut, peeled and grated
6 egg yolks, beaten

Boil the milk and sugar until thickened. Add the coconut. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat. Gradually add the egg yolks, beating with a whisk until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a pudding. Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until lightly golden.

**********

EGGNOG MOLD
(8 servings)

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Eggnog Mold on a serving dish from Puebla

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
4 cups milk
4 cups rompope (Mexican eggnog)

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand for about 6 minutes to soften. Bring the milk and rompope to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved. Pour into a mold and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Unmold onto a round platter to serve.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:14 am

FEBRUARY: A CANDLEMAS BAPTISM

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Ninos dressed for the Candelaria fiesta at the market in Coyoacan

One Sunday morning early in 1943 dona Micaela came to visit. She was the owner of a wattle hut located in the cornfield across Allende Street from the Blue House. During harvest time dona Micaela sold Frida fresh corn, squash blossoms, green chiles, and beans. She also brought fresh vegetables from the nearby lakeside town of Xochimilco, famous throughout the Valley of Mexico for its extraordinary flowers and vegetables, which had been grown there since pre-Columbian times.

The purpose of dona Micaela's visit was to invite the "little boss," as she affectionately called Frida, to arrange for the baptism of a new baby. By her calculations, dona Micaela's was due to arrive before Candelmas -- that is, before February 2 -- and she thought this would be a good day for the baptism. Frida was pleased to accept and suggested the names Maria Candelaria for a girl, Diego Maria for a boy. The following week dona Micaela gave birth to an adorable little girl.

Frida was on vacation at the time, as was I. We decided to pay a visit to the part of town called La Lagunilla, where we could find the best baptismal clothes and visit rare book stores, antique shops, and the stores that sold the most beautiful paper flowers in the city. These little shops were scattered among the colonial houses that still lined the boulevards of the quarter, one of the oldest in Mexico City.

After purchasing a huge bouquet of paper roses in pale yellow, pink, and off-white, we began searching for the gown, cap, shoes, and other items that the future godchild would need for her baptism. First we had lunch in a restaurant that had been recommended to us as "the best in the area." This turned out to be truer than expected, since the owner was a lady from Guadalajara who specialized in typical delicacies and dishes from that region.

To begin we had a smothered pork sandwich. Frida ordered one for General Wrong Turn, as she called the man who drove us around in my father's Ford station wagon. We sat down together and ordered three main courses -- pork in green pipian sauce, for Frida, birria for General Wrong Turn, and enchiladas tapatias for me. Even the beans were delicious, since the cook had added kernels of corn and fried serrano chiles, just the way my own grandmother did.

After our meal we browsed in the rare book stores. In one of them we made an interesting discovery, an album of photographs taken by Frida's father, Guillermo Kahlo, in 1910 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Mexican independence. To our delight, we found that the photographs were in mint condition.

In the following days the godmother-to-be made more plans for Maria Candelaria's baptism. It would be a grand affair including, among other events, a special breakfast at the Blue House. Dona Micaela, meanwhile, was busy arranging matters with the Church of La Conchita, a tiny chapel in Coyoacan, where Hernan Cortes and his consort dona Marina la Malinche, were said to have heard mass in 1526. Frida loved this romantic story and consequently found the religious service to her liking.

That night, when the baptismal ceremonies were over, we went to Adriana's house for the Candlemas celebration; she was responsible because the nino de la rosca had turned up in her slice of Epiphany cake. The origin of this ritual in the Valley of Mexico is the pre-Columbian cult of the Boy God named Pilzintecuhtli.

Most Mexican houses have a little altar dedicated to Pilzintecuhtli, who is represented by a carved wood statue that is passed on from grandmothers to their granddaughters. On Christmas Eve the statue is placed in a Nativity scene. On February 2 the Boy God then "rises" from the Nativity and is dressed in new clothes made of the finest white silk. The principal pieces are a robe and felt cap decorated with sequins and beads. As hostess of the celebration, Adriana brought out her own nino and sat him down on a special chair from which he presided over the tamale feast.

