Food Porn

Last night Troy indulged me in watching one of my favorite movies for the umpteenth time; Like Water for Chocolate. It’s a moving love story with the classic formula that always seems to capture us.  Young people, overwhelmed with love for each other, kept apart by outside forces. But the best part of this Romeo and Juliet scenerio is that it is centered around food.

The story takes place in a boarder town during the Mexican Revolution.Tita the young women expresses her emotions through her cooking. Pouring herself into every dish she creates. Banned from her lover, she is forced to spend most of her time in the kitchen. She speaks to him through the amazing dishes she creates. There is a scene in which Pedro (Her forbidden lover) gives her roses. Tita’s mother insists she gets rid of them and banishes her to the kitchen. Tita uses the roses in an exquiste dish of quail and rose petals. The sensuality that is ignited through this meal is food porn at it’s finest.  

Troy surprised me with the book soon after we started dating. It’s a must read for anyone who is passionate about cooking. Sure I have the 60-minute Gourmet, The Joy of Cooking, Various Culinary reference books, but what I love about this book is that each chapter starts with a recipe from Tita’s kitchen and then the story that follows relates the emotions that went into that recipe.  

Truthfully, I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet. But I am detemined to make the Quail and Rose Petal dish for a romantic dinner with my husband this year. If you’ve seen the movie you know the passion that can ensue, so I think it will be a private dinner for two. 

Here is an adaptation of the recipe by food adventurous Rob Walsh.

 You can get rose water at most Middle Eastern groceries. 

 6 whole quail

3 tablespoons

butter salt and pepper to taste

1 cup dry sherry 

petals of 6 fresh, organic red roses

6 peeled chestnuts (boiled, roasted, or canned)

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup pitaya or red prickly-pear fruit puree or raspberries

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 2/3 tablespoons rose water

 Rinse the quail and pat dry. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and lightly brown the birds on all sides. Add sherry, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Turn the quail; cover and cook another 10 minutes. Remove the quail, reserving the pan juices. Rinse the rose petals in cold water. Place half the petals in the blender, adding the remaining ingredients and the pan juices. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, and/or honey. Pour sauce over quail and sprinkle with the remaining rose petals.

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