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Arroz de Leche, 1831

May 28, 2010
Novisimo Arte de Cocina, front cover
Blanquel, Simón. Novisimo Arte de Cocina, ó, Escelente colección de las mejores recetas : para que al menor costo posible, y con la mayor comodidad, pueda guisarse á la española, francesa, italiana e inglesa : sin omitirse cosa alguna d lo hasta aquí publicado, para sazonar al estilo de nuestro país : lleva añadido lo mas selecto que se encuentra acerca de la repostería : el arte de trinchar &c., con dos graciosísimas estampas que aclaren mejor este último tratadito. México : Impreso en la oficina del C. Alejandro Valdés, 1831, Pp. 109-110.

 

Simón Blanquel’s 1831 Novisimo Arte de Cocina was one of the first newly-composed cookbooks to be printed in Mexico.  Although international in its coverage, it is also one of the earliest cookbooks to formally recognize the existence of a cuisine rooted in Mexico.  This popular cookbook appeared in nine editions between 1831 and 1893.

Like many cookbooks of the time, Novisimo Arte de Cocina assumes the reader to be an experienced cook and therefore is often light on details. Accustomed to ingredient lists and step-by-step instructions, 21st century cooks may find phrases like “add some egg yolks and cook until done” a bit frustrating. Just relax, take a deep breath, and look at this as an opportunity to acquire an intuitive feel for your food. One egg yolk more or less won’t make much difference and with a little experimentation, you ‘ll have your very own secret specialty.

Here we present two recipes for Arroz con Leche, both drawn from Part VI: Antes, Guisados, y Postres Distintos, one of several chapters dealing with the preparation of dessert. The first is a simple pudding, while the second is a many-layered confection somewhat like a trifle. The Spanish version is typed directly from the book’s text and includes some archaic phrasing. We have also provided an English version of the recipe, but it should be noted that this is not intended to be read as a literal translation of the original text.

41. Arroz de Leche

A seis cuartillos de leche se les echa una libra de arroz limpio y remojado desde la noche anterior; el dulce será al gusto, y se pondrá á cocer meneándolo con una palita sin cesar, para que no se pegue ni se queme, y echándole unas rajitas de canela se dejará hervir hasta que esté espeso.

41. Rice Pudding

Combine six quarts of milk with a pound of rice (cleaned and rinsed) and soak overnight. Sweeten to taste and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with wooden spoon or paddle so that it does not stick or burn. Add cinnamon sticks and boil until thick.

42. Otro guidí

El arroz anterior en leche, es el principio de este guisado, cuidando de que estando á medio cocer, se le echará clavo, canela y azafrán, todo molido; separando antes un poco de arroz en leche, que se pondrá á enfriar, para echarle unas yemas de huevos, que se revolverán muy bien, para unirlo con el otro arroz, y que asi hierva hasta que esté bien cocido, sin que se deshaga el arroz: quitado de la lumbre, se le echarán almendras limpias despedazadas, pasas, piñones y nueces; pero antes de quitarlo del fuego, se le echará una poca de mantequilla bien lavada: con la misma se untará una tortera y en ella se echará una capa del arroz, y encima otra de bizcocho duro molido; sobre este otra capa de natas de leche; sobre esta unos polvos de azucar y canela, y asi se continuará hasta la última capa, que ha de ser de arroz, á la que se le pondrá una poca de mantequilla, tambien lavada, para que con ella se dore entre dos fuegos mansos: si se quiere que esta última capa sea cubrerta, se tomarán unas yemas de huevos batiéndolas bien y echándoles una poca de leche, almendras molidas y azucar; con esta pasta se cubrirá, y poniéndole un comal con lumbre ó rescoldo encima hasta que se cuaje, adornándola despues con un poco de ajonjolí tostado, pasas, almendras y piñones, todo limpio.

42. Another Method

The preceding recipe provides the base for this variation. When the pudding is half-done, sprinkle in ground cloves, cinnamon, and saffron. Separate a little of the rice pudding and let cool. Add some egg yolks and beat until well combined with the rice. Return to the heat with the rest of the pudding and simmer until well cooked. Remove the pudding from the heat and sprinkle with chopped almonds, raisins, pine nuts, and pecans. Before turning off the heat, melt a little butter and use it to grease a deep tart or cakepan. In the bottom of it, place a layer of rice, then add a layer of dry or stale sponge cake crumbs. On top of this, pour a layer of heavy cream and sprinkle it with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Repeat until you reach the last layer, which should be a layer of rice. Spread a little butter on top, so that it will lightly brown. If you wish to cover this final layer, mix some well-beaten egg yolks with a little milk, ground almonds, and sugar. Cover the final layer with this mixture and place a heated comal or griddle (with fire or embers) on top of the cake pan until the top layer sets. Then, decorate it with toasted sesame seeds, raisins, almonds and pine nuts.

Novisimo Arte de Cocina, Title Page

Novisimo Arte de Cocina, Title Page

Novisimo Arte de Cocina, pp. 108-109

Novisimo Arte de Cocina, pp. 108-109

Novisimo Arte de Cocina, pp. 110-111

Novisimo Arte de Cocina, pp. 110-111

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