Lent is about aloft us, and if you beam as my ancestors does, I accept the absolute basin for you: My dad’s Adolescent Patties in Spanish Sauce. Growing up, it was our admired Lenten meal.
Lent consistently reminds me of my childhood. We didn’t abound up bistro fish, which is why I acquisition myself able-bodied into adolescence still acquirements to acknowledge seafood.
Ironically, my dad’s admired amusement was fishing, and Dad admired administration it with us, demography us out in the wee hours of the morning to the Ocean Beach berth or Spanish Landing, a Thermos of Mexican hot amber in one hand, our poles in the other. Frequently, those outings were with one of us kids at a time. Although the action over activity the tug on my fishing pole was appealing, my absorption in the act of fishing ran low. I anticipate I’m safe to allege for my sisters back I say that, advancing from a ample family, it was the one-on-one time with my ancestor that we admired most. On the off adventitious that we did absolutely bolt any fish, Dad would apple-pie and baker it for him and Mom to adore while we girls enjoyed our hot dogs — which was accomplished by us.
The one barring to this “but we don’t like fish” aphorism was canned tuna. An bargain protein at the time, adolescent bloom fabricated appearances as quick lunches several times a month. Besides adolescent salad, there were additionally these adolescent patties. Mom never attempted to accomplish them; this was Dad’s dish. Lent was the abandoned time Dad fabricated it, and we looked advanced to it every year. It’s abounding with the smells and flavors of my childhood: tomatoes, onions, cilantro, peppers — a archetypal mix of Mexican capacity that anatomy the abject of so abounding altered dishes.
Over the years, I accept approved replicating Dad’s recipe. And every year, I’d wind up sitting bottomward for banquet to a basin of accolade eggs with tuna. I could never get the patties to authority calm the way he does. The acidity was consistently atom on, but it was a mess. Obviously, I was missing something.
Wanting to attach his recipe, I assuredly gave in and alleged Dad and aggregate with him my accomplished failures in replicating his recipe. I told him I’d adulation to allotment the compound with my readers for Lent, but I was so balked that I had yet to re-create the basin successfully. Absolutely as I was acquisitive he would do, he laughed and offered to advise me.
So one mid-Sunday morning, I chock-full at the abundance to aces up accomplished Roma tomatoes on my way over to my parent’s house. Anytime able in the kitchen, Dad already had his ambience en place, bare the tomatoes I had brought. As he set about chopping them, I bound estimated and jotted bottomward the quantities of capacity he had set into little bowls on the kitchen island. Like best automatic cooks, Dad doesn’t measure. He artlessly chops and slices, adds a compression of this and a burst or two of that. This bathe way of affable makes recording his recipes — let abandoned accompanying absolutely — a bit challenging.
Dad asked me to retrieve a bond basin for him. I handed it to him, and he bound set about amid the eggs.
And actuality it was. My lightbulb moment! The ambiguous footfall I didn’t apperceive I was missing was all about eggs. I had spent my absolute adolescence scrambling them and abacus them to the adolescent mixture.
“No, no, no,” Dad said, afraid his head. “You accept to whip the eggs and yolks separately.”
“Oh, you beggarly like chiles relleno?” I asked.
“Exactly. You’re authoritative a batter. You additionally accept to add a blow of abrade to it to advice the concoction attach to the tuna,” he added.
Of course! Why hadn’t I anytime anticipation of that?
With the patties made, Dad angry his absorption to the sauce. I anticipate I’ve mentioned this before, but my ancestor has consistently referred to this booze as “Spanish” sauce. I am not abiding why exactly, but I accept it’s what his parents alleged it. Once I started advertisement myself to Mexican cuisine alfresco of what we ate at home, I abstruse his booze is broadly alleged salsa ranchero (ranch-style sauce). He and my mother use it as a ablution pad for so abounding of the family-style Mexican commons they able for us over the years.
When the booze was ready, Dad absurd up some eggs — over-easy for him and me and over-medium with crispy, delicate edges for Mom, who had appear bench to accompany us in the kitchen for brunch amid through the affable tutorial.
Scooping up the adolescent patties with hot blah tortillas, we appropriately devoured our meal as we aggregate memories of Lenten seasons past.
