Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stuffed Marinated Cherry Peppers

Mozzarella Cheese
Green Cherry Peppers
White Vinegar
Olive Oil
Carve out the top and center of the green cherry pepper and marinate in the vinegar/olive oil mixture. Wrap a small 1/2" (1cm) cube of cheese in a small slice of prosciutto and stuff the with with it. Place back in the vinegar/olive oil mixture until serving time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tlalpeño Soup - Caldo Tlalpeño

2 Cups Garbanzo beans
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Lard
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Onion, Finely chopped
7-8 Cups chicken Stock
1/2 Chicken divided into parts or 1 whole bone-in chicken breast
2 Corn Cobs, Shucked and cut into medium-sized pieces (or 2 cups canned corn if prefered)
2 Potatos, cubed
3-4 Carrots, peeled and diced
1 Sprig Epazote
2 Cups green beans, halved
2 Medium Zucchinis, sliced and halved
2-4 Chipotle chiles in adobo (depending on how spicy you like it), finely diced
1 1/2 Cups Tomato Puree
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
1/2-1 Cup Cilantro
1 Avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
3 Lime, halved
1/2-1 Cup Panela Cheese, cubed, optional

Soak garbanzo beans in 4-5 cups of water in the refrigerator overnight.
In a Heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in the olive oil or lard until tender. Add chicken, and garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.
Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Add the corn cob pieces (if using canned corn instead, wait to add it), potatos, carrots, and epazote to the soup and simmer 10 minutes.
Add green beans to soup and continue to simmer another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove chicken from the bones.
Add zucchini, chipotle chiles (including the adobo sauce), tomato puree, shredded chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. (add canned corn at this point if not using corn cobs.) Simmer another 10 minutes or so, making sure the vegetables are tender.
Serve soup hot with cilantro, avocado, limes, and cheese on the side to garnish to taste.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Patitas de Cerdo con Garbanzos

2 1/2 lbs. fresh pork hocks or pigs feet
6 cups water
2 cans chick peas (garbanzos)
3 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup sofrito
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
1/2 lb. butternut pumpkin of your choice
2 small potatoes
Cut the meat into pieces and put them (pork hocks or pig's feet) in a large pot. Add the water and boil on moderate high heat for 2 hours or until the (hocks) or pig's feet are tender. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan. Add sofrito and the tomato sauce and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add to the pig's feet (or hocks), the drained chick peas, the boullion cube, the peeled pumpkin cut into pieces and the cubed potatoes.Reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for about 20 minutes.

Arroz con Habichuelas

1 lb. raw rice
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup sofrito
1 envelope sazón seasoning
1 tbsp. Manzanillo olives
1 tsp. capers
1 can tomato sauce
1 can chicken or beef broth
1/2 lb. bacon salt to taste (only if needed)water
In a rice caldero* cook the bacon until it is crispy. Take out the cooked bacon and chop into small pieces.In the same bacon fat, stir-fry the sofrito for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the cooked bacon, the tomato sauce, the pinto beans, the raw rice, and the beef or chicken broth and stir well. Add enough water to cover the rice, about 1 1/2 inch above rice line. Let it boil on medium-high until water evaporates. Cover your pan with aluminum foil (my secret) and cook over low heat for about 35-45 minutes.
Cover your pan with aluminum foil.

Ensalada de Pulpo

1 large octopus (4-5 lbs.)
3/4 c. onions
1 can pitted black olives
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp. parsley
4-6 celery stalks
juice of 3-4 lemons
olive oil
In a big deep pot, place the octopus*, add lots of water to cover it completely, and add salt.Cook the octopus on medium heat for approximately 1 3/4 hours or tender. When it's done, place it in a deep bowl to cool. After it cools down, clean (this means take out the eyes etc.), cut in small pieces and place the pieces in a bowl.Add the diced celery, the juice of the lemmons, the pitted olives sliced in half, the minced garlic, (a pilonazos), the diced onion, and the chopped parsley. Sprinkle everything with olive oil and adobo(just a little bit).
Serve on a lettuce leaf with crackers on the side or white rice. Try using purple onions for more flavor. Save time and buy the canned *octopus. You may need to adjust the recipe according to the amount of canned octopus.You can also use Manzanilla olives* instead.

Arroz con Calamares

1 lb. medium or long grain rice
4 cups of water
2 6 oz. cans squid in it's ink (calamares)
2 1/2 tbsp. sofrito
1/2 c. alcaparado (capers)
2 envelopes sazón seasoning with achiote
2 tbsp. Manzanilla olives
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Place the vegetable oil, sofrito, sazón with achiote, squid, olives, capers, onion soup and tomato sauce in a big pot. Thoroughly wash rice and add to the other ingredients. Pour water over the ingredients and stir well. (Water should be about 1 inch above the ingredients). Boil on medium high until all the water is absorbed. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot with aluminum foil* and lid.Cook for 35-40 minutes, depending on your stove. Decorate with "Pimientos Morrones."Serve with tostones.
Rule of thumb: Add 1 1/4 tbsp. of sofrito for every cup of rice you are cooking. Placing aluminum foil over the pot of rice. It gives the grains a chance to all pop evenly. (Another one of my secrets).

Bacalao Guisado

2 tbsp. vegetable canola oil
1 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. sofrito
2 lbs. bacalao (cod fish)
1 tsp. black pepper
6 ripe plum tomatoes diced
2 bay leaves
1 envelope sazón
1 tsp. capers
2 tsp. olives stuffed with pimento pepper (manzanilla olives)
Start by boilng the cod fish and change the water at least 2 times. Shred the cod and make sure it doesn't have any bones and set aside. Heat the vegetable canola oil in a skillet and add the sofrito, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce.Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the shredded cod fish, sazón, olives, capers, bay leaves, black pepper and salt if needed. Cook on low heat for another 15 minutes. Serve with white rice and tostones on the side.
It is best to change the water at least 2 times so the salt can be removed. If you don't, the cod fish will be very salty and you won't enjoy the dish.

Carne Beef

1 can corned beef
1 medium potato cubed
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 small pack sazón seasoning
2 tblsp. sofrito
2 tsp. capers
1 tbslsp. Manzanillo olives
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup watersalt and pepper to taste
Place the oil and the sofrito in a saucepan. Cook for 3-4 minutes.Add the alcaparras (capers), olives, tomato sauce, sazón, water and cubed potatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the corned beef, salt and pepper. It will be watery but you may add a little more water if needed.Cook on low heat about 20 minutes. The potatoes should be soft by now.
This is usually served with fried amarillos (yellow plantains),white rice, and a salad.

Carne Guisada

1- 1/2 lbs. stew meat
2-3 medium potatoes
1 envelope sazón
1 tsp. adobo
2-3 carrots (optional)
1 can petit-pois (peas)
1 tsp. Manzanilla olives (3-4 olives)
1 tsp. capers (alcaparrado)
2 tbsp. cooking wine
1 tbsp. sofrito
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1-2 laurel leaves
Salt to taste
Season the stew meat preferably the night before or 15-20 minutes before cooking so the adobo can do its trick.In a pressure cooker*, place the sofrito, tomato sauce, sazón, capers, wine, and meat. Fill pot half way with water and seal the lid.Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.(The 30 minutes start when the vapor starts to escape from the pressure valve)Meanwhile, peel and cut the potatoes (and carrots) and place them in a bowl of salted water.After 30 minutes, place the pressure cooker under a stream of running cold water to cool down the pot."VERY IMPORTANT":When ALL the pressure is out of the pot thru the pressure valve, it is safe to open it.Open the pot carefully and add the potatoes, (carrots), olives and laurel leaves.Cook (without the lid) for 15-20 minutes on medium heat oruntil all the veggies are soft but firm.Add the petit-poi (peas) 5-10 minutes before the stew is doneand stir carefully as to not mash the peas.

