snacking

the last time i was “working” in mexico d.f. , …i was on my way to the airport. but i i stopped at a hotel to take some pictures. (i liked the architecture)  i walked around and inside the building and took some shots… Shot the lounge, the stair case, some rooms being cleaned… etc
i walked by the dining room and before i could shoot anything in there, a man takes my arm and walks me to a table. well, i was a little embarrassed to say ‘no, i’m just here to shoot some fotos’. so, i just sat.   i called my friends and explained i was a little stuck. and might miss the flight. so,  they came to the hotel’s restaurant.
i wasn’t hungry. but i sat and looked over the menu.
i asked for a coffee and a small dessert. something sweet and savory is what i felt for. but i didn’t see anything on the menu that caught my eye.
so, the waitress brought me quince paste and a savory-ish sharp mexican cheese. WHAT?! with my coffee, too!
it was the best. i knew this would be one of my favorite snacks. totally. needless to say, she knew i loved it. and i wasn’t even hungry. :)
mmm. mm. m. dulce de membrillo con queso fresco.
in spain they may call it carne de membrillo and serve it with manchego cheese. in any case…the name and both types of cheese are tasty-yum.  but, since i was having this snack in mexico first, i will use the a sharper queso fresco.
this was back in 1992 ish – i missed my flight. but when you’re 22 ish and no children and a job that is as flexible as you are … well, what’s another day or two or five (months). i love mexico. mexico city, even. 


if you ever get a moment you can make quince paste or marmalade:
fresh quince
vanilla bean  (or extract)
cinnamon
agave syrup or sugar
lemon juice from a small yellow lemon
orange zest
parchment paper!!!
  1. cut 6 whole quince in small pieces. boil them in water with vanilla pod or a couple drops of vanilla extract, orange zest.
  2. when the quince is fully cooked (pieces should feel tender) remove them from stove and drain water and vanilla pod.
  3. in a food processor, puree the zest and quince. (i have a hand blender so i puree mine in the same pot. less dishes to wash.)
  4. add sweetener to your puree. i don’t like mine too sweet so i  measure how much puree i have and i use 1/2 the amount of sugar. (if you’re using sugar: 2 cups of puree=1 cup of sugar OR if you’re using agave: 2 cups of puree=1/2 cup of agave syrup) If you like it sweeter , well, then add a little more. make sure it dissolves completely.
  5. add lemon juice. and continue to heat and cook in low heat. this is the hard part… stirring for about 1 1/2 hours. you have to do this so the marmalade doesn’t clump and stick. it has to look a little orange/red when it’s fully cooked. it will be thick like a paste.

preheat oven time:
130F / 54C degrees.  transfer the cooked paste into a baking pan. (a cake pan)  make sure you line the pan with parchment paper. butter/grease the parchment paper to avoid your paste from sticking. let it harden in the oven for about 45 minutes.

cool down time. about an hour or less. i would use fridge because i don’t have a lot of patience.
you can cut it into small squares and place on top of slice of cheese.

mine has walnuts. – i candied the nuts with agave, cinnamon, nutmeg, california red pepper, salt, pepper. grilled them in pan with butter and these ingredients. they have this awesome sweet and savory with hint of spice to them. so damn good. YUMM!!!!! :)

so…. no time to cook? yeah!!! who has time nowadays? trader joe’s has this quince. and if you’re lucky enough to afford whole foods, they have it quince paste too. and if you’re luckier, still, Vallarta market has mega super sharing size of “membrillo” or quince. they have wheels of cheese in their cheese area. abundance. for sure.

 

 

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