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Recipe: Elizabeth's Carlota de Limon

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Communist Cookbook

Elizabeth’s Carlota de Limon

This recipe means so much to me. My mom made it for me and my siblings for almost every special occasion growing up. I learned the recipe about ten years ago and have continued the tradition for my family. This past holiday season, I made it to share with my comrades for the first time. I was delighted they loved it as much as my family. Making and sharing food is such a beautiful way to share our history, culture, and nostalgia with new friends and comrades. I’m so excited to share this with you all. I hope you enjoy making, sharing, and eating this too.

P.S. It goes great with coffee!


EQUIPMENT

  • 13x9” cake pan

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Something to mix with: sturdy whisk, blender, hand mixer, standing mixer

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature

  • 10 oz sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 2 packet of Maria’s Cookies (or any dry, thin, vanilla biscuit)

  • 1 cup lime juice (4-6 limes)*

  • 12 oz canned peaches

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  • I like mine very tart. I suggest taste testing as you add lime juice.

SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Walnuts or coconut flakes instead of pecans

  • Fresh or canned pineapple instead of peaches

  • Fresh berries


DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the room temperature cream cheese, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. If using electric mixer, use medium setting. Mix until smooth. Mixture will be runny.

  2. Slowly add lime juice, turning electric mixers to the lowest setting. Mixture will start to thicken as you add juice. Be careful not to overmix or mixture will become runny again.

  3. Cover the bottom of a 13x9” pan with a single layer of cookies. Scoop 1/3 of the cream mixture and spread evenly. Add 1/3 of the peach slices and sprinkle 1/4 cup walnuts evenly. Repeat once.

  4. Add one more layer of cookies and cream. Use remaining fruit and nuts to decorate the top.

  5. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

  6. Enjoy!

Recipe: Spicy Praxis (Salsa)

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Communist Cookbook

Spicy Praxis Salsa

I was born in raised in the San Fernando Valley, a 260-square-mile suburb of Los Angeles home to over one million people. I love the Valley—an attitude most transplants to LA never express. I know it isn’t the sexiest part of the city, but it is home to some of my most treasured memories and favourite restaurants. My family has spent six generations here, and though we’ve lost some of our cultural traditions, like having quinceñaras, food remains important to us. Cooking was a big part of my childhood, from making misshapen tortillas to deep frying buñelos over the holidays with my Grandma.

My love of Mexican food means I eat at every burrito place, taco truck, and panadería I can find in LA. When I was a teenager, I fell in love with Nachos, a small family-owned restaurant in Granada Hills. Eating their food felt like eating my grandma’s meals—perfectly mashed frijoles and fluffy arroz rojo that filled the room with its aroma. If you’ve ever visited me in LA, you’ve eaten at Nachos. Whenever I returned from a trip out of town, it was the first place I would visit after landing at LAX. Nachos was where I ate with friends to process difficult experiences and celebrate achievements.

The adjacent businesses were never in direct competition with Nachos (you can’t eat tires!), so it served as the only spot to get a quick burrito in the area. Then two years ago, Chipotle moved in down the street. This was the first time in four decades on Balboa Blvd. and Devonshire Blvd. that you could get a burrito somewhere else. With its focal location at the center of Devonshire and Sepulveda, Chipotle immediately absorbed a lot of Nachos’ business. After forty years, Nachos closed in 2017. I waited in line for an hour to order my last dinner.

I was devastated.

For weeks leading up to their closing, I asked Rosa, their cashier/manager/greeter, for their salsa recipe because it was (and still is) the best I’ve ever had. I overheard other customers ask during their last weekend, too. We all knew we might not ever get to drown our burritos in their irresistibly delicious salsa again. Their Facebook page echoed these same sentiments—some people even asked for a full cookbook. Months later, the recipe was shared as a photo on Facebook, handwritten on two pieces of paper, much like my Grandma’s recipes.

I’ve perfected this recipe since joining DSA-LA. I’ve made it for larger multi-committee meetings, NOlympics coalition events, and last year’s Chapter Convention. I really enjoy making this for comrades; cooking is such a true labour of love and I am so honoured to be able to share this recipe with others, as it’s so special to me. I hope you enjoy this salsa as much as I do and spread #spicypraxis wherever you are.