Milanesa Napolitana

2 pounds of cut meat strips
3 eggs
2 heads of garlic
1 can of tomato sauce
1 lb of port cheese
bread crumps
Prepare the meat
1) Get the meat
2) Remove the fat
3) Cut the meat into long, thin slices.
4) Salt both sides of the meat
Prepare the eggs and bread crumbs
1) In a large, deep plate add the bread crumbs and flour (You don't need to add it all)
2) Prepare another deep plate or bowl with the eggs, beat them then add some salt
3) Dice the parsly and garlic.
4) Add oregano, diced parsly and diced garlic with the eggs, mix well.
Making the milanesas
1) Put the thin meat strips into the egg mixture, then put it into the bread crumb mixture.
2) Once again put the meat into the eggs, and then the bread crumbs.
3) The meat should be covered with the bread crumbs
4) Add oil to a frying pan, when the oil is hot begin to fry the breaded meat.
5) Flip the meat to allow it to cook on both sides.
6) When the breaded meat is cooked, place it on a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil.
7) Heat the tomato sause.8) Move the milanesas to another flat pan.
9) Cover the milanesas in salsa, then cut slices of cheese and place them on the salsa. You should almost cover the whole milanesa in salsa and cheese.
10) Place the pan of milanesas in the oven, the cheese should melt.
11) Then enjoy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Roasted Pork Stuffed with Moros

Servings: 8
1 (6 to 8) pound fresh ham (Pork Shoulder)
1/4 cup oregano
3/4 cup sour orange juice
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound black beans
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 Italian peppers, divided, 1 diced, 1/2 in 1 piece
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and divided, 2 chopped, 2 crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 pound white rice
Red wine vinegar
First marinade the pork by combining the 1/4 cup oregano, sour orange juice, 1/4 cup garlic, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and let it stand for 1 hour. With a very sharp knife, cut ham across lengthwise exposing the bone. Cut around the bone and remove it. By making small cuts spread the ham until it is flat then trim into 4 equal rectangular shaped pieces. Discard any excessive fat. Season the meat with marinade and sit for at least 2 hours, refrigerated. Soak beans in water overnight. Bring beans, bay leaf and the 1/2 of pepper to a full boil. Simmer until beans soften then strain and remove pepper. Reserve the water (if necessary add more water to make 4 cups). In a large pan saute 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, diced pepper, chopped garlic and oregano until translucent. Add the rice, beans and water and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt. Reduce heat and cook covered until rice is soft. In a pan saute crushed garlic in the 4 tablespoons of olive oil until brown. Remove the cloves and add them to the rice. Season to taste with vinegar and let stand. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the rice in the middle of the ham and fold both ways until stuffing is fully covered. Tie with string both lengthwise and across. Place in a roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes per pound or until inside cavity reaches 150 degrees.

Pollo Asado

Servings: 4
3 lb whole chicken
2 Tsp dry oregano leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 Tsp salt, or to taste
6 garlic cloves
1/2 Tsp cumin
Juice of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 orange
Rinse chicken, pat dry. Place chicken breast up in a foil-lined shallow roasting pan. In mortar, place garlic, salt, oregano and black pepper, mash them well together. Mix with butter and lemon. With your fingers, carefully separate skin from breast, massage 1/2 of mixture gently between breast and skin, then spread the remaining mixture evenly over the whole chicken. Tuck wings under and tie legs together. Place pan in center of rack and cook for 40 minutes at 350 F (175 C), basting occasionally. Cook uncovered at 400 F (200 C) for 5-7 minutes. The chicken will taste better if marinated overnight.

Fricase de Pollo

4 lbs chicken fryer cut in 8 pieces
6 garlic cloves, cut up
1/2 cup sour orange juice (or mix half-half lime and orange)
1 lg onion sliced
1 lg bell pepper sliced
1 small can tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 small can Petit Pois (English Peas)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced pimiento filled olives
1 tsp capers
1 cup dry Sherry Wine (*)
1 lb potatoes, peeled and quartered
Marinade chicken pieces in garlic cloves, citrus juice, onion and bell pepper for at least one hour. Heat oil and brown chicken. Add onion, pepper and citrus from the marinade. Add tomato sauce, raisins, olives, capers, Sherry, salt & pepper. Add water to cover the chicken. Add the potato pieces in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Add the can of small peas just before serving.Wonderful over fluffy white rice.(*) Be sure to use only Sherry that you would drink, as so-called "cooking sherries" are loaded with salt.

Deviled Crab Cakes

Croquette Dough:
3 loaves stale American Bread- no crusts
1 loaf stale Cuban bread - ground very fine and sifted
1 level tbsp paprika 1 tsp salt
Soak American bread in water 15 minutes. Remove, squeeze until almost dry. Add Cuban bread gradually until dough is formed. Add paprika, salt. Mix well. Make ball from dough. Place in fridge about 3 hours
Crabmeat Filling
5 tbsp oil 3 onions finely chopped
½ red or green pepper finely chopped (or both)
4 garlic cloves mashed
1 level tsp crushed red hot pepper (Italian style)
2 bay leaves ½ tsp sugar
1 level tsp salt 1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 lb can fresh crab meat - claws - picked over and shredded
Fry onion, pepper(s), garlic, hot pepper in oil for 15 mins. (Very slowly) add bay leaves, sugar, salt, tomato paste. Stir. Cover and cook 15 minutes on low heat. Add crabmeat. Cook 10 minutes and then uncover. Keep in fridge 2 hours. Take about 3 tablespoons dough. Press in the palm of your hand. Add 1 tbsp crab mix. Seal like croquette with 2 pointed ends.
Dip into following mixture:
2 eggs well beaten with ½ cup milk, salt, dash black pepper. Mix 1cup cracker meal and ½ cup flour. Roll croquettes first in cracker/flour, then in egg mix, then in cracker/flour again. Refrigerate 2 hours (Never get the idea this is not something you dash off at the last minute!). Fry in deep fat until brown.

Caldo Gallego

Servings: 8
2 quarts water
1 cup dry white beans, pre-soaked
2 chorizos (sausage, available at Latin grocery stores)
1/2 pound cured ham, choppedseveral small pieces of pork fat
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon pure Spanish olive oil
1/4 cup chopped turnip
1 potato, peeled and chopped into
1/2 inch cubes
1 cup chopped collard greens
Place all ingredients (except potatoes and collard greens) in a 3-quart pot. Cook on medium-low heat until beans are tender (about 3 hours). Add potato pieces and collard greens and cook until tender. Salt to taste.

