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Vegetable "cake" Ixtepec (Pastel de verduras)

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

This is an unusual egg dish that is usually served as a side, especially at large buffets on special occasions like weddings or religious events. Ixtepec is located in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, with Oaxaca widely regarded as one of the gastronomic centres in Mexico. This dish is traditionally prepared in a cazuela, an earthen cooking pot, that is cooked on a very slow flame or occasionally in an oven.

This dish is also a product of the invasion of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico. The

This dish brings together a variety of vegetables in a rich custard that is scented with herbs and spiced with chillies. The eggs in the dish form a soft custard that holds the dish together. The dish pops with flavour and the melted cheese adds a wonderful richness. This is a dish you will go back to for a bite again and again.

Diana Kennedy is the queen of Mexican cuisine. She has received both Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle and membership in the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to Mexican cuisine and her work in the region. I have quite a few of her books, they are amazing and a must for anyone who wants to deep dive into Mexican cuisine. This book encompasses all the regions in Mexico and is filled with exciting recipes just like this one.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.




Ingredients:

1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1/2 lb carrots, well washed and cut into 1/4 inch cubes or slices

1/2 lb green beans, finely sliced


2 tablespoons oil

1/3 onion, finely diced

4 green chillies, jalapeño, serrano or other, finely diced

1/2 lb tomatoes, finely chopped

3/4 cup crème fraîche, or 1/2 cup cream and 1/4 cup yogurt mixed together

3/4 cup Chiapas cheese, Romano or pecorino cheese, grated

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup mild or Dijon mustard

1/4 cup parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano, Mexican preferred

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Salt, to taste

1 teaspoon pepper


Heat a pot with salted water and add the potatoes, cook for 5-7 minutes till the potatoes are just cooked through, they should still hold their shape. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the carrots in the same bubbling water for 6-7 minutes. Remove and repeat with the beans for 2-3 minutes. Remove and discard the boiling liquid.


Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok and add the onions and chillies, sauté for 1-2 minutes on low till the onions are soft and translucent. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes till the tomatoes are broken up and form a sauce. Stir in the cooked vegetables and allow to cool.


Beat the eggs, cheese and cream with the salt and pepper added, till well mixed. Add to the cooled vegetables and mix in well.


Line a 15X10 inch Pyrex dish with butter and pour in the egg mix. The dish can be prepped to this stage and left covered in the fridge till needed.


Heat the oven to 350 F.


If the dish is chilled, bring it up to room temperature. Bake for 25-30 minutes till the top is browned and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately, similar to a soufflé or at room temperature if prepared ahead of time.


NOTE: Mustards come in a range of spice levels from the softer yellow and Dijon mustard to the harsh Colemans mustard. You can use any mustard of your choice but adjust the amounts to get a mild mustard sauce.

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