Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From Website to Cookbook to Blog

...celebrating our culture through generations.

This was the logo on the website I maintained for several years. I closed it down January 1st, of this year. A lot of hard work and a lot of fun went into this site.

Aprovecho: A Mexican-American Border Cookbook (Hippocrene Cookbook Library)
Click on the link above to go directly to the Amazon.com site to get a quick look inside

From this site, Bob and I created the manuscript for our cookbook, Aprovecho, A Mexican-American Border Cookook. This cookbook was done with the intention of having it passed on from generation to generation. As our world is constantly changing, it is getting harder and harder to pass on cultural traditions. This cookbook encompasses both sides of the border with stories and legends that are unique to the Southwestern region of the country. It also contains Dichos (Proverbs), a chile glossary and 250 delicious, simple and easy to follow recipes.

Food and all the aspects of food: preparation, development, the tablesetting, gatherings, family, celebrations, all these things are exciting for me. Now, with my blogs and viewing my foodie friends blogs and sharing in their creations simply elates me. My passion for all things FOOD brings a joy to my writing and cooking. I have friends online with whom I can share that joy. Of course I still need to make a living. This is why I am imposing on your generous nature and decided to spotlight my own cookbook. I hope you won't hold that against me. Oh, and did I mention that the book makes a wonderful Holiday gift for the Foodie in your life?

Now, though, I want to share with you some of the recipes that are contained in this cookbook. Over the last couple of months I've written about some of the legends and traditions that are contained in the book. I've posted some of the recipes as well. But it's now the Holiday season and in keeping with the idea of passing on cultural traditions, most of which are centered around the dining table, I thought posting some of our Holiday recipes would be in order.

The first one is Picadillo Navideño, or Christmas Picadillo.
This delicious dish is made with ground beef, beets, onions, carrots, potatoes, raisins and pecans. It's a savory yet slightly sweet dish traditionally served during the holidays.

This one is called Montezuma Casserole. This dish is made with pork roast and green poblano chile.

This third recipe is my grandmother's (Mi Chita's)Polvorones. These delightful little biscochos are coated in cinnamon sugar and are served at every holiday meal (as well as weddings, birthdays and all fiestas).

I hope I've piqued your interest in checking out the Aprovecho Cookbook. Not only is cooking, developing recipes and writing about them my passion, it is also my career.

Over the weeks to come, I will post more holiday recipes and traditions that encompass my part of the world, the desert Southwest, the Mexican-American Border. Enjoy these recipes. They come from the heart.

Picadillo Navideño

1/2 pound medium beets, chopped
3 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, chopped
3 to 4 small potatoes, cubed

1 cup rasins
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper

Cook beets in water until tender reserving the liquid. Heat oil in a skillet and saute the meat, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Once the meat is no longer pink, add the carrots and potatoes and cook until semi done then add the beets, raisins, pecans, cinnamon and cumin. Cook for 10 more minutes. Add some of the reserved liquid if you see the dish getting too dry. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Montezuma's Casserole

1 1/2 pounds pork roast
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 green poblano chiles, roasted pealed and cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 corn tortillas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 ounces asadero cheese, grated
Lettuce and radishes for garnish (optional)

Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and brown the roast on all sides. Add enough water to cover the roast and cook until done. Shred the pork once it is cooked and cool enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onion, tomatoes, chiles and garlic. Add this mixture to the shredded pork with a little water. Fry the tortillas in oil and dip in the beaten eggs. Place these tortillass in the prepared greased baking pan. Add the meat mixture and top with the grated asadero cheese. Bake until browned and thoroughly cooked, about 25 minutes. Serve with lettuce and radish slices if desired.