Vaca Frita

Servings: 4
3 pounds flank steak
2 bay leaves
1 carrot, cut into 3 pieces
1 tomato, cut in half
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, julienned
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 1/4 cups lime juice
Salt and pepper
To a large pot, add steak, bay leaves, carrot, tomato, cumin, and oregano and cover with water. Boil the meat until it becomes tender, then remove from the liquid, and shred the meat. Into a very hot saute pan pour 1/8 cup olive oil, then add the meat, making sure to spread it out evenly. Flip it over and cook until both sides become crispy. In a separate pan,

Bistec Palomilla

Servings: 1
1 Sirloin steak (8-10 oz.) Trim off fats
1 teaspoon of butter
3 tablespoons of white wine
2 teaspoons of olive oil for frying
1-2 oz. of Mojo criollo
1 Spanish onion
Tenderize meat by pounding
Coat meat and onions with Mojo Criollo and let marinate for 30 minutes or more
Add olive oil in frying pan
Place steak and onionsin frying pan and cook on high heat and cover
Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side
Recover and cook for 1-2 minutes

Lechon Asado

Servings: 4-6
3-4 lb pork butt
2-3 oz. cup white wine
1-2 oz. lemon juice
6-8 oz. Mojo
Coat meat with Mojo and marinate for 30 minutes or more
Place in oven pan and cover with foil
Roast for 1 ½ - 2 hours @ 450 degrees (or until center reaches 180 degrees)
Take out of oven and use tongs to pull meat apart until shredded
Place shredded pork in a pot of stove top
Cook on low flame mixing regularly

Arroz con Dulce

2 cups rice
2 cups water
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (pref. Coco Lopez)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup raisins
Cook the rice with water according to package directions until the liquid has just been absorbed (rice will not be thoroughly cooked). Remove from heat.
Warm the three milks with the cinnamon stick, cloves and ginger over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Add the milk, raisins and shredded coconut to the rice and simmer until the rice is soft, about 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves.
Pour the rice into a low serving dish or platter. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired.
Can be served warm or cold.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Chimi - Churri Sauce

Vinegar, apple or wine
Ground chile peppers
Salt & pepper
Bay leaves
Lemon juice
Chop up lots of parsley and some cloves of garlic. Mix it into a base of oil and vinegar. Add to taste, everything else. Use as a basting sauce for beef or chicken or sausages on the grill and serve at the table as well.

Formal Dinning Etiquette Guide

Dinner Setting Photo by Replacement, Ltd.

Dining Etiquette GuideRestaurant and Dinner Party Manners and Etiquette
Table manners play an important part in making a favorable impression. They are visible signals of the state of our manners and therefore are essential to professional success. The point of etiquette rules is to make you feel comfortable, not uncomfortable.

Restaurant Reservations:
Restaurant reservations are like any other appointment. If you make a reservation, stick to it. Call ahead if you’re going to be more than 15 minutes late, and cancel as far in advance as possible if your plans change so that someone else can get a table. Some restaurants take credit card numbers to hold reservations and charge no-show fees.

In a restaurant:
As soon as you are seated, remove the napkin from your place setting, unfold it, and put it in your lap. Do not shake it open. At some very formal restaurants, the waiter may do this for the diners, but it is not inappropriate to place your own napkin in your lap, even when this is the case.The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. Don't clean the cutlery or wipe your face with the napkin. NEVER use it to wipe your nose!

If you excuse yourself from the table, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate. Do not refold your napkin or wad it up on the table either. Never place your napkin on your chair.At the end of the meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of the place setting. It should not be crumpled or twisted; nor should it be folded. The napkin must also not be left on the chair.

At a private dinner party:
The meal begins when the host or hostess unfolds his or her napkin. This is your signal to do the same. Place your napkin on your lap, completely unfolded if it is a small luncheon napkin or in half, lengthwise, if it is a large dinner napkin. Do not shake it open.The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. Place the napkin in loose folds to the left of your plate.The host will signal the end of the meal by placing his or her napkin on the table. Once the meal is over, you too should place your napkin neatly on the table to the left of your dinner plate. (Do not refold your napkin, but don't wad it up, either.)

When to eat:
In a restaurant: Wait until all are served before beginning to eat.
At a private dinner party: When your host or hostess picks up their fork to eat, then you may eat. Do not start before this unless the host or hostess insists that you start eating.
Use the silverware farthest from your plate first.

Here's the rule:
Eat to your left, drink to your right. Any food dish to the left is yours, and any glass to the right is yours.Starting with the knife, fork, or spoon that is farthest from your plate, work your way in, using one utensil for each course. The salad fork is on your outermost left, followed by your dinner fork. Your soup spoon is on your outermost right, followed by your beverage spoon, salad knife and dinner knife. Your dessert spoon and fork are above your plate or brought out with dessert. If you remember the rule to work from the outside in, you'll be fine.

Continental/European Style: Knife in right hand, fork in left hand. Eat food with fork still in left hand. The difference is that you don't switch hands-you eat with your fork in your left hand, with the prongs curving downward.
Once used, your utensils, including the handles, should not touch the table again. Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate or in the bowl.
For more formal dinners, from course to course, your tableware will be taken away and replaced as needed.
To signal that your are done with the course, rest your fork, tines up, and knife blade in, with the handles resting at five o'clock an tips pointing to ten o'clock on your plate.Any unused silverware is simply left on the table.

General Etiquette Rules:
Arrive at least 10 minutes early unless otherwise specified.
Pass food from the left to the right.
Always say please when asking for something. Be sure to say thank you to your server and bus boy after they have removed any used items.
If asked for the salt or pepper, pass both together, even if a table mate asks for only one of them. This is so dinner guests won't have to search for orphaned shakers. Set any passed item, whether it's the salt and pepper shakers, a bread basket, or a butter plate, directly on the table instead of passing hand-to-hand.Never intercept a pass. Snagging a roll out of the breadbasket or taking a shake of salt when it is en route to someone else is a no-no.
Food is served from the left. Dishes are removed from the right.
Butter, spreads, or dips should be transferred from the serving dish to your plate before spreading or eating.
Never turn a wine glass upside down to decline wine. It is more polite to let the wine be poured and not draw attention. Otherwise, hold your hand over the wine glass to signal that you don't want any wine.
Always scoop food away from you.
Taste your food before seasoning it.
Do try a little of everything on your plate.
Don't blow on your food to cool it off. If it is too hot to eat, take the hint and wait.
Keep elbows off the table. Keep your left hand in your lap unless you are using it.
Do not talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed.
Cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Eat in small bites and slowly.
Don't clean up spills with your own napkin and don't touch items that have dropped on the floor. You can use your napkin to protect yourself from spills. Then, simply and politely ask your server to clean up and to bring you a replacement for the soiled napkin or dirty utensil.
Do not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room. If you cough, cover your mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent or vibrate mode before sitting down to eat, and leave it in your pocket or purse. It is impolite to answer a phone during dinner. If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside of the restaurant.
Do not use a toothpick or apply makeup at the table.
Whenever a woman leaves the table or returns to sit, all men seated with her should stand up.
Do not push your dishes away from you or stack them for the waiter when you are finished. Leave plates and glasses where they are.

Proper Tipping Etiquette:
At a restaurant, always leave a tip.
Tips can vary from 15% to 25%.
Waiter: 15% to 20% of the bill; 25% for extraordinary service
Wine steward: 15% of wine bill
Bartender: 10% – 15% of bar bill
Coat check: $1.00 per coat
Car attendant: $1.00 - $2.00

Remember that the amount you tip reflects the total price before any coupons, gift certificates, etc. Just because you get a discount, does not mean that your server did not serve up the full order. If the owner of the restaurant serves you himself, you should still tip him. He will divide the tip among those who work in the kitchen and dining room.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Servings: 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 pounds top round beef, cubed into
1-1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped yellow onions
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 aji dulce; seeded and minced
5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
4 quarts beef stock
2 green bananas, peeled and slice into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow plantain, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato (1/2 pound), diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
3 medium new potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered
1 large chayote, peeled, cored, and diced into
1-inch pieces
2 ears of white corn, cleaned and sliced into 6 parts each
In a preheated kettle over low-to-medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic, beef cubes, and onions, stir until beef is brown on all sides and onions begin to caramelize. Fold in chopped pepper, celery, aji dulce, cilantro, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and 1 quart of beef stock. Cook down until stock is reduced by half.
Stir beef, then fold in all the remaining vegetables and beef stock. Continue to cook until meat is tender and the vegetables soft.
Serving Suggestions: Since this soup contains beef and vegetables, it is hearty already. Serve alongside a freshly baked french bread and use the bread to soak up some of this delicious flavor.