Equipment

  • Blender (otherwise can use patience and a strong, concise dicing method)

  • Knife

  • Large pot

  • 2 large mixing bowls (only one if you’re halving the recipe)

  • Large spoon

  • Can opener

  • Garlic press

  • Lemon juicer (or your hand)

Ingredients

  • 6 Serrano peppers

  • 6 wax peppers

  • 2 large white onions

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • 50-60 oz tomato sauce (this depends on how thin you like your salsa)

  • 1 garlic head

  • 1 large lemon

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Estimated Cost of Ingredients – $9.35

Serving Size: 1 Gallon


Directions

  1. Rinse and boil all peppers in a large pot for one to two hours. I find that the longer I leave them boiling the less spicy the salsa. I’m not sure if there’s any science to this, but it’s something I’ve observed.

  2. While the peppers boil, prepare everything else. Chop the onion up into tiny squares. The onion won’t be blended so ensure the pieces are small enough to eat. Set aside, with one chopped onion per mixing bowl.

  3. Rinse cilantro. Put into your blender of choice with about half a cup of water. Blend until it looks almost like green juice! You want it liquified. Evenly distribute between mixing bowls.

  4. Split garlic head in two, one half per bowl. Press the garlic cloves directly into the bowls. You can add more garlic if you wish, but I find one garlic head enough for a serving.

  5. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into each bowl.

  6. Open cans of tomato sauce. I like to use one 29-oz can for each bowl (total of 58 oz of sauce). Dump into each bowl (slowly! This gets messy!). I like to use a bit of the pepper water to ensure I get each bit of sauce out of the cans and into the bowls.

  7. Take peppers off the heat and let them cool. Keep the water. The peppers should be tender enough that their stems come off easily. Once each stem is removed, place 3 of each pepper into blender with half a cup of water (it’s okay to use the pepper water here). Blend until liquified. Add to bowl. Each bowl should have 3 Serrano and 3 wax peppers total.

  8. Start mixing! You can add in more water if it feels too chunky.

  9. Add salt and pepper to taste!

  10. Pour salsa into whatever container you want. I use glass jars or some other kind of reusable container that fits in my fridge. You can serve the salsa hot or cold, but Nachos always refrigerated their salsa, so I like mine cold, too.

Recipe: Bread

Bread

Bread is a staple food in much of the world that is essential to human activity. Its cultural significance is as wide as it is varied. Juvenal satirized the public as only caring about bread and circuses. The Bolsheviks promised peace, land and bread. “If the people have no bread, let them eat cake” has been attributed to various oblivious French princesses. “The worker must have bread,” Rose Schneiderman spoke, inspiring the poem, “but she must have roses, too.” “Bread” and “dough” both mean money in English slang.

The domestication and cultivation of grain is a human endeavor that directly connects our labor to the land. Bread is sustenance. It is nature transformed by human labor. Breadmaking is simple, and learning to do it well, to understand its science and art, can deeply reconnect us to nature.

Below is a recipe for a “rustic” sourdough boule.

Equipment

Kitchen scale

Nonreactive container, such as stainless-steel, glass or food-grade plastic

Large bowl

Stand-up mixer (optional)

Sharp knife

Starter

100 grams whole wheat flour per feeding

100 grams cool or lukewarm water per feeding

Day 1:

Combine the flour and water in a container large enough to hold the starter as it grows over the next few days. Loosely cover and store at room temperature, away from disruption.

Day 2:

To feed your starter, discard half by weight and combine another 100 grams of whole wheat flour and 100 grams of water.

Day 3:

Your starter should begin to bubble. Feed twice today by discarding half and adding 100 grams of flour and 100 grams of water.

Day 4:

Your starter should be ready today or tomorrow. It will have a tangy aroma that is acidic and alcoholic but not overwhelming. If your starter has not approximately doubled since you started, or isn’t showing signs of bubbling, keep feeding as above, twice daily, until it does.

Day 5+:

You may keep the starter covered in the fridge. Feed it weekly, as above, or naturally as you bake bread once a week.

Recipe

400 grams all-purpose flour

60 grams whole wheat flour

30 grams rye flour

260 grams starter

292 grams water

13 grams salt

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

A few tablespoons oil, as necessary

1 egg white

  1. Combine ingredients in a standup mixer or by hand until thoroughly mixed into a sticky ball.

  2. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until a soft, stretchy dough ball is formed. Add water or flour in very small amounts as needed.

  3. Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm area to rise for 1 to 1.5 hours, until doubled in volume.

  4. Place the round on a greased baking sheet and cover for another 1 to 1.5 hours. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 425°F.

  5. Before baking, score the bread with a sharp knife, making a couple long slashes across the top of the loaf, forming a cross. Brush with egg white. Bake on a stone or baking sheet for 40 minutes to a bit less than an hour, depending, until it is golden brown on the outside.

  6. Remove and let rest, cooling on a rack.