Mi Chita's Polvorones

2 pounds of flour
1 pound of lard
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup warm milk
Cinnamon-sugar mixture for coating

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well. Add lard. Cut lard into flour mixture with a pastry blender (or do it the way my grandmother taught me; with your two clean hands, scoop up flour and lard and gently rub between the palms of your hands). Continue this until flour-lard mixture converts to pea-size pieces. Add warm milk. Combine until well blended. Do not knead dough for too long, as it tends to toughen the pastry - just like with pie pastry. Roll out small sections of the dough between two pieces of waxed paper. Remove top layer of waxed paper and cut dough with cookie cutters dipped in powdered sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 - 12 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Allow to cool for 6 to 8 minutes. Coat with cinnamon sugar mixture. Makes approximately 5-6 dozen small polvorones.

This is my grandmother's recipe for polvorones (biscochos). She never wrote it down, but rather taught me (show and tell) how to make them when I was 12 or 13. I in turn have taught my daughter how to make this wonderful recipe. She learned very well.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Until next time, Aprovecho


Happy cook said...

Will go and check the link

Happy cook said...

Wow that book looks so good. I didn't know you have your own book published.

Gloria Chadwick said...

Teresa, Great post my friend. Your love of cooking shows in everything you do. I have your cookbook and it's wonderful. BTW, just in case you haven't noticed, your cookbook is shown in my new header. :)

ARLENE said...

Oh, Teresa, your book is going to be on my Christmas wish list. Congratulations, my friend. And I can say I "knew you when."

Fabby's Cupcaker ;) said...

Hi Tere!!!

Thank you for your words. I want to buy your book. I always buy in Amazon, but from December 25 to January 2 I will be in San Antonio. Dime dónde lo puedo comprar?

Your recipe of the picadillo is delicious. Here we do it that way, but also we add apple and pine kernels(pinions)!

Recibe muchos besos y abrazos y disculpa mi inglés, es pésimo!


Ramya Vijaykumar said...

I love these so much but we dont cook beef or pork at home I guess I can try your grandma's Mi Chita's Polvorones/ biscoshos. Tempting though, cookbook of your own wow thats wonderful. Congrats

Reeni said...

Congrats on your cookbook! I know you put a lot of work and love into it just like you do on your blogs. I love the stories about your traditions. Your recipes are fantastic, all three are calling out to me!

Megan said...

I just made the Picadillo Navideño for dinner (with just a few changes) and it was delicious. All your recipes that I have made have been excellent. :) Love the folk lore and your storys, but most of all, your fabulous recipes. Just downloaded the Ecookbook, I'll be ordering this cookbook too!!!

VG said...

OMG, I did not know that I was hob nobbing with an author. Well done Teresa. Keep up the good work and I will surely be placing an order for your cookbook. Hugs and kisses, VG

Kelly said...

Teresa, congratulations. That is truly an amazing accomplishment and one that would excite me to reach before my timeline. Sometime it would be wonderful for you to share the process behind it. I am always curious to go behind the scenes and hear about the process of writing and testing recipes, not to mention what it's like to deal with an agent and/or publisher. Congrats again. This is a truly amazing accomplishment. I'm going to request that my library purchase it so that more people can enjoy your fantastic recipes.

Mommy's Kitchen said...

Wow a cookbook I have been wanting to do that as well but have no idea on start ups. I am going to have to look into your book because I know everything you make is simply wonderful Teresa.

Megan said...

A little commercial on my blog, come check it out. :)

Prudence said...

Thanks for those wonderful recipes!! I am going to HAVE to try the Montezuma's Casserole. I love pork! And Latin food of any kind!! Martha Stewart is in Mexico on her show today... I am jealous!! LOL...

Adam said...

This is going to be a fantastic idea for the holidays! There is no way I would ever hold you plugging your book against you. In fact, I think it's great to help spread the word this holiday season. Be proud of all the hard work and passion you have :)

By the way, picadillo with beets sounds wonderful. I have some extra beets laying around, so I'm giving it a shot :)

Dee said...

Congratulations on your cookbook. I need to go easy on the plastic for a while, but I'm definitely putting your book on my shopping list for my next round. Thank you for the recipes:)

Joie de vivre said...

Congratulations. I only hope I can impose on foodie friends and say that my future cookbook would make a good Christmas present. You have every right. You've earned it.

Foodycat said...

They all sound wonderful! Thank you for sharing those recipes.