2 lbs tripe chopped
in chunks of 1 inch
1 beef pastern
2 potatoes chopped
into small squares
1 carrot chopped
into small squares
½ lb. of pumpkin
chopped into small squares
½ lb. of cassava chopped in small squares
½ lb. of yam chopped in small squares
1 / 8 lb .of taro chopped into small squares
1 / 8 lb. of celery chopped in small squares
2 seasoning cubes
1 onion chopped into squares
1 pepper chopped into squares
1 green onion leaves
4 sweet peppers
2 coriander leaves
5 tablespoons olive oil
Can Add corn on the cob
Salt to taste
Cook in a pressure cooker with enough water, the beef pastern, tripe and salt for 1 hour, after that, add potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, taro, celery, cassava, yams, seasoning cubes, one water cup and cook for 20 minutes more, while adding in a pan with hot olive oil onion, green onion, sweet peppers, peppers and cook for 5 minutes, then add to the pot along with the other ingredients and finally add coriander leaves.


4 eggs
1 tomato chopped
into squares
1 small onion chopped
into squares
1/8 lb of ham chopped
into squares
1 teaspoon butter Salt to taste
In a pan add butter to cook over a low heat, add the eggs, tomato, onion, ham and salt, beating until the eggs are well cooked, serve, can be accompanied with arepa or bread

Cachitos de Jamon

1 lb of wheat flour
½ tbsp of salt
1/8 lb of sugar
1/16 lb of fresh yeast
1/8 lb of butter
1 tsp of essence of
cheddar cheese
1 egg
½ lb of ham sliced thinly
1/3 lb of bacon sliced thinly
1 tsp of butter
2 beaten eggs
In an table place the flour in the form of crown, in the center, add the salt, sugar, yeast and butter, mix with your hands, and add the warm water gradually, mixing go, add the essence of cheese and continue kneading by about 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth and elastic mass. Let stand covered with a clean, damp cloth.
Apart in a bowl mix the ham, bacon and butter, if necessary add a pinch of salt. Book cooled. Once past at least thirty minutes, take the dough and draw air, whisk again and cut pieces of about 1/9 lb each, Stretch using a roller with triangular shape placing triangles in a greased surface.
When all the triangles are stretched begin arming the cachito. Start by placing in the wide triangle a little filling, closing well plugging and filling goal tips inward roll surplus with the tip of the triangle of caring inroll well. Give crescent shape and place on a greased tray.
Once cachitos are all armed, lead without turning on the oven to grow once double its original size, paint with beaten egg very well, leading to the oven at 350 degrees until they be golden brown.

Bollos Pelones

1 lb precooked white corn flour
2 water cups
For the fill
½ lb Ground beef
3 medium tomatoes grated
1 small onion grated
2 cloves garlic grated
1 branch of parsley cut into small squares
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation fill:
In a pre-heated pan with oil, add the tomatoes, Onion, Garlic, Parsley And finally add the meat, fry until it is cooked well
Preparation of Bollo: In a bowl add the water and salt and flour, Then knead with your hands until the mixture is well compact, later to make 5 balls of dough, Open a hole to put the fill that previously was prepared, Plug the hole with the same dough, Then in a pot with boiling water add balls, when the Bollos raise the surface of the water, Remove and serve

Bistec a Caballo

1 and ½ lb of beef loin
sliced cut into 6
4 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of oil
1 tsp of mustard
2 tbsp of Perrins sauce
2 tsp of crumbled thyme
2 onions chopped
6 tomatoes chopped
6 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
To melt the butter in a frying pan, add the oil and when it be hot, fry the steaks for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, giving them a return only once to remove and reserve. Then, in the fat remaining in skillet mix mustard, room perrins, thyme, salt and pepper and cook chopped onions over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, lower the heat, cover and cook about 3 minutes additionals. Then again put the meat into the pan, cover with the sauce prepared and leave for a few minutes to warm. Serve meat covered with the stew and with a fried egg on top of each fillet.