It was traditional to serve all kinds of tamales on Candlemas. They came in all sizes and colors -- red, green, smothered in mole, stuffed with picadillo or fresh corn. Adriana served pineapple atole and champurrado (hot chocolatatole). Frida had no interest at all in eating "plain old tamales"; as godmother at a "first-rate baptism," she did her part by bringing special dishes that Eulalia had prepared for the occasion. She made a show of uncovering a basket filled with a magnificent squash blossom budin and beans baked with cheese. For dessert there were cookies and fruit empanadas.

As always when '''Friduchin'' paid a visit, she overwhelmed the family with kisses and hugs and exclamations of delight, peppered with witty remarks and the occasional off-color expression.

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Frida's Pitahayas, 1938

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MENU

Smothered Pork Sandwiches
Enchiladas Tapatias
Tamales with Chicken Picadillo
Squash Blossom Budin
Fresh Corn Tamales
Champurrado
Shortbread Cookies
Little Meringues
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:20 am

SMOTHERED PORK SANDWICHES
(8 servings)

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A Smothered Pork Sandwich on a hand-painted plate from Guanajuato.

1-1/2 pounds pork loin
1 carrot, cut in half
1 large onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves
3 teaspoons salt
8 crusty rolls

TOMATO SAUCE

4 pounds tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
3 medium onions, cut in thick slices
1/2 cup water
3 teaspoons salt

SPICY SAUCE

2 ounces cascabel chiles
2 ounces chiles de arbol
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water

Place the meat in a large saucepan with water to cover. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, and salt and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Let the meat cool, then cut in thin strips. Slice the rolls in half but not all the way through. Fill with the meat. Spoon Tomato Sauce over half of each sandwich. Add the Spicy Sauce to taste.

To make the Tomato Sauce, combine the tomatoes, garlic, onions, water, and salt in a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes and onions are cooked through. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Puree and strain. Serve lukewarm or cold.

To make the Spicy Sauce, roast the chiles on a griddle and remove the stems. Puree the chiles with the oregano, salt, and water.

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ENCHILADAS TAPATIAS
(8 servings)

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Enchiladas Tapatias in a bowl with a scalloped rim from Oaxaca. The silver necklace is from Yalalag.

24 small tortillas
Oil

SAUCE

8 to 10 ancho chiles, roasted and deveined
2 cups/500 ml boiling water
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 small garlic cloves
2 tablespoons oil
Salt

1-1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup/240 ml sour cream
1/2 pound/250g anejo cheese, crumbled (or parmesan)

Fry the tortillas very briefly in hot oil. Dip in sauce, fill with chicken, and roll up. Arrange on a serving platter, top with mroe sauce, then with sour cream. Sprinkled with crumbled cheese.

To make the sauce, soak the chiles in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. Puree and drain. Saute the onion and garlic in hot oil until translucent. Add the puree and salt to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

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TAMALES WITH CHICKEN PICADILLO
(8-10 servings)

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A typical tamalera. The Tamales with Chicken Picadillo are wrapped in corn husks.

CHICKEN PICADILLO

3/4 cup cubed cooked zucchini
3/4 cup cooked peas
3/4 cup cubed cooked carrots
3/4 cup cubed cooked potatoes
3/4 cup cut-up cooked green beans
1-1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon lard
3/4 cup tomatoes pureed with 1/2 large onion and drained
3 jalapeno chiles pickled in vinegar, chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt

MASA

2 pounds masa harina
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons sugar
Salt
1 pound pork lard

40 to 50 dried corn husks, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes and drained well

To make the picadillo, combine the cooked vegetables with the chicken. Heat the lard in a large skillet, add the pureed tomatoes, and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable-chicken mixture, the chiles, almonds, raisins, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

To make the masa, combine the masa harina with the broth, sugar, and salt to taste. Beat well for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the lard until spongy. Combine with the masa harina and beat for 2 minutes more.

Place a heaping tablespoonful of masa on each corn husk. Top the masa with picadillo. Fold the long edges toward the center to enclose the filling. Fold the ends of the husk to wrap the tamale and give it shape. If you like, tie the tamales with a strip of corn husk.

