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El Verdadero Práctico. Tercer Tomo. (1917) – Ensalada Rossini / Rossini Salad

June 29, 2012

Front cover of El Verdadero Práctico. Tercer Tomo. (1917) by Alejandro Pardo

Front cover of El Verdadero Práctico. Tercer Tomo. (1917) by Alejandro Pardo

Pardo, Alejandro. El Verdadero Práctico.  Terceer Tomo. Mexico : Antigua Imprenta de Murguia, 1917. [TX716.M4 V473 t.3 1917].

Among UTSA’s holdings is a 1917 cookbook by Alejandro Pardo entitled El Verdadero Práctico. Tercer Tomo. Despite the title of Tercer Tomo, this appears to be a distinct work, rather than the third volume of a later edition of his previous cookbook, entitled El Verdadero Práctico (see posts from June 15th and 22nd), as no reference is made on the title page, nor in the preface, to other volumes.

In this preface, Pardo repeats some of the complaints he expressed previously in El Verdadero Práctico about the inadequacy of other cookbooks, but also more specifically critiques the practice of publishing recipes without weights and measures, and without cooking times and temperatures.

He decries such practices as “Desprestigiando más bien que realzando nuestra profesión, sin server de auxilio para nadie” (discrediting rather than enhancing our profession), and promises that “No he redactado una sola de mis indicaciones elementales sin haber tenido antes a la vista el reloj y las balanzas en la mano” (I have not written a single one of my basic instructions without having looked first at the clock and having the scales in my hand).

Throughout the book, Pardo does indeed provide precise weights, measures, and times, but temperatures are generally still given in terms such as “a fuego fuerte,” “a fuego lento,” or “horno caliente.”

The organization and formatting of Tercer Tomo is somewhat different from Pardo’s earlier publication.   While he retains the pattern of presenting 6-12 “best” recipes for each category of food, in Tercer Tomo, he also provides detailed entries on on poultry, meat, fish, salt, bread, milk, eggs, the appropriate diet for those with various kinds of illnesses (heart trouble, nervous afflictions, tuberculosis, etc.), and at the very end of the book, short descriptions of a selection of vegetables. Pardo’s recipes for vegetables and salads tend towards a rather baroque style, as in the case of the salmon and oyster salad below.

Ensalada Rossini.  Para 8 personas. (153)

Salmón de Rodel o de Guillot, 500 gramos; ostiones frescos, igual cantidad. En una ensaladera se ponen hojas blancas de lechuga romanita y encima el salmon en rebanaditas y los ostiones frescos. Encima de todo esto se ponen 50 gramos de chicharitos cocidos, 50 gramos de ejotes cocidos y 200 gramos de papas cocidas al vapor. Todo esto rebanado en cuadritos pequeños. Se sirve por separado un cuarto de litro de salsa tártara.

Rossini Salad. Serves 8. (153)

500 grams of Rodel or Guillot salmon, 500 grams of fresh oysters. In a bowl, place leaves of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced salmon and fresh oysters. On top of all this, place 50 grams of cooked peas, 50 grams of green beans and 200 grams of steamed potatoes. All of this should be sliced into small cubes. Serve with a half-pint of tartar sauce on the side.

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