En la Cocina… El Charco del Ingenio
By Jade Arroyo
El Charco del Ingenio is a beautiful natural reserve, a botanical garden and space for the preservation of indigenous traditions and a forum for their expression; and it’s such an inclusive project that this philosophy of love and respect for nature is extended to the lovely cafeteria located right at the entrance, featuring an spectacular view and sense of peace which is hard to top. Following the ethical lines promoted by el Charco, the cafeteria works according to fair trade practices, buying from local producers and farms, using organic and home-made food and being as eco-friendly as possible.
Javier is responsible for the delicious food cooked here. He has cooked since childhood, when he use to help his parents at the mythical restaurant La Piñata (still missed by many of us); he knows the secrets that can only be learned from working in a real kitchen. Javier shared the recipe for huitlacoche crepes. If you feel like having a light meal (but are not so excited about a salad), crepes are ideal. The huitlacoche is a delicacy from Pre-Hispanic times, a corn fungus with a delicate flavour and interesting texture.
The cafeteria also offers juices, organic coffee, eggs, salads, home-made pizza and baked goodies and other healthy treats. Open every day from 9am to 6pm.
Huitlacoche crepes in marinara sauce
3 cups flour
3 cups milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 pinch baking
3 cups clean huitlacoche
2 cups grated Manchego cheese
1 jar of organic Rafela tomato sauce and basil
(for sale at the cafeteria)
In a large stainless steel bowl mix the flour, the salt and the egg with the help of a whisk, then add the milk gradually until obtaining an even mix.
Add a little olive oil to a hot frying pan and then add enough of the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan completely. When the underside is lightly browned, carefully flip the crepe. Cook the second side, remove from pan and put on a plate until use. Stack crepes on each other to cool and prevent sticking. To make the filling, sauté onion in oil until softened and add the chopped tomato and huitlacoche, let cook for 5 minutes until the huitlacoche is softened, while ensuring that the mixture is not too liquid. In another pan, reheat the crepes, spread with the cheese and the filling, fold in half and then in half again, putting extra cheese between each fold. Heat the sauce and put a little on the plate as a base for two crepes and sprinkle cheese on top.