Lent comes early this year. Ash Wednesday will be on February 10, less than three weeks from now. Now is the time to pull out your ¡Con Gusto! cookbook and start looking for recipes.
Of course, the most traditional Lenten dish in South Texas is capirotada or “sopa” as we called in our home. Different cooks use different ingredients, and you can find four recipes in ¡Con Gusto!. Edna Rios of San Diego uses cinnamon sticks, brown sugar margarine, anise, slices of toast, cheese slices, raisins, apple and pecans. Esmeralda Garcia’s capirotada has sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, buttered toast, seedless raisin and shredded cheese. The book also has recipes from Evelyn Garcia Tobin of Edinburg and Blanca Perez of San Diego.
Another popular Lenten dish is albondigas, or salmon patties. Lydia Canales from Benavides provides her favorite albondigas recipe. Other “salmon loaf” recipes come from Guadalupe Soliz, also from Benavides, and Guadalupe Gonzalez from Kingsville. Other fish recipes include a tuna casserole from Dolores Tamayo of San Diego and “tasty grilled fish fillets”, from Oscar Gonzales of San Diego.
Yet, one more favorite Lenten dish is nopalitos.¡Con Gusto! has two recipes for nopalitos from Edna Rios of San Diego and Lola T. Perez, also from San Diego. Most likely you will not be able to “pick nopalitos” where you live but most major grocery chains have become wise to Mexican customs and carry nopalitos and many other specialty items in Mexican cooking.
Of course many of the more traditional Mexican dishes fit right into the Lent requirements. You can try two different cheese enchilada recipes from ¡Con Gusto!; from Teofila Garcia and Lilia Gonzalez, both from San Diego. Tammy Canales provides an enchilada casserole that looks simple to make and delicious to eat. You will also find recipes for quesadillas, tamales de helote and many more Lent “approved” dishes.
Alas another South Texas favorite, bean and cheese chalupas or tostadas, did not make it to the cookbook. They must be so simple to make that they do not require instructions.
Order you ¡Con Gusto! cookbook today so you can have it ready for Lent. Celebrate Lent ¡Con Gusto!