Buñuelos for All Saints
Sitemeter informs me that only 15% of my hits come from Spain, so I thought it´d be nice to write a little ethnographic post, in the manner of the Discovery channel, so that you´d know what goes on here for Halloween.
We call it Todos los santos, or All Saints. And it´s all about honouring your dear and departed, so cementeries are chock-full of visitors. Nothing like Mexico, don´t be imagining any graveside picnics. People take flowers, and clean up the gravestones, lest the neighbours ( or the departed ) think them slatternly, but that´s it.
The food is eaten at home, buñuelos de viento, a fried dough with a sweet filling, being very typical. You can find them all year round in some places, but huesos de santo are strictly seasonal. This delicacy are little tubes or marzipan with various fillings, and look quite pretty.
I don´t really know much about All Saint´s day, to tell you the truth. I´ve never been to visit the graves of any family member, and I´ve never had a hueso de santo, so if I complain about people embracing the Jamie Lee Curtis version of Halloween, I don´t do so from a deep-seated love of our own tradition, but because I´m grouchy.
I just think it´s silly to have left out the trick or treating, which, along with Disney´s Sleepy Hollow, seems to me the best part about the thing. They´ve just concentrated on dressing up like extras of Thriller, but hey, whatever rocks your boat, and I suppose that´s fun, even without the sweets.
To keep the thing on a Spanish tune, I´ll give you a recipe for salty buñuelos. I never make it, myself, since you know I don´t fry , but everyone loves them, so I give it out a lot, in the hope that somebody will make them, and invite me over.
For a kitchen soundtrack, I suggest Mozart´s Don Giovanni. It´s appropriate, having a back-from-the-dead dinner guest, and is a version of the play old fashioned theaters always run for All Saints, Don Juan Tenorio.
BUÑUELOS DE BACALAO
(salt cod fritters)
serves 4. If people hover around you while you cook, nothing will get to the table, because they are very very good straight from the pan while you blow on your fingers.
250 gr. Salt cod, soaked and desalted,cut in little pieces, like a chocolate chip. You can also use raw prawns.
1 bottle beer ( you won´t need it all, so make sure it´s chilled and you can enjoy drinking it)
250 gr. flour
1 tsp. baking powder or soda
salt, maybe,depending on the saltiness of the fish
1 clove garlic, chopped
chopped onion ( I often leave it out)
Mix the flour, baking soda, egg, parsley and garlic. Add the fish. Mix well, make sure there are no lumps. If it´s too thick, add a glug of beer. You´re after a honey-ish consistency, thick but pourable.
Fry in small batches in hot olive oil, until they´re puffed up and golden. The oil has to be hot, or they won´t puff up. They cook very quickly.
J likes to drizzle them with honey. I go for that really delicious sweet/sour/hot Thai sauce in the big bottles.