Place a bed of corn husks on the bottom of a tamalera or large steamer and pour in 4 cups of water. Stand the tamales upright around the edge. Cover and cook for 1 hour, until the tamales are cooked through and the filling pulls away easily from the husks.

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SQUASH BLOSSOM BUDIN
(12 servings)

Image
Squash Blossom Budin in a bowl from Patzcuaro. The pressed glass beer mugs are from Puebla

CREPES

4 tablespoons melted butter
6 eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
Salt
2 tablespoons butter

FILLING

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds squash blossoms, stems and pistils removed and discarded, blossoms chopped
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups pureed and drained tomatoes
10 ounces panela or Oaxaca cheese, grated (or muenster)
1-1/2 cups heavy cream

To make the crepes, whisk together all the ingredients except the unmelted butter. Strain. Let stand for 1 hour. Pour a tablespoon of crepe batter into a small buttered skillet or crepe pan and quickly rotate the pan to spread the batter all over the bottom. Turn the crepe, cook for a few seconds more, and remove from the pan. Crepes should be quite thin. Butter the skillet as needed while making the remaining crepes.

Complete the bedin in a baking dish as follows: a layer of crepes, a layer of filling, a layer of cheese, 1/2 cup of cream. Repeat. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes, or until the crepes are very hot and the cheese is bubbly and golden.

To make the filling, saute the onion in butter until translucent. Add the squash blossoms, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 4 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to fill the crepes.

***********

FRESH CORN TAMALES
(8 servings)

8 ears of corn
10 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Husk the corn, reserving the husks. Cut the kernels off the cobs and grind them. Beat the butter with the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the ground corn and continue to beat a few minutes more. Use this mixture as a filling for the reserved corn husks, wrapping tightly to make small, rectangular packages.

Make a bed of corn husks in a tamalera or large steamer. Cover with water and place the tamales upright around the edges of the pot. Steam for about 40 minutes.

**********

CHAMPURRADO
(8 servings)

1/2 pound masa harina
3 quarts water
3 ounces piloncillo, crumbled (or 1/2 cup dark brown sugar)
1/2 pound Mexican chocolate

Stir the masa harina in 1 quart of water and let stand for a few minutes. Strain and place the liquid in a large saucepan. Add the remaining water and the piloncillo. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and simmer until the chocolate melts. Stir well and serve hot.

**********

SHORTBREAD COOKIES
(25 to 30 cookies)

1 pound flour, sifted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lard
1 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup rum
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Mound the flour on the counter or in a bowl and make a well in the center. Fill the well with the lard, sugar, and rum. Mix well to make a smooth dough. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter of desired size, cut the dough into rounds and place on baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and toss with confectioners' sugar to coat well.

**********

LITTLE MERINGUES
(30 to 40 meringues)

Image
Little Meringues, on a green confectioner from Mochoacan.

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla. Beat in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff. Butter and flour baking sheets. Put the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a plain or fluted tip. Pipe meringues of desired size on the baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 200°F oven for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the meringues are completely dry.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:21 am

MARCH: TEOTIHUACAN, WHERE LIVE THE SUN AND MOON

Image
The Pyramid of the Sun, in Teotihuacan

Image
Frida in San Francisco, 1931. Photographed by Imogen Cunningham

The hot winds of March had begun to blow when Ash Wednesday arrived and with it the meatless meals of Lent.

When we sat down to eat one Thursday, I noticed that Frida was very upset. She had just read a newspaper article that linked my father romantically with an attractive Hungarian painter. The reporter, who was a woman, declared that Rivera was going to marry the Hungarian as soon as he divorced his current wife, the painter Frida Kahlo.

"At least this is between painters," Frida said. "I have to admit, Piquitos, that I'm not surprised. It won't be the first time your father has left one artist for another. Just remember how he abandoned Angelina Beloff for Marievna, when both of them were pregnant!"

Then she said, "Come on, let's go to the library. We can talk more comfortably there."

