Let's have an enchanting cooking session with Frida

My dear friend Gym lent me this book for a week and I shamelessly kept it for a couple of weeks now as I enjoyed it so much. Frida's Fiestas is a book of traditional Mexican recipes which Frida loved to prepare for her husband, the painter Diego Rivera. It has been written by the daughter of the latter, Guadalupe Rivera who shared the couple's life when they stayed at the house known as the Blue House in Coyoacán (Mexico). The book is also a testimony on Frida and Diego's lifestyle and portrays a very colorful and dynamic Frida. Here is a short excerpt :

"In 1942, family events made it convenient for me to go to Coyoacán and live with my father and Frida Kahlo. In the Blue House I had some of the most important experiences of my youth. I met people who had a tremendous impact on my life, but the most influence of all was learning to see the world through the way Frida and Diego lived.
Frida was an enthusiast; she got the most out of everything. The world around her was more than enough cause for permanent rejoicing. She celebrated saints' days, birthdays, baptisms, and most of the popular holidays, both religious and secular. She got everyone involved - friends and family, students and colleagues - and she loved to mingle with the crowds in the marketplace on traditional holidays".

Frida in the garden of the house
Frida and Diego got married on August 26, 1929

"...From her wedding day on, Frida realized that good cooking would be an important part of her life. Master Rivera's bad moods vanished before the delicious dishes that are normally served in a Mexican home, like white or saffron rice, huauzontles in different sauces, stuffed chiles in broth and Oaxaca mole. With the exception of a splendid oyster soup, the wedding banquet was a modest affair. The oysters were served as an entree, thanks to the common Mexican belief that the little mollusks stimulate the appetite - for sex as well as food -..."

Fancy, preparing the oyster soup*?
go to the end of the post to find the recipes of this post

Tequila and Pico de Gallo salad served
in the dining room of the Blue House

Frida's photo album
A page of her notebook in which
she recorded the sales of her paintings

I love this portrait of her in
traditional Tehuana dress

the couple embracing in front of Diego's murals in Detroit.

Naturally, living with the couple, Guadalupe Rivera could not help but witnessing Frida's sadness and anger when she occasionally learnt about her husband cheating on her. She recalls a special encounter with a man she and Frida went to visit who spoke these prophetic words to her :

"..you have more suffering before you, but you will die sheltered and protected by the one who causes your present pain. You and Don Diego will not be able to live apart. Sometimes you are united in love and affection, other times hatred keeps you apart. But you will die together and after your death be a single shining star, sun and moon in conjunction. Have no doubt my dear girl; you are destined to live forever in this universe, each one merged with the other in eternal eclipse"...

the table in the corner of the studio Diego added on to the Blue House for Frida. Two plates of pastries are served on the table: gaznates* and macaroons, some of her favorite desserts

these are some recipes, I would love to try
the shrimp broth*

meatballs in Chipotle Sauce
beans, mason style*
chilaquiles in green sauce

and how about this incredible black ice cream?
coconut ice cream and black zapote ice*

Do you feel like cooking now ?

here are a few recipes for you to try

Oyster soup (8 servings)

1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
3 quart oysters, shucked with their liquid
2 quarts/2l chicken broth
1/4 cup/30g chopped parsley
2 crusty rolls, cubed and fried

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Drain the oysters, reserving the liquid. Add the oyster liquid and chicken broth to the saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Add the oysters and parsley and simmer a minute more.
Pour the soup over the bread cubes in a soup tureen. Serve piping hot.

Shrimp broth (8 servings)

1/2 pound/250g dried shrimp
2 quarts/2l water
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
6 carrots, peeled and diced
2 parsley sprigs
5 ounces/150g guajillo chiles toasted, seeded and soaked in very hot water for 10 minutes
2 medium onions, peeled and cut in chunks
6 limes

Simmer the shrimp in salted water for 15 minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted sppon and set aside. Strain the broth and return it to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, and parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain the chiles and puree them with the onions. Add the chile puree and shrimp to the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve with limes cut in quarters.

