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Los 365 Menus del Año: Abril

April 6, 2015
tags:
Abril (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Abril (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Velázquez de León, Josefina. Los 365 Menus del Año: Recetas Prácticas, Económicas, para Resolver el Diario Problema de la Alimentación. México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, [196-?]. [TX716 .M4 V393 1960]


On the first Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s month-by-month cookbook series: Los 365 Menus del Año. 


April’s cookbook continues to offer menu options for Lent, but concludes in the final pages with a cake for Easter itself and a story about the Easter Bunny.

Menu No. 8 “Vigila”: Sopa de Cabeza de Pescado (fish-head soup), Tortilla de Huevos con Papa y Chicharos (potato and pea tortilla, Chiles Fingidos Para Vigilia (a mixture of beans, chiles, and cheese formed into chile shapes, filled with sardines, and fried), and Frituras de Arroz (rice fritters)

Menu No. 17: Sopa de Rombitos de Crepa (a kind of dry soup or savory crepe dish involving tomatoes and onions with crepes), Adoquines (similar to meatballs), Ejotes con Huevo (string beans with eggs), Postre de Coco y Piña (coconut and pineapple dessert).

At the very end of the book, recipe #122 is Pastel de Pascua (Easter cake) – a rich concoction containing half a pound of butter and ten eggs, iced with marzipan, and decorated with sugar sculptures of bunny rabbits and squirrels. Following is a short story about a rabbit bearing news of spring’s arrival by leaving nests of grass filled with eggs and flowers for the children in an unnamed city on Easter morning.

Almanaque Dulce 1941: Sweet Subliminal Messages

March 16, 2015
tags:
Almanaque Dulce 1941. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Almanaque Dulce 1941. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). Almanaque Dulce. México, D.F. : Azúcar, S.A. [TX819.S94 .A4435]


On the third Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature a different volume of the  issue of the serial publication Almanaque Dulce, sharing sweet treats from the 1930s to the 1970s.  


One of the goals of the Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar was to encourage sugar consumption and it was not always very subtle about it. Just in case providing 80+ pages of dessert recipes wasn’t enough to increase a family’s sugar intake, the 1941 almanac also includes page and chapter ornaments that read “Consuma más Azúcar” (Eat more sugar). Also included below is a priceless page spread that compares the number of calories in a kilogram of sugar in comparison to other foods with a positive slant – a very different perspective from today’s emphasis on the dangers of obesity and diabetes in relation to sugar consumption.

 

Los 365 menus del año : Marzo (1960) – Arroz Con Pescado / Fish with Rice

March 9, 2015

marzo_page_1Josefina Velázquez de León,  Los 365 menus del año : recetas prácticas, económicas, para resolver el diario problema de la alimentación (México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, 1960), 14. [TX716.M4 V393 1960]

Kitchen tested by Alexandra Zuzula, Manager of Volunteer Services, UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures           


ingredients

Arroz con Pescado

250 grs de arroz
150 grs de jitomate
1 cebolla
2 dientes de ajo
1/8 de litro de aceite
5 filetes de 100 grs de pescado robalo o huachinango
1 chile verde
1 ramita de yerbabuena
1 cucharada de perejil picado

Las rebanadas de pescado se lavan muy bien, se frien en el aceite y se retiran; en el aceite se frien los dientes de ajo, se apartan y se agrega el arroz remojado durante 15 minutos en agua caliente, lavado y escurrido, cuando ha tomado un color dorado, se la quita la graza y se la agrega el jitomate asado, molido con la cebolla y colado; cuando  reseca se agrega ¼ de litro de agua fria, sal y la yerbabuena, cuando vuelve a resecar se añadem ½ litro de agua caliente, el chile y las rebanadas de pescado frito, se déjà hervir a fuego suave hasta que el arroz esté cocido y seco; entonces se retira, se le quita la yerbabuena, se vacía al platón, se espolvorea con el perejil picado y se sirve inmediatamente.