In the library she took out her hidden treasures to show me. There, in two wood-and-glass display cases, was the splendid pre-Columbian jewelry that my father had given her over the years. There also were her collection of folk toys and her retablos on votive themes. She showed me marbles made of old glass, in all sizes. The many-colored cat's eyes in the center made them seem like magical objects, whose shifting hues could predict the future.

We ended the afternoon consulting the work of Sigmund Freud. Frida had decided to paint something relating to the prophet Moses, about whom the Viennese master had written so brilliantly. She needed insight into Moses as a mythological figure. Her doubt about how much of Moses to see as human and how much as something else was reflected in her own work, where fantasy often substituted for reality, transforming it from a human experience into a superhuman or mythological one.

More evidence of Frida's search for identity was to be had the following day. She was so angry at my father that she proposed we disappear. We left before daybreak the following day, with Cristina Kahlo in her little Ford. I had no idea where we were going. The only landmark I noticed, after we had driven the length of Insurgentes Avenue from south to north, was the road to Pachuca, capital of Hidalgo state. Then I realized we were going to San Juan Teotihuacan, a magical place not far from Mexico City.

In the ancient Nahuatl language Teotihuacan means "city of the gods." In those days the silence of a holy place still reigned over the site. When we arrived the sun was beating down on the pyramids and palaces of the city. Because at that hour the majestic Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon cast no shadows, they looked like two-dimensional drawings on a background of clear blue sky, as if we were gazing at a stage set lacking perspective or chiaroscuro contrast.

Frida was completely caught up in the spirit of the place. She reached automatically for the notebook she carried in her embroidered Otomi-style cloth handbag. Once again she sketched the silhouettes of the pyramids and the Temple of Butterflies, which stands next to the Pyramid of the Moon. She executed the sketch exactly as she had when she painted the portrait of Luz Maria, granddaughter of don Tomas Teutli and his wife Rosa, direct descendants of the builders of Teotihuacan.

In this portrait the girl wears a sweater made from local materials woven in a regional design. She is sitting in a chair; in the background we see a pale moon and a washed-out sun, celestial bodies half-extinguished by the child's presence, which boldly asserts her native identity. The pyramid's silhouette is also fuzzy, and the background is as somber as Frida's mood at the time of our visit.

Later Cristina drove us over a rough road to the edge of the holy city. Here was don Tomas's house, surrounded by magueys and organ cactus, agaves and prickly-pear plants. Don Tomas was standing in his doorway, and when he saw us, he cried, "Dona Frida! We've been waiting for you since yesterday afternoon! I felt the sadness that brings you to us. I'm very happy to see you have arrived safely. Please come in, come in to my home."

He gave us something to drink, then asked Frida to go with him through the hallway to the garden. When he had finished speaking and the talk turned to other things, that simple, quiet man was suddenly transformed into a menacing creature like Quetzalcoatl, the Teotihuacan deity. A strange light shone in his eyes, and he spoke prophetic words.

"'Nina Fridita," he said, "you have more suffering before you, but you will die sheltered and protected by the one who causes your present pain. You and don Diego will not be able to live apart. Sometimes you are united in love and affection, other times hatred keeps you apart. But you will die together and after your death be a single shining star, sun and moon in conjunction. Have no doubt, my dear girl; you are destined to live forever in this universe, each one merged with the other in eternal eclipse."

With these words his prophecy was finished, and he was once again the humble, mild-mannered peasant who had waited for us amid the agaves and magueys, in the doorway to his house, with the peace of time reflected in his face.

After offering us the traditional refreshment of agua de chia, dona Rosa invited us to eat. She had prepared a number of Lenten dishes typically served throughout the central Mexican plain, where the gods that Frida invoked in her paintings had once upon a time resided. As it turned out, dona Rosa and don Tomas extended their hospitality to us for three more days, days in which reality was inseparable from magic.