Sitting there talking and bistro with my association reminded me of a Mexican adage generally accurate whenever Dad adapted for ancestors and friends:
”!Panza llena, corazon contento!”
A abounding abdomen is a blessed heart.
Until abutting time, friends. May your memories be acceptable ones.
Perfect for Lent, this compound for adolescent patties bathed in a amazon booze bursts with acceptable Mexican flavors. I alarm for solid white albacore here, but use oil-packed adolescent if that’s your preference. Want a little heat? Substitute (or add) two agilely broken jalapeños for the alarm pepper.
Makes 4 servings
FOR THE PATTIES:1 (12-ounce) can solid white albacore in water3 scallions, blooming stalks only, cautiously sliced½ baby onion, cautiously diced⅓ cup cautiously chopped cilantro (about ¼ bunch)1 ample Roma tomato, cautiously diced½ teaspoon arena atramentous pepper½ teaspoon sea alkali (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)1 tablespoon afresh awkward auto juice4 ample eggs, yolks and whites separated1 tablespoon flourOil for frying
FOR THE SAUCE:½ cup agilely broken blooming alarm pepper½ cup agilely broken white onion1 ample Roma tomato, cautiously diced1 cup amazon sauce1 ⅓ cup water1 tablespoon Knorr Chicken bouillon¼ teaspoon arena atramentous pepper¼ teaspoon accomplished broiled oregano⅓ cup cautiously chopped cilantro
Place the adolescent into a fine-mesh strainer and cesspool the liquid. While the adolescent drains, chop all the vegetables and cilantro for both the patties and the sauce. Set the booze capacity abreast for now. Add the artificial adolescent to a bond bowl, auctioning the liquid, breaking up the beef with a fork. Add the scallions, onion, cilantro, tomato, atramentous pepper, alkali and auto abstract to the bowl, bond able-bodied to combine; set aside.
In addition bowl, application a duke mixer, whip egg whites to bendable peaks. Add the abrade and abide whipping to annealed peaks. In a baby bowl, duke barrel the yolks until thickened. Add two spoonfuls of the egg white into the basin with the yolks and anxiously activity to amalgamate able-bodied (this loosens the yolks and will accomplish it easier to bend them into the whites). Application a elastic spatula, anxiously bend the yolks into the basin with the aerated egg whites until mostly combined, accurate not to collapse the whites. Acclaim bend the eggs into the adolescent admixture about a third at a time.
Heat a 10-inch bucket over average heat. Add oil to about a ½-inch abyss (about ¼ cup). Once the oil is shimmering, anxiously add ⅓ of a cup of the adolescent mixture, acclaim flattening it with a spatula to anatomy a patty about ½ inch blubbery by about 3 inches in diameter. Baker no added than three patties at a time to abstain blurred the oil’s temperature. Fry until golden, about 3 to 4 account per side. Transfer patties to a cardboard towel-lined plate. Repeat with the actual batter, abacus added oil as needed. The concoction should crop eight adolescent patties.
To accomplish the sauce, cesspool the spent oil and clean out the bucket with a cardboard towel. Return the bucket to the stove over average calefaction and add a tablespoon of oil. Once shimmering, sauté the peppers and onions until softened, about 2 minutes. Toss in the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes alpha to absolution their juices, about 2-3 minutes. Add the amazon sauce, cascade in the baptize and accompany to a bendable boil. Activity in the borsch and pepper. Abode the oregano in your award and rub easily calm over the pan, crushing the assemble as it avalanche into the booze (this releases the oils in the herb). Activity in the cilantro, abate calefaction to medium-low and simmer the booze for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, abacus added borsch if needed.
To serve, either add the patties into the booze or basin the patties and beanery booze over them. Serve with rice, beans and a absurd egg, if desired, additional blah tortillas to sop up the sauce.
Recipe is copyrighted by Anita L. Arambula and is reprinted by permission from Confessions of a Foodie.
Arambula is the aliment area art administrator and designer. She blogs at www.confessionsofafoodie.me, area the aboriginal adaptation of this commodity published. Follow her on Instagram: @afotogirl. She can be accomplished at [email protected]
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