Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tequila Steaks + Stuffed Squash with Rose Petals #FoodNFlix

This month, #CooktheBooks and #FoodNFlix collide with a Frida Kahlo theme. Both events are hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats. I shared our experience at a mole-making class at a recipe for mole poblano for my Cook the Books submission in August, when Debra asked us to read The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck*. Read about our class: here.

Now for September's Food'N'Flix, Debra asked us to watch Frida. Here's her invitation.

Debra wrote: "You may (or may not)  know that September not only marks Mexican Independence Day (September 16), but it also marks a collaborative event with Cook the Books."

I had no idea about Mexican Independence Day. Now I do! And now I have another favorite movie, too.

Next month, Deb at Kahakai Kitchen hosts as we watch Beetlejuice. Stay tuned for more on that next month.

On the Screen...
I can't believe I haven't watched this movie before now. "Frida" chronicles the life of Frida Kahlo. From her complex and enduring relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera, to her illicit, controversial affair with Leon Trotsky, and through her provocative dalliances with women, Frida lived a bold, passionate life as an unapologetic political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary.

In 2002, Salma Hayek gave a fierce performance that was nominated for several awards including Best Actress at the Oscars. She didn't win the Oscar, but she was remarkable nonetheless. The rest of the cast was also superb, including Alfred Molina as Frida's unfaithful huband, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera; Valeria Golino as Lupe Marín, Diego's ex-wife who teaches Frida how to cook some of Diego's favorite foods; and Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas, Roger Rees, and Edward Norton. Tour de force!

I won't say too much except that the movie was a delight for the senses. Go watch it.

On the Plate...
There were so many food inspirations. But I knew that I had to do something with tequila as it appears in the film a lot. In one memorable scene, Tina Modotti, played by Ashley Judd, shoves a bottle of tequila across the table and declares that she'll dance with whoever takes the biggest swig. Well, that turns out to be Frida and they share an erotic tango.

This is the only link I could find for that scene on YouTube. It's the Italian version with Spanish subtitles. But you get the idea.

So, with that in mind, I made some tequila steaks.

Tequila Steaks

Ingredients serves 4
  • Four 6 to 8 ounce, about 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 C tequila
  • 1 T freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T freshly ground salt
  • butter for the pan and for serving

Place steaks in a flat dish. Salt and pepper both sides. Pour tequila over the top. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Flip the steaks over and let stand for another 15 minutes at least.

Preheat grill. Cook, brushing with remaining marinade until done. Rotating once per side and flipping once during cooking time, approximately 12 minutes total.

Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with a pat of butter on top.

Stuffed Squash with Rose Petals

For my second dish, I was inspired by all the rose petals around platters at the Trotsky dinner. I don't garden, but I have friends who do. And I'm glad I asked when I did because one friend told me I was a week too late to get roses. The other friend brought me her last ones. Thanks, Jenn!

Ingredients serves 4
  • 2 acorn squash
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • 1 to 2 C cooked rice (I boil mine in chicken stock for more flavor and I used a Madagascar pink rice for more color)
  • 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T fresh cilantro + more for garnish
  • 1/2 C onion, diced
  • 1/2 C roasted red peppers, diced
  • 2 T fresh organic rose petals, thinly sliced + more for garnish
  • zest and juice from 1 organic lime
  • 1 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and strands. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Invert into your baking dish or a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, approximately for 60 to 75 minutes.

Saute onions in a splash of olive oil until softened and translucent. You can even caramelize it if you prefer. I didn't want my dish too sweet though. Place the onions in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in the cooked rice, diced peppers, parsley, and cilantro. Add in the rose petals, lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve
Place roasted squash on your serving dish. Fill the hollow with rice. Carefully lay your rose petals on the plate around the squash. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.


  1. I haven't seen this movie in years, and I'm so excited to watch it again with an eye for the food. Both of these dishes are beautiful and sound absolutely delicious!

  2. Love both dishes, but especially those steaks!

  3. Your Stuffed Squash with Rose Petals is inspirational and I love the tequila steak, never would have thought of that combo.

  4. Hello tequila steak, where have you been my whole life? Great choice Camilla! And so perfect for the movie!

  5. Perfect! The Tequila steaks AND the squash!