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How to Make Capirotada: a Mexican Lenten Dish

Capirotada1
If you are into salty,sweet, soft, crunchy, spongy mixed all together with a dash of spice, this is for you. Yes, this concoction sounds really weird, but it is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. According to some books, this recipe is a long-lost  relative to one served in the Middle Ages. Even thought I prefer to think that a very savvy woman seeing the approach of lent decided to make a good use of what she has leftover in the kitchen before the fasting days of Lent, and then Capirotada was created. Just picture her looking at the dry pieces of bread. Wondering what to do to make a good use of it. Searching into her baskets for anything else to add. There she found a dry piece of salty cheese and some raisins. But still the bread was 2 days old, well add some water to soften it, and since water is just too plain, then sweeten the water the only way they knew, with piloncillo. And what goes great with piloncillo? Cinnamon and clove! Shall we add it? Of course! And what about those peanuts over the top shelf? That sounds like a great idea, let’s add them too. And Viola! Let’s call it “Capirotada”.
The true is that I don’t care what they called, as long as you let me have the a huge portion on my dish.
I wonder how many times you find yourself in the same situation, looking at  your freezer with the door wide open. Thinking what to do with that lonely package of meat or chicken, then searching in your vegetables drawers and the spice’s jars asking yourself what to do with it. Then after and hour or so you have created a dish that now is your family favorite. Has that ever happened to you?  If so, let me know if the comments/ I would love to hear about it.
And now to the recipe which is a basic one, see notes below for substitutions and other additions.

Serves 6
Ingredients:
12 Ounces ( About 1 1/4 cup)  of piloncillo or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cup of water
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cloves
3 Tablespoons of melted butter
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
16 slices 1/3” thick of Bolillo or  French bread at least 2 days old
3/4 cup of Cotija Cheese
1/4 cup of roasted peanut
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons of butter cut in small cubes
Notes on some variations to this recipe:
- Traditionally the bread is first fried instead of toasted in the oven. Choose the method that better fit your taste.
- Italian or French bread can be used even challah bread. In Northern Mexico even toasted corn tortillas are added.
_ Some cooks also add anise seed to the syrup, if you would like to do so 1/4 teaspoon  will be fine for this amount of bread.
- Fruits are also found in some recipes, the most common are fried plantain, bananas and apples.
- Tomatoes and onion is also common in some of the syrup recipes
- Prunes, cranberries, or other dried fruit are also used instead of the raisins, even shredded coconut.
_ The same applies to the peanuts, any other nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts are used.
- Other cheeses used as substitute are Mexican Manchego, Monterrey Jack and Mild White Cheddar and even parmesan mixed with Mexican Queso Fresco.
Instructions:
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1.Preheat oven at 350F.  In a medium size pot place the Piloncillo, cinnamon stick, cloves and water. Place in the stove and melt in a medium heat.( If you have a hard time cutting the piloncillo for the amount needed, place it in your microwave for intervals of 30 seconds until it is soften enough to cut. Be careful while removing it out of the microwave since it gets extremely hot.) 
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2. Mix the melted butter with the oil and brush over the slices of bread. Place in a baking tray and bake 8 minutes and then turn over  to bake 5 more minutes. The bread should have a deep golden color.
Capirotada2           Capirotada7 Capirotada8           Capirotada9
3. Start assembling the slices of bread in an round oven proof dish. With the help of a ladle slowly pour  syrup over the bread making sure the bread absorbs the syrup, do not let it go to the bottom of the dish in order to have enough syrup to moist all the bread pieces. Better yet dip the bread into the syrup to get and even moist crumb.
Capirotada10            Capirotada11
4. Top the first layer of bread with cheese, raisins and peanut or any other fruit or nuts you would like to add according to the suggestions given above or your own.
5. Place another layer or bread and continue the process as in step 4.
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6. Pour the remaining syrup over the last layer of bread and top with the cheese, raisings and peanut. Dot with the 2 tablespoons of butter cut in small cubes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in your preheated oven for 45 minutes until the top crust is golden and the lower layers are moist. Serve warm or cold.


