Most likely you recognize the origins of this recipe. Every blogger and celebrity chef have their own variation of famous recipe from the Mexican novel Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Just in case you haven’t heard about it yet, here is the link to Robb Walsh’s Eating Roses. It was also my Valentine’s Day cooking project for my food blog in Russian in 2011 (see Recipe Notes below).
Go Romantic Texan
I am a big fan of adjusting recipes to local ingredients. I’d like to think my adjustments are smart. We have great Texas farmed quail available in HEB. We have great Texmati rice grown locally. The original recipe calls for chestnuts. Why not to use our pecans instead. The original fruit — prickly pear — is easily available in Texas, but it is not properly ripe when sold, and I am not sure it is allowed to pick prickly pears in state parks. Why not to use Texas peaches? Most likely you didn’t make peach butter or dry peaches last year. Well, do it this year! Until that, come to class and cook with my ingredients.
Cooking for Couples
Cooking together is one of the most romantic activities! This recipe requires cooking rice, quails, and sauce at the same time. While the logistics are easy for pros, it might be challenging for home cooks. That’s where cooking with loving partner might be highly beneficial. Come to my kitchen and I’ll teach you every step. Make this dish your special for special occasions!
To prepare leeks remove the dark green leaf and the root ends. Discard or reserve them for soup or stew stocks. Slice each white part in half from top to bottom. Separate layers and wash them under running water. Slice them into thin strips, then dice. Melt 1 tbsp of butter on hot skillet and saute leeks for about 1 minute until soft and fragrant.
Chop pecans and toast them on dry hot skillet.
Blend all stuffing ingredients.
Season stuffing to taste.
to cook quails
Debone quails. See Recipe Notes below for instructional videos. Preheat oven 350F, convection mode.
Prepare basting butter. Mix all ingredients and slowly heat to let garlic and chili flavor the butter.
Stuff the quails, place their wings back, and secure legs with a culinary string. Brush them with basting mixture.
Bake on rack for 15 minutes, basting 1 or 2 times. At the end, turn the temperature to 400F, brush the quails with the sauce (cooked at the same time), and caramelize for 3-4 minutes (right before serving)
Sauce is cooked at the same time as quails. Mix all ingredients except butter and cook until bubbles. Add butter right before serving.
To cook rice follow instructions on the packaging. Rice is cooked at the same time as the sauce and quails. Organic rose petals are edible, otherwise use them for decorative purposes only. Form rice bed in the middle of the plate, place quail on top, arrange peach slices, spoon some sauce around, and serve. Enjoy!
Texas Quail Farms, Inc., founded in 2003 with headquarters in Lockhart, Texas, is the largest state inspected quail processing plant in Texas. They are available in HEB, $9.99 for four whole quails.
Food-grade rose oil is available at The Herb Bar 200 W. Mary • Austin, TX 78704 • 512.444-6251