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Cookbooks featured in UTSA’s Sombrilla magazine

July 15, 2011

UTSA’s Sombrilla magazine’s spring 2011 issue features an article highlighting the Libraries’ extensive Mexican cookbook collection and this blog.

Librarians in the Cocina” follows myself and Nathalie Burack, our student volunteer, as we prepare a 1939 recipe for “Enchiladas de Huevo con frijol”, and also touches on the cookbook collection’s research potential.  Also included is a scrolling gallery of cookbook covers.

The recipe for these tasty and unusual enchiladas is printed below, with additional photos courtesy of UTSA photographer Mark McClendon.

Lavalle de Hernández M., Faustina.   Exquisita cocina de Campeche : 400 recetas experimentadasMéxico : México : Imprenta “Londres”, 1939. [TX716.M4 L39 1939] Pp. 167.

Enchiladas de Huevo con frijol

Para 12 tortillas medianas, 6 huevos cocidos muy duros y desmenuzados con suficiente sal.  El frijol negro se prepara conforme a la receta del mismo; se espesa bien disolviéndolo luego y pasándolo por un colador de aluminio. Para preparar la salsa, se pone a la lumbre una cazuela con 100 gramos de manteca y se fríen en ella: una cebolla, picada y 4 hojas de epazote; se le agrega un jitomate hervido, pelado, y disuelto en la misma agua donede se coció, que deberá ser como media taza.  Se le agregan seis chilitos picantes verdes, enteros y se tapa dejándolo hervir por 15 minutos sazonándola de sal.  Para hacer las enchiladas se mojan las tortillas en la salsa, se les pone luego un poco del huevo y se van colocando en un platón hondo procurando que queden apretaditas.  Luego se les pone por encima el frijol colado espeso y por último la salsa.  Se sirve caliente.  Si se quiere se le agrega pepita de calabaza molida, de la que sirve para el pipián. 

 Step-by-Step in the kitchen:

First, Nathalie and I boiled 6 eggs for 10 minutes, peeled them, and mashed them with a fork, adding about 1/4 tsp. salt.

Boil the eggs

While the eggs were boiling, we heated and sieved the black beans.  Due to time constraints, we used canned beans.  Unfortunately, either canned beans have tougher skins than fresh ones, or we didn’t cook them quite long enough.  It was very difficult to press the beans through the sieve to achieve a paste.  A food-mill might have worked better.

Cook and sieve the beans

We also ground the pumpkin seeds, using a mortor and pestle.  A food processor or blender would probably work, too.

Grind the seeds

Next, we boiled 1 large tomato in water, skinned it, and tried to mix it with 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  I initially thought the recipe meant just to blanche the tomato for a minute, but in fact, the tomato should be boiled for several minutes before skinning, or it will not dissolve well.

Peel the tomato

Then, we fried 1 chopped onion, added the tomato, and then 6 whole, green chiles.  We were unable to add the 4 epazote leaves called for in the recipe, because the grocery store near my home happened to be out of epazote when I went shopping the just before our Sombrilla photo shoot.

Saute the onion, tomato, and chiles

The recipe does not call for heating the tortillas.  However, since we were using store-bought, rather than fresh tortillas, we fried them for just a few seconds on each side to soften them up.

fry tortillas (optional)

When all the component parts were ready, we prepared the enchiladas by dipping each tortilla in sauce, wrapping it around a spoon-full of egg, and tucking it into a casserole dish.

fill and roll the enchiladas

We poured the beans over the enchiladas, and then the sauce.

Top with sauce

Finally, to top everything off, we sprinkled the enchiladas with ground pumpkin seeds.


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