Quail in Rose Petal Sauce
In Laura Esquivel’s Novel, Like Water for Chocolate, the reader is introduced to this recipe in Chapter 3, where the love sick character Tita, who is a cook, prepared an elaborate dish with a rose, a token of love, given to her secretly by her lover Pedro. She calls the dish "quail in rose petal sauce". At the dinner table, the meal receives an ecstatic response from Tita's family members, especially Pedro, who always compliments Tita's cooking.
intensity of the every one's reaction to the meal serves to communicate the potency of the passion that the Tita possesses but is unable to express directly. With her primary form of expression limited to food, Tita takes the illicit token of love from Pedro and returns the gift, transforming it into a meal filled with lust.
And with that being said, this would be the perfect dish to make for someone you love, especially for a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day.
Ingredients: 4 quail (or 6 doves or 2 Cornish Hens) 3 Tablespoons butter Salt, to taste Ground black pepper, to taste 1 cup dry sherry 6 peeled chestnuts (boiled, roasted, or canned) 1 clove garlic 1/2 cup red prickly pear fruit puree (or substitute raspberries, red plums or pink dragonfruit) 1 Tablespoon honey ¼ cup chicken stock 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 14 teaspoons rosewater Petals of 6 fresh, organic red roses, for garnish Pepita seeds, for garnish
Directions: Heat the serving platter in an oven set to low. 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 and salt and pepper to the quail. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn the quail, cover, and cook another 10 minutes. Remove the quail when done to your liking and place on a heated platter.
Combine the remaining ingredients with pan juices, transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce into a small pan and simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, and/or honey. Pour the sauce over the quail on the heated platter. Sprinkle with the rose petals and pepitas, for garnish, and serve hot.
Cook's Notes: The original recipe for this dish calls for rose petals, but you don’t want to use petals from conventional flower shop roses—those are treated with fungicides. Still, if you have some organically grown roses in your backyard, or know where to buy them, feel free to use them to garnish the finished dish.
If you cannot find any rose petals, 3 bags of Tazo Passion Hibiscus Tea is a great alternative to use as well.
You can find rosewater at local Middle Eastern stores.
The original recipe calls for cactus. In this version red prickly pear fruit puree or juice is used and can be found at most health food stores—or substitute frozen raspberries or even use 2 large red plums that have been pitted and skinned, for the red prickly pear.
Another substitution for the prickly pear would be dragon fruit , which is closer in terms of the flavor given that both are cactus fruits. While you may not initially equate “cactus” with “edible,” the dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is indeed borne on a cactus. When the fruit is cut open, the flesh is revealed to be either snow-white or magenta pink and peppered with tiny, edible black seeds throughout — quite a contrast to the exterior. The flesh is mildly sweet, some say comparable to a melon. A source of calcium, fiber and vitamin C, the dragon fruit is widely cultivated throughout much of the tropics, particularly in Asia. Its popularity in tropical Asia combined with the dragon reference may lead us to believe it originated in Asia, but the fact is no one seems to agree on where it came from. We do however know it is in the cactus family (Cactaceae), and therefore almost sure to be of New World origin.
If you have a dove hunter in the family, try this with dove instead of quail. In fact, doves may be an even more romantic choice, if you don’t mind picking a little birdshot from your teeth. Cornish hens also work well, as a substitute for the protein in this dish.
All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.
Thank you so much! x-tinymce/html