Tuesday, March 1, 2011


This is the first in an occasional series of posts about some of the ingredients that we use at Paloma with which you may not be familiar.  We'll start with the lovely pithaya.

The pithaya (pee-TIE-ah) is a gorgeous fruit and, even in Mexico, is not widely available.  It's only found in some areas and has a rather short season. You can sometimes buy it here, sold in Asian markets as dragon fruit. It looks the same on the outside, but the flesh is white with a little pink, not the deep raspberry red of the Mexican variety we use in our sorbets.

Here is the pithaya, peeled. Besides sugar and a little water, it's the only ingredient in our pithaya sorbet.  Despite its assertive color, the flavor is quite delicate and very delicious. 

Because it is so hard to find, we are not able to offer pithaya sorbet all the time.  We do have it now, so stop by and try some!


As promised, since so many of you requested it, here is Adán's recipe for Wild  Mushroom Flan.  This dish has been on our menu since we opened in 1999.  Every time he wants to take it off, the complaints are heard loud and long.  You can use cultivated mushrooms or wild ones, although the cultivated mushrooms, while delicious, will give the dish a lighter and less earthy flavor.

makes 4 servings

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup cooked sliced wild mushrooms
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. finely chopped epazote (an herb, available dry or fresh in Mexican groceries)
salt and pepper to taste

Slice mushrooms.  Sauté mushrooms in a little olive oil until cooked, about 5 minutes.  You should have about one cup of cooked mushrooms.  Add heavy cream and epazote.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 4-5 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, add eggs and egg yolks.  Beat with a whisk until well blended.  Add the cream and mushroom mixture.  Mix until well blended.  Correct seasoning.

Set 4 medium-size ramekins in a bain marie.  Spray each ramekin with nonstick coating.  Divide mixture among the ramekins.  Add water to the bain marie and bake at 375̊ for 30-40 minutes.  If serving immediately, unmold onto a warm plate and drizzle with cilantro pesto.
To hold for later serving, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Remove plastic wrap and reheat in bain marie (or in a microwave at low to medium power), then unmold, drizzle with the pesto, and serve. 

1 bunch fresh cilantro (leaves only)
1/4 cup fresh garlic
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup blended olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, blanch cilantro leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, then shock in ice water.  Drain well and pat dry.  Roast pinenuts.  Put all ingredients except the oil into a food processor and blend, adding olive oil slowly.  It is not necessary to purée the pesto completely — it can be left a little bit chunky.  Correct seasoning.  Heat a small amount in a saucepan and drizzle over flan.  Serve immediately.