1.11.2010

La CUCINA VIGNETO ....... LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE

Each year I use the pomegranates left over from Christmas decorations to make "Chiles in Walnut Sauce". A recipe from the book "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquirel.
"Like Water for Chocolate" was the best selling book in Mexico in 1990. It was also made into a film. I loved both the book and the film. It is a romantic story about love that can never be and also about the joy of cooking for the people you love. The kitchen scenes - oooohhh la la! Each chapter gives a recipe at the beginning and then weaves it's way around to the art of cooking said recipe.
To follow up the Chiles in Walnut Sauce - I pulled out another of my favorite cookbooks, "Mexican Cookbook" by Erna Fergusson, published by The University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico 1945. I found this cookbook in a thrift store - it was like finding gold. I paid 50 cents for it. There are handwritten notations on many of the pages.
So anyway - Natillas for dessert. Natillas are similar to Ile Flottante. I used Vanilla Bean Paste instead of Vanilla Extract. You can also add a little toasted coconut.
CHILES IN WALNUT SAUCE (CHILIES EN NOGADA)

25 chiles poblanas
8 pomegranates
100 cashew nuts
100 grams aged fresh cheese
1 kilo ground steak
100 grams raisins
1/4 kilo almonds
1/4 kilo walnuts
1/2 kilo tomatoes
2 medium onions
2 candied citrons
1 peach
1 apple
cumin
white pepper
salt
sugar
heavy cream

As you can see this serves a large group! I usually make it for 4 to 6 servings. The instructions take up an entire chapter including shelling the nuts and peeling the skins off the walnuts.
A shorter version:

Roast and peel the chiles - Remove seeds - set aside
Saute onions in a little bit of olive oil until translucent
Add the ground steak and spices. Cook until browned then add the raisins, chopped tomatoes, citrons, peach and apple.
Stuff the chiles with the steak mixture.

Walnut Sauce
Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until they are finely ground.
Heat the heavy cream until just warm enough to melt the shredded cheese. Add the ground nuts to the sauce.

Spoon the Walnut Sauce over the stuffed chiles and garnish with Pomegranate seeds.

NATILLAS

5 eggs
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 cups scalded milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the yolks of the 5 eggs, and the whites of 2 eggs slightly. add the granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon and slowly pour in the scalded milk. Cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Add the vanilla. Pour in a deep dish or custard cups.
Beat very stiff the whites of the remaining eggs. Add powdered sugar. Drop by spoonfuls on a pan of boiling water and steam until firm. Top the custard with meringue and dust with cinnamon.

Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman

Sotto Il Monte Vineyards

15 comments:

  1. oh...you're entering the New Year fabulously Ry!! it looks so scrumptious and beautiful...I see you're using vanilla from Madagascar...Great!!
    I'm very happy to have discovered you in 2009 and look forward to your magnificent posts in 2010! May this new year bring you lots of joy, peace and love...
    xoxo
    Lala

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  2. This is the same dish that my friend orders at Pico's restaurant in Bellaire. I'm going to surprise her with it! Thanks and Happy New Year to you!

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  3. be still my little heart... i LOVE THIS POST! i hope you will share it this saturday at food with thought kick off at my blog... not only do i love this book, but your pics and your food, you made it a 5 star winner for me!

    i swear its like tingles... i am to easily amused? imagine, my favorite book, thru your eyes... ITS A GOOD THING!

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  4. Cara Ry,

    Senza parole... My mouth waters. I wish I had all the ingredients here and now. Sedcing pics!

    Soon you have to reveal your favourite hideaway in Italy. Can't wait to hear/see.... Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

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  5. Oh....what a great post. Your recipes...where they came from, the pics! Perfecto!!

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  6. My mom was an artist..I have some still life paintings here she did..She would have loved the "richesse" of your first photo.. A new friend just mentioned the movie to me..I read the book..many years ago..I should watch the movie also..She recommended Vatel and I got lost in that movie this time around..Two people in the same month mentioning this? It's a hint from above!
    I have nevr tried the bean paste..On my list:) Beau Ry!!

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  7. I love the book and the film...and your pics...I can almost taste everything...
    Just beautiful...

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  8. interesting ... tell me about the combo?

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  9. I love MOTH & the boys & then I love vanilla - if push came to shove & choices needed to be made between them, I'd struggle!! Thank you for this fabulous Natillas recipe Ry, it's already on this weekend's menu at The Hedge. What a find the Mexican Cookbook was, & what good hands it's in.
    Millie ^_^

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  10. Reading this and looking at the photographs was like stepping into a dream. I'll be back!

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  11. Wow - it all looks sooo good. It's been so many years since I read Like Water for Chocolate. The dish looks amazing. And the dessert... well, that has to be right up in my top 5 favorites. Beautiful!

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  12. I loved that movie! Haven't seen it in years, maybe have to rent it again! The recipes look wonderful. I am definately in the mood to get out in the kitchen and try some new recipes this weekend. Thanks for taking the time to share!

    Nancy

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  13. So enjoyed your review and the gorgeous pictures. They are lovely.
    Thanks for taking the time to share.
    Blessings,
    Nellie

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  14. What a lovely post. I enjoyed you review and all those gorgeous pictures. I'll be back often.

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  15. ALERTA TODO TERITORIO MEXICANO-MUY IMPORTANTE:

    La estafa automotriz MAS grande en Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. Porfavor, tengan mucho cuidado y NO hagan negocios con www.expoautos.con.mx y www.globalbit.con.mx porque lo que parece barrato te va salir carrisimo! A veces una onza de prevencion sale mejor que creer a un tipo llamado Omar Garcia Millan y sus promesas que nunca se cumplen.

    PARA MAS INFORMACION SOBRE LA ESTAFA VISITEN:


    http://pedromillan.blogspot.com/


    PIENSATELO ANTES DE HACER NEGOCIOS CON ESTE LUGAR!!

    Y GET EDUCATED ON THE MOLOCH AXIS DEMONIACS:

    http://www.infowars.com/

    Gracias

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