Spanish Cooking Terms

A Caballo-a folkloric expression that means a plate of rice and beans with a fried egg "mounted" on top.
Aceite con Achiote-annatto oil.
Aceite de Maiz-corn oil
Aceituna-olive The olive most used in Puerto Rico is the manzanilla, which is a pitted green olive stuffed with pimiento.
Acelga-Swiss chard. Used to make caldo Gallego (Galician Soup).
Acerola-West Indian or Bardados cherry. This fruit is best known for its high vitamin C content. Traditionally it was used to make refresco de acerola, or acerola juice.
Achiote or Achote-annatto seeds.
Achiotera-a container used to store annatto oil with its seeds. The oil is heated every time it is needed so the seeds can release their yellow color.
Adobo-The basic seasoning combination of Puerto Rican cooking.
Agua de Azahar-orange blossom water. A distilled water made of orange blossoms, used to flavor traditional desserts like rice-flour stovetop custard.
Aji Caballero or Aji Picante-hot chili pepper -A hot pepper about 1 inch long. It is the only hot pepper used in traditional cooking. It is also used to make pigue, a fermented vinegar used as a condiment.
Aji Dulce-sweet chili pepper.
Ajilimojili-a traditional sauce made with garlic, peppercorns, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. It is served with boiled root vegetables or over grilled meats.
Ajonjoli-sesame seeds
Alboronia de Chayote-chayote salad
Alcaparra-caper-Most frequently used in alcaparrado.
Alcaparrado-a mixture of green olives, capers, and pimientos.
Alcapurria-a traditional fritter made of grated yautia (taro root) and green bananas, stuffed with picadillo. It can also be stuffed with crabmeat or chicken
Almojabana-rice-flour fritter
Amarillo-ripe yellow plantain
Anafre-portable burner. Used in the old days in place of a stove. It was usually made of a cracker-tin can, with holes added to improve the ventilation. Anafres were also made of iron and placed on top of the fogon.
Ani en Semilla-aniseed. Used mostly to prepare desserts.
Apio-a root vegetable with brown skin, yellow flesh, and a very strong starchy taste. It is used mostly to make heavy soups like sancocho and tripe soup.
Arroz Amarillo-basic yellow rice made with annatto oil, which can also be combined with meat, seafood, or vegetables.
Arroz con Dulce-Puerto Rican rice pudding. A traditional dessert made with rice, coconut milk, ginger, and spices.
Arroz con Gandules-yellow rice with green pigeon peas. This is Puerto Rico's national rice dish.
Arroz con Pollo-yellow rice with chicken
Arroz y Habichuelas-rice and beans
Asalto Navideno-Christmas caroling. Traditionally, a group of people get together and surprise a neighbor in the middle of the night with Christmas songs. They go from house to house, and at the last stop they prepare a chicken asopao.
Asopao-one of the national soup of Puerto Rico. It has a thick consistency and is derived from the Spanish paella. It is a mixture of rice, chicken, alcaparrado and recaito. Asopao can also be made with seafood, green pigeon peas, or salt codfish.
Avellana-hazelnut. Hazelnuts and walnuts are traditional Christmas nuts of Puerto Rico
Bacalao-salt codfish
Bacalaito-salt codfish fritter
Barrilito-a type of Puerto Rican rum that is 86 proof
Batata, Batata Blanca-Puerto Rican yam or sweet potato. A root vegetable with a skin that varies from pink to purple. It has a gray-white flesh and a very sweet taste. Batatas are eaten boiled, baked, or fried.
Besito de Coco-coconut kiss. A traditional dessert made with fresh-grated coconut, sugar, and spices.
Bili-a mix of rum and quenepas that gets fermented. The rum is then drained and served. This is a typical drink of Vieques, and island located on the east coast of the island of Puerto Rico
Bistec-cubed steak. Used to prepare Puerto Rican pepper steak.
Bodega-Spanish grocery store
Bollo de Pan-a loaf of bakery bread
Boronia de Chayote-Chayote stew
Botana-means dip; can also mean snack
Bunuelo Beignet-a fritter made with flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. It can be sweet or savory (made with Parmesan cheese)
Buñuelos-fried fritters topped with a brown sugar syrup
Buren-flat griddle. This was traditionally made of clay and used by the Taino natives to cook casabe
Butifarra-pork sausage seasoned with spices like cinnamon and anise, usually eaten for breakfast
Cabrito-young goat. Usually prepared in a stew
Cafe con Leche-strong black coffee with steamed milk
Cafe Negro-black coffee
Cafe Puya-unsweetened black coffee
Cafe Tinta-espresso
Calabaza-West Indian pumpkin
Calamar en su Tinta-squid in its ink. Sold canned, it is used to make rice with squid
Caldero-cauldron or cooking pot. This traditional pot, made of iron or thick almuminum, is used to make Puerto Rican rice dishes.
Cana de Azucar-sugar cane
Caramelo-caramel. Made of granulated sugar; used to coat the pan in which flan is cooked
Carne Vieja-dry salted beef, sold in small slabs covered with a layer of lard. It is usually prepared with scrambled eggs and onions
Casabe-cassava bread. A flat bread made with grated cassava
Cascos de Guayaba-guava shells. They are usually cooked in a sugar syrup and re readily available canned
Cazuela-a dessert casserole made of calabaza and yam
Champola-a soursop drink made with milk
Chayote-a vegetable of the squash family, also known as mirlition, vegetable pear, or christophine. It has a white or green skin and cream-colored flesh, with a somewhat bland taste.
Chayotes can be stored at room temperature and are available year-round
Chicharron-pork crackling. Deep-fried pieces of pork skin or cut-up pieces of boneless pork shoulder. Small pieces of deepfried chicken are also called chicharron
Chillo-red snapper
Chironja-a cross between an orange and a grapefruit
Chorizo-Mexican sausage, a common breakfast food
Cilantro-coriander, best used fresh dried
Coco Rallado-shredded coconut
Coco Seco-dry, mature coconut with a brown, hairy shell and firm white flesh
Coco Verde-green coconut, usually sold refrigerated at roadside stands. The flesh is soft and the water, which is usually sweet, can be drunk straight from the coconut shell.
Codito-elbow macaroni
Colador de cafe-cloth colander used in the old days to prepare coffee
Comino-cumin, used in salsas, to season many dishes
Conejo-rabbit. Stewed rabbit meat is eaten on holidays and special occasions like weddings or christenings
Coquito-rum eggnog. This is a traditional Christmas drink
Cream de Coco-coconut cream
Criolla-creole. This term is used to denote traditional Puerto Rican cooking.
Cuchifrito-deep-fried pork pieces sold at roadside stands. These usually consist of pig's ears, tails, stomach, ets. Cuchifrito is also the name given to the fast-food establishments on the island of Puerto Rico that serve traditional fritters to go
Culantro-is another name for recao
Dita-a bowl carved from the higuera tree. In the old days it was used to wash rice and measure beans
Dulce-a sweet, usually eaten as a dessert, made with yam, pineapple, or coconut
Dulce de Platano-a dessert dish made with very ripe yellow plantains cooked in red wine, sugar, and spices
Empanada-turnover. A fritter made of dough stuffed with picadillo, crab stew, or chicken
Empanadilla-small turnover
Filete-beef tenderloin
Flan-custard. A national dessert of Spanish heritage made of milk, eggs, sugar, and spices
Fogon-a hearth made of three stones arranged in a triangle, with pieces of wood placed within
Funche-Puerto Rican polenta. This has been a staple dish since the Tainos lived on the island. It used to be made with lard, but today corn or olive oil is used instead.
Galleta por Soda-soda cracker. Eaten as an afternoon snack with cafe con leche. Crushed soda crackers, known as galleta molida (cracker meal), are used for breading.
Gandinza-pork liver
Gandul-green pigon pea
Grano-dialect term for rice-flour fritter on Puerto Rico's east coast, and the word for beans on some parts of the island
Greca de Cafe-Italian coffee pot used to make strong black coffee
Grosella-gooseberry. Cooked in water and sugar to make a compote
Guanime-Puerto Rican tamal. Guanimes have been a staple food since the Taino days. They are made plain, without stuffing and are wrapped in banana leave. Served with salt codfish stew, guanimes are an everyday peasant lunch
Guarapo de Cana-sugar can juice. Sold freshly squeezed at roadside stands
Guayaba-guava. Fruit with a green skin, pink flesh, and small seeds. Fresh guavas are hard to find and can be expensive. Frozen pulp and juice concentrate are easily found year-round. On the island of Puerto Rico where they are abundat, guavas are made into a paste and the shells are cooked in sugar syrup. Both are served as desserts with white cheese
Guayo-grater. Used to shred root vegetables
Guineo Maduro-ripe yellow banana. Eaten as a fruit
Guineo Manzano-apple banana. Eaten green as a vianda (root vegetable), or ripe, as a fruit
Guineo Nino-lady-finger banana. Eaten only when ripe. Dipped in flour and deep-fried, it is served as a side dish
Guineo Verde-green banana. Eaten as a side-dish starch. Green bananas are a part of the viandas family. The leaves are used to wrap guanimes, pasteles, and arroz apastelado.
Haba-lima bean
Habichuela Blanca-white bean
Habichuela Colorada-small red kidney bean
Habichuela Marca Diablo-red kidney bean
Habichuela Rosada or Rosita-pink bean
Hoja de Guineo-banana leaf. Used to wrap pasteles and guanimes
