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Posts from the ‘Eggs’ Category

Holiday Nesting

Its bothered me for awhile that I haven’t included more Puerto Rican recipes.  There are so many similarities with Cuban food, that I dip towards the more familiar Cuban side when in doubt, like a bird flying with one wing.  Recently, I found a copy of Carmen Aboy Valldejuli’s classic, Puerto Rican Cookery, which I hope will restore the balance.  There are many reasons to love this book.  To name a few, words like carefully and thoroughly are in bold making the recipes more emotional while delicioso and sabroso are translated to”Caribbean” when no other word will do; Rafael Tufiño contributed illustrations; and there’s a sweet black and white picture of her husband, Luis Valldjuli serving her a rum drink from the chapter he contributed on the back cover. Read more

Huevos en Cemitas

A couple of years ago, I found a recipe for eggs baked in brioche that I decided to make for Mother’s Day.  It went over better than I’d hoped since it reminded my Mom of a breakfast she’d loved as a little girl in Cuba.  Not having had it since then, she vaguely remembered ham and béchamel sauce added to eggs baked in rolls called cemitas.  I was especially curious since I’d always thought of traditional Cuban breakfast as pressed pan cubano and cafe con leche.  A few weeks ago, a friend lent me her copy of the book Cuban Cookery by Blanche Z. De Baralt.  An American who lived in Europe and studied at Packer Collegiate, a few blocks away from where I live now, she moved to Havana at the turn of the century  with her husband, a Cuban doctor.  Published in 1931, I fell in love with the combination of her Edith Wharton English with her use of “our” and “we” to describe traditional Cuban food.  She’d clearly gone native, and I liked her that much more for it.  When I found her notes on Huevos en Cemitas or Eggs in Rolls – a  hollowed out breakfast roll filled with chopped meat, petits pois, and cream sauce topped with a raw egg and baked till set – I knew I’d found my mother’s missing recipe. Read more

Aurora’s Tortilla de Patatas

Given the option to spend a semester abroad in Madrid, I decided to go for the entire year, not realizing just how far I would be from everything and everyone.  The family I had been assigned to live with at random didn’t help.  From the first day, they made me feel like an wandering hobo or stranded motorist who’d washed up to their grim house to use the phone (except I wasn’t actually allowed to use the phone).  For the next two months, I had a terrible case of homesickness.  The city I’d dreamed of seemed completely closed to me.  Family in Spain and a few friends got me through, but it wasn’t until I broke up my year with a trip home for Christmas and arranged for new housing that the spell finally broke.  Mostly because of Aurora. Read more

One Mean Pepper

I try to post regularly, but yesterday I had a solid excuse since I temporarily lost the use of my fingertips.  I’d been visiting Mexican grocery stores for Brokelyn so I had stocked up on a variety of peppers.  Last night, I decided to make a simple, fresh salsa – just chopped tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, lime, salt to taste, and the most evil little jalapeño you could ever hope to know.  I thought I was being careful though I didn’t wear gloves which I’d been warned about by the shopkeeper.  I disposed of the seeds and veins where the heat hides, avoided rubbing my eyes, and washed my hands frequently. Then as I was cleaning up, the pain started.  There was no outward Read more