Sopa de Cebolla con Crema (Creamy Onion Soup) and Puerco Frito a lo Habanero (Havana Pork). Circa 1911.
Vélez Orozco G., Aurora. Libreta de Recetas de Cocina [Manuscript Cookbook]. Toluca, Mexico State: circa 1911. TX716 .M4 V462 1911. Mexican Cookbook Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections. [Digital Surrogate]
During September and October, La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from recently digitized manuscript cookbooks.
Libra de Recetas de Cocina is one of a series of nine manuscript cookbooks from a family in Toluca, the capitol of Mexico state. It is a small volume containing just twenty-four recipes on thirteen pages. Unlike last week’s featured dessert book, its focus is on savory dishes like onion soup, creamed spinach, and pork loin. However, it does include a few recipes for sweets such as Italian nougat at the end. Notice that the handwriting is markedly more difficult to read than that in the 1884 cookbook.
Libreta de Recetas de Cocina will be on display in the John Peace Library Reading Room from August to December 2014.
- 2 cebolas [cabesonas?] y grandes
- 2 gitomates grandes
- 0.02 c. de crema
- caldo de pollo o de res
- pedasas de pan frito o galletas soda
Se ponen a freir en manteca los gitomates. Asadas y molidas con ajo y cebolla alli [a?] cuela la cebolla con el caldo el que sea nesesario. Se deja [apre?] hierva a que sazone y en seguida se le desuelve la crema. [Lla] para serbirse se le ponen las galletas.
Creamy Onion Soup (00003)
- 2 large onions
- 2 large red tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Mexican sour cream
- chicken or beef broth
- croutons or soda crackers
Fry the tomatoes in lard. Roast and grind them with garlic and onion. Cook the onion mixture in the broth. Strain the chunks out when cooked. Simmer the remaining soup to enhance the flavor, and then add the sour cream. Serve with crackers.
 “Cuela” seems to unambiguously mean “strain,” but I can’t figure out how one would strain onions with broth (as the syntax would seem to indicate). Instead, I am assuming that the onion mixture is being cooked in the broth and then the chunks are strained out.
Prepárece en un Platón un adobo de vinagre, oregano, sal y un poco de Pimienta molida y unos ajos machacados, échece en este caldo la carne de Puerco partida en pedazos, cuando se c[irc]osea que a toneado bien el gusto alli adobo, se raja la carne y se pone a freir en manteca. Sirvase con platanos verdes o pintos fritos y con arroz blanco.
Havana Pork (00007-00008)
Prepare a marinade of vinegar, oregano, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Add pieces of pork. When well-marinated, tear the meat intro strips and fry it in lard. Serve with plantains or fried beans and white rice.
 If you read this recipe previously, you saw my speculation about the absence from the recipe itself of the habanero chiles that seemed implied by its name. However, a reader has since pointed out to me that Habanero also (and perhaps even more commonly) refers to the capital of Cuba, a native of that capital, and/or a particular style of music and dance, among other things. With that in mind, I believe that the title of this recipe correctly translates as Havana Pork, and no chiles are implied.