Making Pan de Muerto at Capella Ixtapa

pan de muerto

pan de muerto

I love Día de los muertos not just because of all the colors and activities involved during this holiday, but also because of the traditional food enjoyed throughout the festivities.  A few weekends ago, the team at  Capella Ixtapa prepared our traditional Day of the Dead altars, and I got to spend some time in our kitchen with our pastry Chef Antonio, observing how he prepared traditional Mexican sweet bread, pan de muerto.  If you haven’t tried pan de muerto yet, I encourage you to do so!  It literally melts in your mouth, and I love it best served with Mexican hot chocolate.  In Mexico, we usually enjoy pan de muerto during October and November, for Day of the Dead celebrations, but as the bread is so good, it is starting to be available throughout the rest of the year as well.  If you didn’t get a chance to enjoy it during Day of The Dead, do not despair!  I have asked Chef Antonio if he could share the recipe with us.  Now it can be enjoyed whenever!

Pan de muerto recipe

Ingredients

– wheat flour:   500 gr
– sugar:   160 gr
– salt:   20 gr
– orange flower water:   5 ml
– baking powder:   20 gr
– butter without salt:   150 gr
– eggs:   3
– lemon zest:   15 gr
– cinnamon powder:   5 gr

Preparation:

Use a mixer at low speed to mix flour, sugar, baking powder and eggs.  Add salt, lemon zest and cinnamon.  Increase the speed and slowly add butter until it gets incorporated and you obtain a homogenous mass.  Give a form to your bread making 2 crossed “bones” on top of the bread.  Let it rest for approximately 3 hours or until it doubles in size.  Bake in the oven at 185ºC (365 F) for 15 minutes or until it has a light gold color.  Allow it to cool and then glaze it with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar until you have a nice sugar coating.

Enjoy it with hot chocolate and orange marmalade.  Buen pvovecho!

Capella Ixtapa’s Red Fruit And Vanilla Salad

capella-ixtapa-spring-salad-recipe-01

capella-ixtapa-spring-salad-recipe-01

If you are a food lover like me, I am certain you love spring.  I love spring because nature is in bloom, the best surf season begins, and many of my favorite fruits and veggies are ready to be savored.  It has become a spring tradition of mine, to visit our kitchens quite frequently, as I am trying to see (and taste) what our Chef is preparing for the seasonal spring menu in our restaurants at Capella Ixtapa.

This year, one of my favorite new dishes is this Red Fruit and Vanilla Salad, which we have on our spring menu of romantic dinners.  I love it because in one dish it combines some of my favorite flavors, it is healthy, and beautiful, perfect to serve at spring garden parties and barbecues.  I enjoy having it by the pool, savoring it slowly while looking out across the ocean.  Chef Miguel recommends pairing it with a sparkling lemonade or glass of fresh white wine.  I love this salad so much, that Chef Miguel sent me home with the recipe, and he was pleased that I wanted to share it with you as well.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Red Fruit And Vanilla Salad

Ingredients:

– Sangria Lettuce
– Italian Chicory
– French Lettuce
– Romaine Lettuce
– Strawberries
– Blueberries
– Blackberries
– Fresh Mozzarella cheese
– Caramelized walnuts
– Red fruit compote (see preparation below f or use your favorite from the store)
– Vanilla Vinaigrette  (see preparation below or find it in a delicatessen stores)

Preparation:

– Clean and chop the lettuce in chunks.
– Cut the strawberries into fourths.
– Slice the Mozarella cheese.
– Chop the caramelized nuts.
– Inside a bowl, dress the lettuce with the Vanilla Vinaigrette, season with sea salt and pepper.
– Insert layers of the mix of lettuce and cheese slices.
– On top of the cheese place a bit of the compote and the red fruits.
– Sprinkle caramelized walnuts on top of the lettuce mix.
– Garnish with Red Fruit Compote and enjoy!

Red Fruit Compote: clean and chop a mix of your favorite berries, for example blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, simmer them in a pan with sugar as desired, vanilla pod and lemon juice, until  you achieve a thick consistency.  Let it cool down and reserve.

Vanilla Vinaigrette:  You will need vanilla pod, white-wine vinegar, sea salt, sugar and grape seed oil.  Remove the pulp from the vanilla pod and dissolve with one tea spoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and vinegar.  Emulsify with grape seed oil until you get a smooth texture.
Buen provecho!

What are your favorite dishes to enjoy in Springtime?  Share them with me in the comments below.