Liddie’s Traditional New Mexican Dishes: Torta de Huevo

by Reporter / Apr 07, 2019 / 0 comments

Liddie’s Traditional New Mexican Dishes: Torta de Huevo

ñola Valley

Growing up in a very traditional Catholic Hispanic family, lent was always a thoughtful time of reflection, contemplation, prayer and fasting.

Preparation for Easter Sunday was a serious undertaking and while it always began with a solemn note; it was a great time for learning in the kitchen followed by a fantastic feast and celebration with family. The traditional pilgrimage on Good Friday to the Santuario de Chimayo always began in silence. We quickly washed and dressed and began the walk with rosaries in hand following Grandma in both path and prayer.

At times she would break out into song and we would accompany her repeating both the ancient prayers and the Spanish verses we had learned since infancy with the cadence committed to memory. We were allowed water but nothing else by mouth until we returned from Chimayo. This passionate commitment to tradition was also how I learned how to cook.

Just like with prayers, songs and stories, her recipes were never written down but shared and committed to memory to be handed down to the next generation. Every ingredient was an essential player and added to the layers of flavor bringing freshness, depth, spice or aroma and, just like with music, a skipped note or a flat tone diminished the final product. Once home from Chimayo, with holy water and healing dirt tucked into our belts, the flurry began in the kitchen preparing the traditional Lenten meal which always included quelites (spinach with red chile flakes), salmon patties and our favorite torta de huevo (fritters) en chile Colorado (in red chile).

When preparing vegan dishes, the layers of flavor and significance of balance are all the more important because flaws will be very apparent in the finished dish. Always use the freshest and highest quality of ingredients available. For this dish, wait until your guests have arrived and are ready to eat before you ladle hot red chile over the fritters so that they don’t get overly soggy. Fresh Pinto Beans and sautéed spinach with crushed red pepper flakes are traditionally served as sides.

Torta de Huevo
6 Eggs, separated
2 ½ Tbsps. Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp Cream of Tartar
1 cup Oil or lard for frying

Beat egg whites and Cream of Tartar to stiff peaks and set aside. Heat oil or lard over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet. In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks, flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in egg whites and drop batter by spoonsful into hot oil in batches. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry on each side until golden brown about 10 seconds and drain on paper towels.

Chile Colorado
18-20 Dried Red Chile Pods
6- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsps. Lard or Olive Oil
2 Tbsps. Flour
2 tsp salt
3 ½ cups water

Clean chile pods by removing stems and seeds and soak pods in water in a large bowl using a plate to weigh down the pods. Arrange oven rack on lower half of oven. Preheat oven to 375°. In a cast iron skillet, combine garlic, onion and lard or oil and season with salt. Roast covered on the lower rack. Set timer for 25 minutes. Drain chile pods and place them in large Dutch oven covered with fresh water.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

When the oven timer goes off and veggie mix has roasted, transfer from oven to stove top and over medium heat, add flour and stir until the roux has browned to a caramel color. Add half a cup of fresh water and stir until it reaches a boiling point. Turn off heat and set aside to cool slightly then puree in a blender and push through sieve. Once chile pods have finished cooking, remove them from water and in two or three batches puree them with about a ¾ cup of fresh water per batch and push through sieve.

Combine with veggie puree and reheat before ladling over fritters. Make about 6-8 servings.



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