Provecho
Mely




32 comments:

  1. Mely, I don't like capirotada but your introduction is amazing! What a nice way to describe the birth of this lenten food, I liked your version better, too. Your recipe, I'm sure, must be attractive to many people including my family who can kill for capirotada.
    Felices Pascuas!

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  2. Oh, Mely, that is fabulous! Thank you for sharing it with us. Yolanda

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  3. When I was a kid I didn't use to like capirotada, but now I love it! Thanks for sharing this :)

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  4. I love capirotada, Mely. So many flavors and textures. I throw things together all the time for dinners. I've always said that I could never open a restaurant because you have to be consistent with recipes. I can hardly make the same thing twice! Have a great day, Mely!

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  5. Mouthwatering Capirotada, Mely! I haven't had this in ages and I feel like I should make some. Wish I could just have a couple scoops of yours!

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  6. Qué rico!! me encanta!! y me gusta mucho que no los freíste completamente sino horneados!! qué rico Mely!! quiero hacer!!
    un beso amiga

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  7. Yum!! me encanta este postre,mi Abue lo prepara cada a-o en estas fechas :)

    Saludos, Mely!

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  8. Yes, everyone, it is capirotada time. A either you love it or hate it. Personally, growing up I didn't like it. But now, I love it. Maybe, I was a very picky eater back there.

    Thank you for your comments,

    Mely

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  9. Aye Mely!!
    I spoke to mi Ama last weekend and she gave me the recipe pero con tortillas.
    the receta is very similar to yours.
    I am muriendome for Capirotada, but since I gave up sugar..I'm waiting till Easter to artarme.
    Besios

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    Replies
    1. Hello Dora,
      You are right in the North part of the country some people add a layer or two of toasted tortillas.

      Good job in giving up sugar.

      Besos guapa

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  10. Mely, recién hice capirotada, pero no me gustó el no freirla, veo que tu usaste mantequilla. La verdad extrañé el sabor grasoso de siempre, ja. ¿Sabes? hay un estupendo queso que venden aquí. EL queso de cincho, aquél que lo fotografíe cuando me pediste fotos del mercado. Ese queso que enchilan y hacen paredes. Queda mejor que el cotija.
    Oye está muy bonitas tus fotos, tienes otro formato en tu blog y no me había dado cuenta, lo siento.

    Recibe mi cariño.

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    Replies
    1. Hola Carmen,

      SI me acuerdo se ese queso, y lo venden por aqui en el area aunque algo lejos. Lo tendren en cuenta para la proxima. Me creeras que nunca lo he hecho con el pan frito, lo he probado. Frito o tostado es cuestion de gustos, como quiera sabe delicioso.

      El formato del blog sigue igual.

      Un abrazo,

      Mely

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  11. Mely,
    como se me antoja tu capirotada, yo la hice nomas una vez pero no me salió como la esperaba, pero voy a hacerla otra vez con tu receta. Oye, ya no me acuerdo, el queso cotija es muy salado o bastante neutro?

    Un abrazo
    Tlaz

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    Replies
    1. Hola Flavio,

      EL queso cotiza es bastante salado. Si tienes un parmesano o romano seria buena idea usarlo. Por eso la receta que yo ahgo lleva muy poco y de acuerdo a las ocasiones que lo he hecho no necesita mas. Asi queda muy bien balanceados los sabores.

      Cuando lo prepares dejalo reposar unos minutos despues de haberlo sacado del horno para que todos los sabores esten en su punto.

      Un abrazo a ti tambien

      Mely

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  12. Que rico, sabes este es el postre favorito de mi madre, le encanta y me gusta como lo haz preparado tú, voy a probar con esta receta mil gracias Mely un abrazo afectuoso.

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  13. I love cinnamon and raisins. What a delicious sweet treat!

