Cook the Books Club~Like Water for Chocolate

31 03 2010

Not being terribly into soap operas, but really loving Mexican food, I stuck with this one.   It made for interesting reading on Sunday Spa Nights…even though I got very frustrated with the long-suffering characters.  It took me awhile to catch on that every time our protagonist was emotional while she was cooking the emotion was shared in the food she prepared for others…that got a little scary now and then.

I read through the recipes that were offered, and gave them consideration.  The closing recipe, poblanos stuffed and served with walnut sauce was the most intricate.  I found myself wondering just how do you remove the skin from a walnut?

As this was a quick read, I wondered and pondered throughout the month about what to cook.  In the end, there was a perfect opportunity to cook a meal for someone other than ourselves, and I spent a couple days in the kitchen working on the various meats that would go into the different items and that’s what I’m presenting for the group.

I had a piece of beef chuck I knew I wanted to cook down for shredded beef…and I had a pork butt I was going to cook for pulled pork.  The pulled pork cooks in a slow, slow oven over several hours…why not the beef as well?  I seared it on both sides and popped it into a cast iron cooker with a bit of onion, celery, carrot and water…just about 1/2 cup…enough to keep things moist.  While I was getting all of that ready, I remembered that I had a batch of little top sirloin steaks that needed to be cooked, so I put them in another casserole with a bit of adobo sauce and a chipotle pepper, cumin, carrot, celery and onion.  A slightly different flavor…one that could stand alone easier.  4 hours later, my house smelled phenomenal!!

On cooking day, I put together my sopa seca de fideo, refried beans, a sope filled with beans and shredded beef topped with shredded cheese, floutas and mini tacos.  It didn’t look like that much food until I sat down to eat it!  There’s a light dusting of parmesan cheese over the entire plate, and there’s shredded lettuce with tomato and avocado slices for a working garnish.  Hot pico de gallo was served at the table.  Oh my.  We each had to taste a bit of everything…and both of us decided the flautas and mini tacos will reheat!

Like Water for Chocolate was a fun read.  It wasn’t a book I’ll keep, in fact mine is already at it’s new home courtesy of Goodreads!  I’ve begun our next book, Eating for England.  Thanks for checking out my dish, and thank you to our organizers!!  You keep finding ’em, I’ll keep reading and cooking ’em!