Beans, mason style (8 to 10 servings)

6 ounces/180g bacon chopped
1/4 pound/125g chorizo, sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled and chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
3 cups/500g cooked pinto beans
3 cups/1,25l cooking liquid from beans
6 ounces/180g pork cracklings, cut in chunks

Cook the bacon over low heat until crisp. Add the chorizo and cook a few minutes more. Add the onion, tomato and chiles. Sauté the mixture for a few minutes. Stir in the beans and cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the pork cracklings. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve piping hot.

Black zapote* ice (6 à 8 servings)

1 cup/190g sugar
1 cup/250ml water
1 1/2 cups black zapote pulp, strained

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Stir in the zapote pulp. Place the mixture in an ice-cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer's directions.

*zapote is a fruit totally unknown to me. Its English name is soursop.

Gaznates (pastries)

4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup/50g flour
Aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol) or rum
egg whites
lard or oil
confectioner's sugar
ground cinnamon

Beat the egg yolks thoroughly with the baking soda. Gradually add the flour, making a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball. Moisten your hands with aguardiente and pat the dough. Repeat 3 times. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it stand for 10 minutes.
Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll it out as thin as possible (keeping the rest of the dough covered to avoid drying.) Cut into medium-size quarters. Moisten two opposite corners with eggs white and press them together to make a tube. Fry in deep hot lard. Drain on brown paper and roll in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. These cookies can also be filled with pasty cream.


Book reference :
Frida's Fiestas - Recipes and reminiscences of life with Frida Khalo
authors : Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle
photographs : Ignacio Urquiza
publisher: Clarkson N. Potter - 1994


Do you know I read your blog daily. You have the life I want!!!
willow said…
I'm reserving this book from my library! I love Frida's spirit of entertaining and of life. Is the first photo yours? The food all looks so delicious, as well as beautiful. Wonderful post, Lala!!!
I LOVE frida...did you ever see the movie? A veritible feast for the eyes!

The food looks fantastic...the book delectable!

And I LOVE what you collect! Sweet!!
Tartelette said…
What an amazing post! Toutes ces recettes me donneent tellement envie! I wonder if I could locate it here in the US easily.
naphtali said…
What a lovely blog! This is my first visit and I can't wait to come back. I love cooking/entertaining so can't wait to go through toutes ces recettes . A tres bientot!!
Anonymous said…
Awesome post! I love the recipes.

Jojo said…
I am totally intrigued by the zapote. I didn't know the fruit before your post but now would like to find it to try it. Loved this post!
Gillian said…
I loved this post, I'm feeling rather hungry right now too as a result.
I must try the Shrimp Broth, so thank you!
I will also try the book, if I can find a copy here.
Jojo said…
I just got your note. I do make Lebanese food all the time! I love the cuisine and being from the south (don't know how much you know about southern American food), I have learned that we have some foods in common but the Lebanese version is 10 times better because of the mix of seasonings and flavors. In my past I was a home economics teacher and I loved to cook and was very comfortable in food labs, kitchens and demonstration tables using recipes. When I learned how to prepare Lebanese food, I learned by standing in the kitchen with lots of aunts, cousins and in-laws where there were no recipes. So, that is how I now cook. There are a few dishes that I just love like, Semki H'arrah, a peppered fish dish, that I have written down and will share the recipe with you one day soon.
monica said…
Is the first time i visit your blog, and i´m really glad i did it.
Frida is one of my dearest ícons, i love the artist, the woman and the cook.
I loved this post!
Christina said…
Oh Lala, I must see this book up close. : )
tangobaby said…
Okay, that's it. I have to get this book. I love your Frida posts of late...I still am haunted by seeing her work here a few weeks ago.

please tell us if you make some of the recipes soon! (and take photos, of course)

Mélanie said…
I have to read this book . I'm mexican in my heart.
I love cooking
For me , Frida is one the best modern "Heroïne"
robinbird said…
admittedly the post is about recipes and food but i was entranced by the photographs of the blue House! ..and frida...and her notebook writings. all so enchantingly real and full of the angst and love from her life.i enjoyed this visit to her home and kitchen! let us know what you make and how it turns out!
Lavinia said…
Beauty and style...and very good taste!

Lala I have made your olive cake many times this summer and we all love it here...
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