Hojaldre-puff pastry
Hojas-dried corn husks used as wrappers to make tamales
Horchata de Ajonjoli-a drink made of ground sesame seeds, water, and sugar
Horno de Microonda-microwave oven
Jamon de Cocinar-smoked cooking ham
Jibaro Envuelto-lady-finger banana dipped in flour, fried, and served as a side dish
Jicama-a sweet crisp vegetable used as potatoes are used
Juey-Caribbean land crab
Kahlua-a dark rich Mexican coffee liqueur
Langosta-lobster. The lobster commonly found in the Caribbean Sea is the spiny or rock lobster. It is very hard to find on the mainland, but American (Maine) lobster can be substituted Leche de Coco-coconut milk
Lechon Asado a la Varita-a whole pig seasoned with adobo and cooked slowly over a charcoal pit
Lechon de Mechar-beef round cut, used on the island to make pot roast
Lechonera-a stand where pit-roasted pig is sold by the pound or by the portion
Leren-a plant similar to a water chestnut, cultivated by the Tainos
Limber-fruit juice frozen into ice cubes and eaten as a snack. The most famous limbers are sold in Old San Juan
Limon Verde-a lime with very acidic juice, known on the mainland as key lime
Longaniza-Spanish pork sausage, seasoned with cilantro, spices, and bay leaves. Used to make yellow rice
Mabi-a fermented drink made from the bark of the mabi tree. On the island this is a daily drink. On the mainland, especially in the New York area, it is available only from April to September
Maicena-cornstarch. Cornstarch is prepared as a hot breakfast cereal on the island, with milk and egg yolks. It is also used in the preparation of many custard desserts
Majarete-a rice-flour dessert made during the Christmas season, especially on Three Kings Day (Epiphany)
Malanga-a root vegetable with brown skin and white or purple flesh. It is used to make sancocho and tripe soup. It is also boiled and served with salt codfish salad
Mamey-a fruit with a rough brown skin and bright red flesh. It is mostly eaten in preserves and compotes. Fresh mamey is very hard to find, but the frozen pulp is available year-round in Hispanic markets
Mandarina-mandarin orange
Masa-corn dough used for making tortillas, tamales, enchiladas, ect.
Masa Harina-an instant corn flour
Mero-red grouper. This fish is traditionally used to prepare escabeche during the Lent season
Mofongo-fried green plantain mashed in a mortar and shaped into a ball. Traditionally it was seasoned with fresh garlic and pork cracklings. New versions are stuffed with seafood, chicken, or vegetables
Mojo-a classic sauce that originated in the coastal town of Salinas, made with olives, tomato sauce, and vinegar
Mojo de Ajo-a garlic dipping sauce served with tostones or boiled cassava
Mole-a sauce made from a paste of chiles, chocolate, spices, used to top meat entrees
Molleja-chicken gizzard stewed in tomato sauce; usually served as an appetizer
Mondongo-a thick soup made with beef tripe, assorted root vegetables, and seasonings
Morcilla-blood sausage. A black sausage made from fresh pork blood and cooked rice. This is a traditional Christmas food
Name-yam. A root vegetable with brown skin and white flesh. It is used in sancocha and eaten boiled
Naranja Agria-sour orange, used mainly to prepare marinades. The white shell of the fruit is cooked in sugar and served as a dessert
Nopal-cactus, only tender young leaflets are used to make candy, mixed with various other foods such as eggs, chiles, ect., can also be eaten alone
Nuez Moscada-nutmeg
Olla-soup pot. Usually made of aluminum
Oregano Brujo-Puerto Rican wild oregano. This oregano, with its distinctive pungent aroma, grows wild on the island. It is mostly used to make sofrito. It is very hard to find on the mainland
Paella-a Spanish dish that consists of rice, saffron, chorizo and meat or seafood
Paellera-a round, shallow iron pot with two handles, used to cook paella
Pana or Panapen-breadfruit. A round fruit with green skin and white flesh that came to the island of Puerto Rico from Tahiti. When green, it is eaten as a vianda or made into chips and tostones. When ripe, it is made into a dessert custard or boiled and mashed like potatoes. Breadfruit is available only during August and September. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two and can also be frozen. Peel and remove the middle seed before cooking.
Pana de Pepita-breadfruit nut. A chestnutlike seed that is generally eaten boiled.
Parcha-passion fruit
Pasteles-dumplings made from shredded root vegetables, stuffed with picadillo and boiled in banana or plantain leaves
Pasta de Guayaba-guava paste. This is found in most bodegas and many supermarkets. It is used in many desserts, and as a jam
Pastel de Masa-grated assorted root vegetables stuffed with pork, olives, and raisins and wrapped in banana leaves. A traditional Christmas food
Pastelon de Platano-yellow plantain pie made of fried slices of yellow plantain, beef picadillo, and green beans
Patas de Cerdo-pigs feet. Usually prepared as a stew with chick-peas
Pegao-the crusty bottom of the rice that sticks to the pot. It is scraped and served with bean stew
Pernil de Cerdo-pork shoulder
Picadillo-a basic beef stuffing mix made of ground beef, sofrito, raisins, and olives
Piloncillo-unrefined Mexican brown sugar sold in small cone shape
Pilon-mortar and pestle. A cooking utensil traditionally used to prepare recaito. Taino pilones were made of stone. More recently they were made of wood; nowadays they are usually made of aluminum or plastic
Pimiento-bell pepper
Pimiento de Coconar-Italian frying pepper
Pimiento Morron-roasted red pepper. Usually sold in cans or jars, preserved in water and salt. This is a classic garnish for rice dishes like arroz con pollp, potato salad, and asopaos
Pincho-skewered beef cubes
Pina-pineapple. The best pineapples grown on the island are from the Lajas Valley on the southwest coast. Puerto Rican pineapples are rately available on the mainland, but the Hawaian pineapples available there can be used instead
Pinole-toasted ground corn, makes a delicious drink with milk
Pinon de Amarillo-yellow plantain pie
Pionono-a fritter made with yellow plantain. The plantain is cut lengthwise and fried. It is then shaped into a cup, stuffed with beef, chicken, or crab, sealed with eggs, and pan-fried
Pique-vinegar seasoned with hot peppers, spices, and sour orange. Mostly used as a condiment
Platano Maduro-yellow plantain
Platano Verde-green plantain
Platanutre-plantain chip
Polvo de Galleta-soda-cracker meal
Pote-an empty metal can, used in the old days as a cup to drink black coffee
Presa de Pollo-chicken pieces
Punto de Nieve-egg whites beaten until very stiff (literally, "snow peak")
Quenepa-the fruit of a Caribbean tree, with green skin, pink flesh, and a large pit. The best ones are grown in Ponce, a town on the sourth coast of Puerto Rico. Quenepas are available fresh mostly during August. They are sold in bunches or packed in small plastic bags, and can be stored at room temperature.
Queso Blanco, Queso de Hoja or Queso del Pais-Puerto Rican white cheese. A lightly salted white cheese made of cow's milk. A distinctive characteristic of this cheese is that it does not melt
Queso de Papa-Cheddar cheese
Rajas de Chile-strips of chile
Recaito-a key seasoning in Puerto Pican cooking. It is a combination of onions, garlic, peppers, and recao or cilantro
Recao-green spiny leaf
Relleno-a fritter made of mashed potatoes stuffed with picadillo, shaped into a ball, and deep-fried. Canned corn beef is also used as a filling
Salchicha-Vienna sausage
Salchichon-salami The salami used in Puerto Rico is similar to Genoa salami. Salchichon is widely available in bodegas and supermarkets
Salmorejo de Jueyes-crabmeat stew
Salsa de Tomate-tomato sauce
Sancocho-a thick soup made of assorted meats, root vegetables, sofrito, and corn on the cob, and traditionally served with plain white rice
Sangria-Spanish wine punch
Sarten-frying pan
Serenata de Bacalao-salt codfish salad. Made with salt codfish, potatoes, eggs, tomato, and avocado
Sofrito Recaito-cooked with ham, alcaparrado, and tomato sauce. Sofrito is the base for many stews and sauces
Sopon-another name for asopao
Sorullo de Maiz or Sorullito-a fritter made ov cornmeal and shaped like a cigar, stuffed with cheese, and deep-fried. The most famous ones are made in Lajas, on Phosphorescent Bay (the same town where the island's best pineapples are grown). They are served with a sauce made of mayonnaise and ketchup.
Tasajo-Puerto Rican dry cured beef
Tayote-another name for chayote
Tembleque-a stirred custard made of coconut milk and sugar (literally "shaky")
Tomatillos-small green tomatoes, used in soups, salsas, salads
Toston-a slice of green plantain fried, smashed flat, and refried
Tostonera-the utensil traditionally used to prepare tostones. It is made of two flat pieces of wood screwed together.
Tostoneras-can be found in bodegas and supermarkets. If they are not available, smash the plantain between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Turron-almond nougat. A sweet eaten during the Christmas season
Uva de Playa-sea grape
Verdolagas-a common weed in the Southwest and other dry, desert regions. Purslane is another name.
Verduras-root vegetables
Viandas-root vegetables
Vinagre de manzana-cider vinegar
Yautia-taro root
Yuca-cassava, a root vegetable with hard white flesh and a rough brown skin

