If you grew up in a Latino family you will recognize many of the following dishes: Fish, Tortas de Camarón con Chile Colorado (Egg and Shrimp patties with Red Sauce), Calabacitas (Zucchini), Caldo de Queso (Sonora’s signature Cheese Soup), Verdolagas (Purslane) and other greens*** are among traditional Mexican dishes.
Many simple peasant dishes throughout the Spanish-speaking world consist of adding greens into a staple food. Examples of this are adding spinach to a pot of pinto beans (Mexico) or sautéing potatoes with garlic and torn pieces of chard (Spain). There are also Puerto Rican and Cuban dishes such as Bacalao a la Vizcaína (Cod), or dishes made with legumes such as red beans and rice. Colombia and Perú serve Sudado de Pescado (steamed fish) and in Argentina it is common to eat Empanadas de Atún (Tuna Turnovers). In Ecuador, a soup called Fanesca, consists of grains, vegetables, and salted cod. All of these dishes, plus more, comprise a very rich and diverse Lenten gastronomy.
Another typical dish eaten during Lent is, Capirotada, which was brought over by the Spaniards and quite possibly had its roots in Roman cuisine (remember that Spain was part of the Roman Empire), but it seems Mexican home cooks have perfected it, especially since it has so many variants, depending on the region where the cook is from! Early versions of Capirotada tended to be more savory and included meat, but in the 20th century it was sweetened, and thus became more of a dessert dish. This is one of many dishes that tend to disappear in the kitchen by the 1st or 2nd generation who are born in the U.S., probably because it is perceived as labor intensive.
Next week, LatinoFoodie will be showcasing the traditional way of preparing it with birote (Mexican mini-baguette known as bolillo in many parts of Mexico), and piloncillo (hardened, brown sugar cones), the two key ingredients in most Capirotadas.
*** Glossary of green, leafy vegetables:.
Beet greens or Beet tops: las hojas de la remolacha/del betabel
Chard = acelgas
Kale = col rizada, repollo rizado
Lettuce = lechuga
Quelites (common term in Mexico and Central America) = leafy greens
Spinach = espinacas
Verdolagas = Purslane (a succulent eaten in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia)
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Every year when I was a kid, I could count on two things in my Easter basket – marshmallow eggs and maple cream eggs. Each served different purposes. The maple cream Easter eggs were my favorites and what I squealed over even more than finding plastic hidden eggs that held a dollar bill or a tiny toy. The marshmallow eggs were nothing I ever fancied and always found their way into the freezer for...
Salsa Casera or House Salsa is one of the simplest and most flavorful salsas that brings a robust heat and a smokey flavor from the charred tomatoes and chile peppers. Beware! I like heat and so this recipe has one dried Scorpion pepper added to the mix. Scorpion peppers are one of the hottest chiles in the world, with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units (SHUs).
Adulting is hard stuff. Sure, there are the big things like taking care of kids or parents, unexpected car and home repairs, dealing with awful work situations, but sometimes the littlest things feel the most difficult. These days, one of my biggest dilemmas is finding what to feed myself in the mornings that is convenient, nourishing, and so tasty I’ll be psyched to eat it a few days a week. This...