Fish with Rice

9 oz rice (I used long grain brown rice)
5 oz tomato (I used pre-roasted in can)
1 onion (I used a yellow onion, minced)
2 cloves of garlic (I used pre-minced from a jar, equaling 2 tsps)
1/8 liter oil (I used olive oil)
5 100-g fillets of fish (bass or huachinango) (I used three fillets of cod totaling just under 1 lb)
1 green chili (I used a jalapeno and sliced it thin)
1 sprig of mint
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

1. Make sure fish is washed and sliced. Heat oil, then fry. Remove fish from pan. I fried the fish over medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side.
2. Add more oil if necessary then add garlic.
3. Add rice and heat until golden brown. I toasted the rice for around 4 minutes.
4. Take off heat and add roasted tomatoes. I didn’t take the pan off heat at all, which seemed to work fine.
5. Add minced onion and sauté. until onions are soft.
6. Add ½ liter of water and the sliced chili and mint. Boil over low heat until rice is cooked. Once the rice was boiling, I covered and cooked for 40 minutes. It maybe could have used an extra 5–10 minutes.
7. When rice is cooked, take out mint.
8. Sprinkle rice with parsley and service with the fish immediately. I also seasoned the dish with salt and pepper.


Commentary

I chose this recipe because I like fish and it seemed simple. After translating the recipe, I was worried the fish would turn out bland. The rest of the ingredients looked great, so I was excited to get started. 

Overall I had an easy time finding ingredients, except I substituted cod for bass. My comments in parenthesis are exactly how long I cooked things and my modifications. My smallest fillet fell apart a bit during the frying, and be sure to watch for bones when eating the fish – just in case! Overall, the fish was a bit bland (I would add some sort of additional seasoning), but the rice was delicious. I would also add additional peppers or spices to add more heat to the dish.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 6

Step 6

Finished cooking

Finished cooking

Plated

Plated and ready to serve!

Los 365 Menus del Año: Marzo

March 2, 2015
tags:
Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Velázquez de León, Josefina. Los 365 Menus del Año: Recetas Prácticas, Económicas, para Resolver el Diario Problema de la Alimentación. México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, [196-?]. [TX716 .M4 V393 1960]


On the first Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s month-by-month cookbook series: Los 365 Menus del Año. 


Following the list of in-season fruits and vegetables, the opening page of the March cookbook notes that it contains several menus and dishes specifically suited for the observance of Lenten fasts:

Adémas, tiene 6 Menús de Vigilia propios para la temporada de Cuaresma, siendo dos de ellos de platillos de lujo; contiente también recetas de Cocktails de mariscos y varios platillos de pescado.

Most of the 30 menus in the book do include meat entrées, but many of the side dishes are either vegetarian or could be easily made so, such as the egg taquitos from menu 4 and the cactus pad ones from menu 29.

Menu No. 4: Sopa de Bolitas de Carne (soup with meat balls), Taquitos de Huevo con Guacamole (egg taquitos with guacamole) , Lentejas (lentils), Canasta de Melon Rellena de Frutas (melon stuffed with fruit).

Menu No. 5: Menu de Vigilia sugggests Arroz con Pescado (rice with fish), Pulpo en su Tinta (octopus in its ink), Platillo de Vigilia (Lenten dish – a salad of onions, tomatoes, potatoes, nopalitos, and shrimp), and Dulce de Fresas y Merengue (strawberry and meringue desert).

Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Menu 29 suggests Sopa de Pure de Papa (pureed potato soup), Espinazo de Cerdo con Verduras (pork backbone with vegetables), Taquitos Aztecas de Nopales y Crema (Aztec taquitos with cactus pads and cream), and Exquisito Flan al Minuto (exquisite minute flan).

Almanaque Dulce 1939: Sweets from Around the World

February 16, 2015
Almanaque Dulce 1939. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Almanaque Dulce 1939. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). Almanaque Dulce. México, D.F. : Azúcar, S.A. [TX819.S94 .A4435]


On the third Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature a different volume of the  issue of the serial publication Almanaque Dulce, sharing sweet treats from the 1930s to the 1970s.  