Typical Venezuelan Dishes

Arepa Asado
Bistec a caballo
Bollo pelón
Cachapa - Maize tortilla
Cachitos - de jamón, similar to French croissants
Chicharrón Chivo al coco - a generous serving of shredded goat cooked in coconut milk, topped with mofongo (fried, mashed green bananas).
Corbullón de mero
Empanada Ensalda Caprese - Caprese salad (tomato, mozzarella, basil)
Ensalada de pollo - Chicken salad
Lengua de Res - Cow tongue "a la vinagretta" (in a vinaigrette)
Mondongo (Tripe)
Ñoquis - Potato pasta, more prominent in the Central region.
Hervido de gallina - Hen soup
Pabellón criollo - Creole pavilion, the National dish.
Pastel de pollo Pasticho - the Venezuelan version of lasagna; from the Italian pasticcio[1] Patacones
Pescado sudado
Pisca Andina
Pisillo de chigüire Polenta - it is also known as "Funche" in some areas of the country.
Sancocho de pescado
Sopa de rabo
Torta de plátano caraotas negras (black beans)
Typical snacks
Empanada Golfeados "Pastelito"
Tequeño topacachus
Besitos de coco - small and round coconut candy
Cannoli - often called "cannoli siciliano"
Conserva de coco
Conserva de güayaba
Dulce de leche - A solid version made in Coro.
Dulce de lechoza
Mousse de chocolate
Pudín de chocolate - Chocolate pudin
Quesillo - Local style
Pionono - Spanish rolled cake also "brazo gitano"
Torta de queso - Cheese cake
Zabaglione - crema "Zabayon"


1 cup white flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
oil for frying
several Tbsp granulated sugar to sprinkle or honey
This churros recipe makes 2-3 servings for breakfast. In the case additional servings are needed, prepare in batches so churros are warm when served.
Pour vegetable oil, such as canola or corn oil into a large heavy bottomed frying pan. Make sure there is about 2 inches of oil in the pan to cover the churros. There should be enough oil so that they float freely while frying. Set pan aside.
In a medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup water. Add oil, salt, sugar and stir. Bring water to a boil.
While waiting for water to boil, dry the cup used to measure the water and use it to measure flour, since it is necessary to have equal parts flour and water. Pour flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add baking powder and stir.
Once water boils, remove saucepan and begin heating oil in frying pan.
Slowly pour boiling water from saucepan into flour mixture - stirring constantly with a fork until it is a smooth dough without lumps.
Note: Dough should not be runny like a batter, but rather a sticky smooth dough.
Spoon dough into a churrera (a large cookie press) or pastry bag.
Carefully squeeze dough into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spatula or long-handled fork. Place on a paper towel to drain.
Once drained, cut into manageable lengths. Sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey and serve.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Puerto Rican Prawns with Lobster-Yucca Mofongo and Sofrito Broth

Servings: 4
1/2 gallon vegetable oil, plus more for the mold
2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) oil, plus 4 tablespoons, recipe follows
2 (2-pound) Caribbean lobster tails
2 yucca, peeled, boiled, and cubed
4 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
12 prawns, peeled, cleaned, and deveined
4 cups sofrito broth, recipe follows
Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy-duty 4-quart stockpot.
Heat 2 tablespoons achiote oil in a skillet and saute the lobster meat until just warm. Remove from pan and place on a clean plate. Cover the lobster with plastic wrap and keep warm while preparing the yucca. Place the yucca in the hot vegetable oil and deep fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. When the yucca is ready, place in a bowl and add the remainder of the achiote oil and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and toss to distribute all ingredients evenly. Mash the yucca until there is an even red color throughout the mixture. Add the warm lobster to the yucca and fold together. Using your hands, fill a greased 1 cup mold (pilon) with the mofongo and pack firmly to form a mold. Remove the mofongo from the mold by turning the mold upside down and tapping gently. Repeat this procedure with remaining yucca mixture. You should have 4 pilon shaped mofongos. Place on a plate, wrap in plastic, and keep warm while preparing the prawns.
For the prawns, heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and cook 30 seconds per side. Add 4 cups of the sofrito broth to the prawns and simmer until prawns are cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. To serve, place 1 mofongo in the middle of 4 pasta bowls and arrange 3 prawns around each of the mofongo. Ladle broth over mofongo and serve immediately.
Achiote Oil:
2 cups Spanish olive oil
1 cup annatto seeds
Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepot. Add the annatto seeds and remove from heat. Let steep at room temperature for 4 hours. Strain oil into a glass container. Keeps for up to 1 month.
Yield: 2 cups
Sofrito Broth:
4 tablespoons achiote oil
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup diced aji dulce pepper (substitute a bell pepper)
1/2 cup diced onion
4 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tomatoes. peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup minced recao (substitute cilantro)
5 cups shrimp stock or clam juice
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup sliced pimento stuffed olives
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
Heat the achiote oil in a saucepan. Add the bell pepper, aji dulce, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and recao and saute for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the shrimp stock, tomato puree, and olives and simmer gently for 20 minutes until all flavors are combined to an aromatic broth. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, and serve.
Yield: 1 quart

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pan de Manteca-o-Saboa

5 lbs. flour
1 1/2 oz. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 liters water
1/2 oz. dry yeast
Preheat oven on 340º F to 350º F.Mix water, sugar, salt and shortening for 2 or 3 minutes. In a heavy-duty mixer, add flour and yeast and knead the dough for 15 minutes. Divide the dough in 5 equal portions and shape them into loaves. Place loaves on baking sheets and allow rising until they are doubled.Bake until golden.
The loaves are done when you tap them and it makes a hollow sound.

Pan de Agua

1 pack of active yeast
1 tbsp. of sugar
2 cups of warm water
1 tbsp. of salt
15 cups of flour
3 tsp. of corn flour (fine)
2 tbsp.of egg whites
2 tbsp. of cold water
In a bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and warm water and cover for about 20 minutes. Mix the salt and the flour and cup by cup add to the yeast. Knead for about 10 minutes or when it stops being sticky and form into a big ball. (You can add 1 more tablespoon of flour if needed.) Spread some butter all around a big bowl and place the ball in the bowl. Cover it well and let it rise for 1 to 1/2 hours. On a working area, sprinkle flour (cover your hands with flour too) and put the ball on the surface on top of the flour. Knead the bread to form two long loaves of bread.Sprinkle some corn flour on top of a baking board and place the two loaves of bread.(You may use an aluminum mold but grease it well.) Mix the cold water and eggs whites well and set aside. Make 2 or 3 slashes on top of the loaves with a sharp knife and with a brush, spread some of the egg white mix on top of the loaves. Place the 2 loaves of bread into a cold oven.Now, turn the oven on to 400º F and let it bake for 35 minutes


2-3 green plantain bananas
Garlic salt
Plenty of vegetable oil
Cut off each end of the plantain, run the knife along the entire outside curve making sure you cut into the thickness of the peel. Peel the plantain and cut in half. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high. Shred the bananas, place them in a bowl of garlic salted water and let them soak in the flavor of the garlic. Drain the shredded bananas through a pasta colander and then place on a paper towel to drain the excess water. Fry the shredded bananas in 1 tbsp. clumps for 4-5 minutes or until it turns bright yellow. Turn with tongs (not thongs sweetie). DO NOT OVER FRY or they will burn. Drain on paper towels and add salt or more garlic salt to taste.