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  14. Hi Mely,
    This is an awesome dish that we would really enjoy, it looks so full of flavor! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day!
    Miz Helen

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  15. Mely, me hiciste recordar cuando mi mamá nos hacía capirotada. Ella lo hacía como antes por supuesto, el pan frito.
    Lo demás igual, qué rico, son los sabores de la infancia.

    Besos

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    Replies
    1. Hola Nora,

      Como hay comidas que nos llevan al pasado, a las memorias que tenemos asociadas con ese platillo y a la gente que nos une a esas memorias.

      Un abrazo,

      Mely

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  16. looks great loved the way you wrote this blog post fun

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  17. Hola mely

    Qué rico, me encanta la capirotada, un recuerdo de mi infancia, me encantaba cómo la preparaba mi abuelita!

    Lo he intentado pero no me queda igual y ahora, lástima porque no puedo comer pan =(

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  18. Todas las culturas tenemos algun tipo de budin de pan. Tengo una amiga que nos preparo este postre para Easter pero ella le echa a la leche cebolla y oregano al hervirla. Nuevo para mi. Le quedo estupendo y no e ncuentras el sabor de la cebolla o el oregano. Ella es de Mexico.

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    Replies
    1. Hola Enid,

      Gracias por compartir como lo prepara tu amiga. Estoy segura que sera de mucha ayuda para otras personas que tambien usan otros ingredientes en la receta o que les gusta experimentar con sabores diferentes.

      Feliz dia!

      Mely

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  19. Pasaba por aquí, pasaba por aquí, ningún teléfono cerca y no lo pude resistir, pasaba por aquí, larán, larín, larán
    Beso
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE0IIOLOrAo

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    Replies
    1. Gracis por la serenta Carmen.

      Me alegraste el rato.

      Saludos,

      Mely

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  20. Aquí ya había pasado !! jajaja!!
    saludos

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  21. Mely,

    Muchas gracias por compartir todo esto en tu blog. Yo soy mexicana y ahora estoy viviendo en Suecia. Cuando me entró la añoranza por la comida mexicana me encontré con tu maravilloso recetario y ahora, nomás de preparar las recetas, me siento más cerca de los que quiero.

    Muchos saludos,

    Carmen

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    Replies
    1. Gracias por tu comentario Carmen.

      Que bueno que te sirvan las recetas y te ayuden a recordar a nuestro Mexico Lindo y Querido.

      Saludos,

      Mely

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  22. que deli!!!! mil gracias por compartir esta deliciosidad!

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  23. Acabo de encontrar su página gracias a Diana de My Humble Kitchen y estoy encantada! He querido aprender a hacer Muchas de estas recetas! Me encanta la sencillez para describir todo(fácil para mi porque muchas receta auténticas mexicanas son difíciles de entender) El año pasado, mi mamá le pidió a mi tía abuela está receta. Lo malo es que ella no sabe dar medidas (porque ella no más le tantea). Nos quedó horrible! Ji ji!
    Q contenta se pondrá mi mamá cuando le diga q tengo esta receta!
    Gracias!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Andrea,

      Gracias por tus comentarios. Yo tambien usaba el "tanteometro" para cocinar, pero el tener el blog me ha obligado a escribir las recetas con cantidades :)

      Espero les guste la receta tanto como nos gusta aqui en casa.

      Saludos!

      Mely

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  24. Hola Mely, admiro todas tus recetas.. Riquísima tu receta de Capirotada y gracias por las fotos para ver paso a paso. Sabes yo lo hago así igualito como tu receta y también agregamos el anís, y UNAS. 3 RAMAS DE CILANTRO EN EL JARABE --- somos de Monterrey Nuevo Leon mas bien de ALLENDE, un pueblo magico entre montañas y mi receta es muy antigua de mi tatarabuela de parte de mama. Ojala la pruebes con el cilantro queda deliciosa. Felicidades por tu gran blog y trabajo!!

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