The 1939 Almanaque Dulce is unique (at least among the early years of this publication) for including several sections organized by place of origin. In the gallery below, you’ll see Recetas Francesas, Recetas Sudamericanas, Recetas Inglesas, Recetas Americanas, Recetas Alemanas, and Recetas Rusas.  The French recipes include classic pastries like magdalenas, eclaires, and crepes. South American recipes encompass recipes from countries as diverse as Cuba (Croquimol – a cooked-down coconut dessert), Bolivia (Arroz de Leche de Almendras – almond rice pudding), and Argentina (Alfajores – sandwich cookies). The English section focuses on hearty, homey desserts like pound cake and plum pudding, while the American pages offer doughnuts, fudge, and muffins. The dishes assigned to the last two nationalities have some surprises. The German recipes range from cherry tarts to brioche, to peanut cookies (which I confess I had never thought of as German) and the Russian section offers recipes that seem to heavily echo French cuisine, such as crepes, charlottes, and mousse.

 

Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen

February 9, 2015
Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen.

Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen.

Back in September, we pointed readers to a couple of sites that focus on early modern recipes: The Early Modern recipes Online Collective (EMROC)  and The Recipes Project, Recently, I came across a digital humanities project focused on cuisine of the 17th and 18th centuries with a hands-on twist. In June 2014, Historians Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia launched Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen, a blog where they not only transcribe recipes from manuscript cookbooks held in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, but also adapt and prepare them.  A few recipes from the Fall include Maccarons of Valentia Almonds, Desart Cakes (made with caraway seeds), Tarte of Green Pease, Italian Cheese (a dish made with cream lemons, and sugar), and (for the truly adventurous) Fish Custard. Enjoy!

Los 365 Menus del Año: Febrero

February 2, 2015
Febrero (29 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Febrero (29 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Velázquez de León, Josefina. Los 365 Menus del Año: Recetas Prácticas, Económicas, para Resolver el Diario Problema de la Alimentación. México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, [196-?]. [TX716 .M4 V393 1960]


On the first Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s month-by-month cookbook series: Los 365 Menus del Año. 


Although published in the 1960s, the exact date of this series is not listed in the books themselves. However, since the February cookbook includes 29 menus, one can assume that it was published during a leap year, meaning 1960, 1964, or 1968. Furthermore, since Menu numbers 7, 4, 21, and 29 are titled “Menu de Vigilia,” (fasting menu) it seems likely that it was a year when Lent began during early February.

None of the three leap years align precisely, but 1964 is the best fit. Although February 7th, 1964 actually precedes Ash Wednesday (which fell on Feb. 12th that year), the 7th, 14th, and 21st are all Fridays. Certainly the 14th and 21st would have been observed as meat-free Lenten Fridays. Prior to Vatican II, observant Catholics commonly avoided meat all Fridays, so the Feb. 7th menu would still have been relevant. Menu 28 (another Lenten Friday) excludes meat, but is not labeled as being for “Vigilia,” so it remains a bit of a mystery why Menu 29 (Saturday) would be labeled thus.

Questions of dates and fasts aside, February’s issue includes a great many tasty recipes, many of which make use of fava beans and oranges. Menu No. 7: Menu de Vigilia sugggests Caldo de Habas (fava bean soup), Arroz con Camarones (rice with shrimp), Mojarras en Salsa Verde (fish from the family Gerreidae in green sauce – tilapia would be a suitable choice), and Postre Practico de Chico Zapote y Nuez (sapodillo and pecan dessert).

Menu 12 includes Sopa de Jitomate (tomato soup), Pollo en Frio (a chicken dish accompanied by tomato and avocado salad), Taquitos de Col Rellenos de Pure de Papa (cabbage rolls stuffed with pureed potatoes), and Naranjas Rellenas con Crema Pastelera (oranges filled with pastry cream).

And Menu 17 calls for Sopa de Habas Frescas y Salchichas (fresh fava bean and sausage soup), Tortas de Patitas de Puerco (pigs’ feet sandwiches),  Taquitos de Atun y Chile Poblano (taquitos with a tuna fish and chile poblano filling), and Flan de Naranja (orange flan).

Febrero (29 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Febrero (29 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

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