Image

MENU

Potatoes in Green Sauce
Refried Beans
Shrimp Tacos
Lima Bean Soup
Cold Chiles with Vegetable Stuffing
Red Snapper, Veracruz Style
Lettuce, Tomato, Cauliflower, and Beet Salad
Mango Sorbet
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:26 am

POTATOES IN GREEN SAUCE
(8 servings)

Image
Potatoes in Green Sauce and Refried Beans

2 pounds small potatoes
2 pounds tomalillos, peeled
1 cup water
4 serrano chiles
Salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lard
1 large onion, finely chopped

Peel the potatoes and parboil them for 1 minute. Set aside. Simmer the tomatillos with the water, chiles, and salt to taste until tender. Let cool slightly, then puree with the cilantro. Heat the lard in a skillet and saute the onion until translucent. Add the tomatillo puree and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

**********

REFRIED BEANS
(8 servings)

1/2 pound lard
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cups cooked beans
1 cup cooking liquid from beans
Salt
Grated anejo cheese (or parmesan)
Totopos (fried small tortilla triangles)

Heat the lard in a skillet. When it starts to smoke, add the onion and saute until golden. Add the beans and cooking liquid. Mash the beans to make a puree. Season with salt to taste. When the beans are well fried and pull away from the bottom of the pan when stirred, removed from the heat. Place the fried beans on a serving platter, shaping them into a log. Sprinkle with cheese and garnish with totopos.

**********

SHRIMP TACOS
(8 servings)

1 medium onion, chopped
4 serrano chiles, chopped
4 tablespoon butter
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Salt and pepper
1 pound cooked shrimp
24 medium tortillas

Saute the onion and chiles in butter until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes, until the tomato is thoroughly cooked. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it with a little chicken broth or water.

Add the shrimp and cook 2 minutes, just until they are heated through.

Fill the tortillas with the shrimp mixture and serve piping hot. Or serve the shrimp mixture with the tortillas on the side.

**********

LIMA BEAN SOUP
(8 servings)

Image
The Lima Bean Soup is garnished with a slice of fried bread.

1 pound dried lima beans
3 quarts chicken broth
4 tablespoons corn oil
1-1/2 cups tomatoes pureed with 1/2 onion and 1 garlic clove and strained
2 parsley sprigs
Salt and pepper
2 crusty rolls, sliced and fried

Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Drain and discard the water. Cook the beans in chicken broth until tender. Let cool slightly, then puree with their liquid. Heat the oil in a stock pot. Add the tomatoes and parsley and cook until tomatoes are thickened. Add the pureed beans and season with salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, add a small amount of chicken broth. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to blend flavors. Serve the soup piping hot, garnished with fried bread slices.

**********

COLD CHILES WITH VEGETABLE STUFFING
(8 servings)

16 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, and- deveined
2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon each fresh thyme, oregano, marjoram and cilantro
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped cooked cauliflower
1 cup chopped cooked carrots
1 cup cooked peas
4 avocados, peeled and cut in cubes
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
Salt and pepper
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 pound anejo cheese, crumbled (or parmesan)

Place the chiles in a saucepan with water to cover. Add the onions, white vinegar, and herbs and cook until tender. Drain and let cool. Combine the vegetables with the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the chiles with the vegetable mixture. Top with cream, sprinkle with cheese, and serve at room temperature.

**********

RED SNAPPER, VERACRUZ STYLE
(8 servings)

1 red snapper (about 4-1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
6 medium tomatoes, sliced
20 pimento-stuffed olives
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
5 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 guero chiles, pickled or fresh
1 cup olive oil

Dry the fish thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange on a large baking dish. Top with tomato slices, olives, capers, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, onions, and chiles. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 40 minutes, or until the fish is cooked, basting the fish with its juices 3 times during cooking.

**********

LETTUCE, TOMATO, CAULIFLOWER, AND BEET SALAD
(8 servings)

1 head romaine, cut in chunks
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cups cooked cauliflower
2 beets, cooked and sliced

VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon mustard
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon honey

Arrange all the vegetables in a salad bowl. Dress with the vinaigrette.

To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend thoroughly.

**********

MANGO SORBET
(6-8 servings)

1/2 pound sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups mango pureed with 1/2 cup water

Combine sugar and water and heat until syrupy. Remove from heat. Stir in mango puree. Strain if desired. Chill, then place in an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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