Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sexto de Mayo

“An announcement that my lesson for the day would be Spanish dishes, invariably brought record-breaking crowds in any city in the United States, and a demand for recipes induced me to search for the best to be found.
My three years' stay in California has enabled me to learn how to prepare the very best dishes directly from the natives, both Mexican and Spanish.
It is not generally known that Spanish dishes as they are known in California are really Mexican Indian dishes. Bread made of corn, sauces of chile peppers, jerked beef, tortillas, enchiladas, etc., are unknown in Spain as native foods; though the majority of Spanish people in California are as devoted to peppery dishes as the Mexicans themselves, and as the Mexicans speak Spanish, the foods are commonly called Spanish dishes.”
Bertha Haffney-Ginger, author of the California Mexican-Spanish Cookbook, wrote this in 1914 when she was chief of the Los Angeles Times School of Domestic Science.  Although she herself was a Virginian and trained in both French and American cooking, she apparently fell in love with both the area and the local cuisine when she travelled out West in 1911.  She took the job at the Los Angeles Times and never looked back.  Unlike many other cooking experts of the time, she did not try to tame her recipes to suit American tastes.  Her salad dressings sound fiery (her spellings are her own).
Spanish Dressing No. 1
Rub mixing bowl with button of garlic, break into bowl one egg yolk, whip stiff, add one-fourth cup best olive oil slowly, then one-fourth cup lemon juice, tablespoon prepared vinegar, teaspoon sugar, half teaspoon salt, tablespoon green chile pulp. Very fine.
Spanish Dressing No. 2
Six tablespoons of best olive oil in bowl, add gradually three tablespoons lemon juice and one of prepared vinegar, one teaspoon brown sugar, half teaspoon salt, tablespoon red chile pulp, stir with rotary motion until a thick cream, serve at once on salad.

Chile Pulp and Sauces for all Recipes

Chile peppers are the base of all Mexican and Spanish dishes, and I have simplified the various recipes by making a list of different ways to make the pepper pulps and sauces. Please note that they are numbered and named, referred to by number and name in the recipes. Original way to prepare chile for sauce is to remove seed and toast on coals, top of stove or in oven, till they puff and look tender; and mash through sieve or colander; add water or tomatoes for right consistency; scalding is the quickest.

No. 1, Red Chile Sauce, for Enchiladas or Tamales, etc.

Split red chile pepper, remove all seeds and veins, soak several hours in water, pour off, pour on boiling water, pour off and repeat again, the last water just enough to cover peppers when pressed down. Mash in this water and press through sieve, melt one-half cup pure lard, add heaping tablespoon flour, brown and add three cups of chile pulp, salt to taste, cook very slowly half hour.

No. 2, Green Chile Sauce for Enchiladas or Tamales, etc.

Split, remove seeds and veins from green chiles and boil in little hot water till tender; mash, press through sieve, melt one-fourth cup lard, add two tablespoons flour, teaspoon salt, brown just a little, add three cups green pulp, cook slowly half hour.

Prepared Spanish Sauce

Take equal parts red and green chile peppers, same amount green and red sweet peppers, split, remove seed from all, soak in water, drain, add enough water to barely cover, boil tender, mash in water, press through sieve, heat half cup olive oil, fry in it one-half cup onion, one-half parsley, three garlic buttons, tablespoon aregano, two cups raw tomatoes, six cloves, two cups of the pepper pulp, salt to taste, cook, strain, may heat and bottle larger quantities, very fine.

Spanish Pickle

Heat quart apple vinegar, add tablespoon salt, twenty cloves, two tablespoons aregano, two of cominos, boil five minutes, let cool, pour over small red and green chiles, wild tamatillos (wild tomatoes) and put up in jars.

Green Chile Relish, No. 1

Remove seed and veins from twelve large green chiles, soak overnight in water with little salt in it, chop and measure one quart green tomatoes, chop chiles, one cup cucumber, 1 garlic button, cook altogether until a pulp, press through sieve, add one-half cup lemon or lime juice, tablespoon salt. Fine over cold meats, fish, oysters, eggs, croquettes, roast pork, mix with apple sauce; serve on fried apple fritters.

Red Chile Relish, No. 2

Make same as green, substitute ripe tomatoes and red chiles. You may bottle, seal tightly each sauce; will keep indefinitely.
Her cookbook can be downloaded, free, from Project Gutenberg.

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