Habichuelas Largas

2 tsp. canola oil
2 oz. diced lean cured ham (jamón de cocinar)
1 29oz. can kidney beans
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 packet of sazón
2 tblsp. sofrito
7 olives (pimiento stuffed)
1 tsp. alcaparrado (capers)
2 cubed medium size potatoes
1 can water (use the tomato sauce can)
Put the oil in a deep saucepan, turn the heat to medium and add the jamón. (Go ahead, have a taste of the jamón)Sauté together with the sofrito and after 3 minutes add the tomato sauce, sazón, olives and alcaparrado. Stir for 2 minutes.Add the beans, potatoes, water and stir.Turn heat to medium high. When boiling, cover with a lid and turn heat to low. Wait 20 minutes and they are ready.

Asopao de Gandules

1 lb. fresh gandules
1 qts. salted water
1 c. medium rice
3-4 tbsp. sofrito
2 oz. lean cooking ham
1 1/2 tbsp. achiote oil
8-10 Manzanilla olives
1 tsp. alcaparrado-capers
1/2 tsp. whole dried oregano
1 tomato chopped
6-8 culantro leaves or cilantro
1/4 c. tomato sauce
You may also use a 14 oz. package of frozen pigeon peas
In a saucepan, place the fresh gandules and add water to cover approximately 1/2 inch above gandules. Stir a little and wait to see if some come floating to the top. If some float to the top, throw them away for those are not good to cook.Drain the gandules and rinse them again.Place the gandules in a large deep soup pot, add the water with salt and cover the pot with a lid.Cook on medium heat for about an hour or until the gandules are soft.When the gandules are done, drain them but keep this water for later use.Now after rinsing the rice, soak it in water to cover while we prepare the rest. Saute the ham and salted pork in a deep heavy pot.Bring the heat down to low and add the sofrito and saute for 5-8 minutes to blend the flavors well.Add the capers, olives, rinsed rice, and gandules and stir to introduce the flavors again.Now measure the liquid you saved after boiling the gandules to make 2 1/2 quarts., even if you have to add a little water. Add the liquid to the rice mixture with gandules, add the crushed whole oregano and stir well.Bring the heat up to medium and cook the soup uncovered for 20-30 minutes. The soup will thicken as it cooks. Remove from the stove when it starts to thicken. Serve as soon as possible with pan de manteca or sobao on the side.
The soup will continue to thicken if you leave it on the heated stove, so remove it as soon as it starts to thicken.Store the left overs in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Add a special touch to the asopao and add green plantain balls to the soup when it starts to boil. Serve with pan de manteca or pan de agua. Don't be shy and soak the bread in the soup.Try the sliced avocado in the soup (when you are ready to eat the soup) and a few drops of pique (hot sauce) in the soup for a great taste.

Garbanzos Guisados

2 tsp. canola oil
2 oz. diced lean cured ham (jamón de cocinar)
1 29oz. can chick peas
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 packet of sazón
2 tblsp. sofrito
7 olives (pimiento stuffed)
1 tsp. alcaparrado (capers)
2 cubed medium size potatoes
1 can water (use the tomato sauce can)
Put the oil in a deep saucepan, turn the heat to medium and add the jamón. (Go ahead, have a taste of the jamón)Sauté together with the sofrito and after 3 minutes add the tomato sauce, sazón, olives and alcaparrado. Stir for 2 minutes.Add the chick peas, potatoes*, water and stir.Turn heat to medium high. When boiling, cover with a lid and turn heat to low.Wait 20 minutes and FUA, they are ready.Serve with arroz con salchichas or any of my rice recipes. Do not forget the tostones.
Only add about ¼ of the water to the tomato sauce can and shake so you can get all the sauce left in the can. After a few shakes, fill to the top with water.*The potatoes will not only add flavor to the beans, but it will also help thicken the sauce.

Arroz Con Calamares

1 lb. medium or long grain rice
2 6 oz. cans squid in it's ink (calamares)
2 1/2 tbsp. sofrito
1/2 c. alcaparado (capers)
2 envelopes sazón seasoning with achiote
2 tbsp. Manzanilla olives
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 envelope onion soup* my secret
16 onz. water (approximately)
Place the vegetable oil, sofrito, sazón with achiote, squid, olives, capers, onion soup and tomato sauce in a big pot.Thoroughly wash rice and add to the other ingredients.Pour water over the ingredients and stir well.(Water should be about 1 inch above the ingredients).Boil on medium high until all the water is absorbed.Reduce heat to low and cover the pot with aluminum foil* and lid.Cook for 35-40 minutes, depending on your stove.Decorate with "Pimientos Morrones."Serve with tostones.
If you use onion soup, it will give your rice a better flavor and there is no need to use salt.Rule of thumb: Add 1 1/4 tbsp. of sofrito for every cup of rice you are cooking.Placing aluminum foil over the pot of rice. It gives the grains a chance to all pop evenly.(Another one of my secrets).

Guineitos en Escabeche

2 lbs. green cooking bananas - about 10 green bananas
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. onions sliced into thin rings
1 cup white vinegar
3 to 4 cloves crushed garlic
10 to 12 olives
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 to 12 whole black pepper corns
3 to 4 bay leaves
3 cups olive oil or light olive oil
2 quarts of water
Cut the banana with a knife by cutting off the ends of the bananas and making a cut alond the outside curves of the banana skins, but DO NOT remove the skins Place the bananas in boiling water and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of oil to make them peel easier. Boil the bananas for approximately 20 minutes on medium-low heat. If you boil them too long they will come apart. While the bananas cook, make the Escabeche sauce by placing all the rest of the ingredients into a pot. Stir them well and place on medium heat until the mixture gets hot. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. The banana is done when you lightly stab it with a toothpick and it is tender but firm. Peel off the skins and cut the bananas in 1 inch size rounds and put them in a glass or "Tupperware" bowl. Add the sauce to the bananas. Stir and mix well. Cover them and marinade them for at least 24 hours at room temperature.


4 cans evaporated milk
3 cans condensed milk
12 egg yolks
1 can of cream of coconut (Coco López) - 15 oz. size
1 tablespoon vanilla (the best quality)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) brandy or cognac
1 quart of White Rum
Cinnamon (add this to your taste, starting with 2 teaspoons)
Mix all of these ingredients in a blender, a little at a time. You want this to come out smooth.
You'll be adding this mixture to a larger glass bowl, so that you can fit everything! When you've finished blending, stir what's in the large bowl, and begin to pour into glass bottles.

Tips: Make sure you refrigerate this! Remember you're dealing with raw egg yolks, just like normal American eggnog.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pastelitos de Carne

Servings: 48
4 sheets of refrigerated Puff Pastry
1 Recipe Egg Wash (see below)
1 Recipe Simple Syrup (see below)
1 pound Roast Beef (cooked), chopped
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Oregano
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Allspice
1 Tablespoon Fructose (or sugar)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons Water
Preheat oven to 177°C (350°F).
Make the Egg wash (see bellow).Start the simple syrup (see below).
Place the chopped roast beef in a food processor and process until the meat is a tiny crumb size.
In a large cast iron pan combine the meat and the broth. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, fructose, and salt.. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Thicken the mixture by adding the cornstarch mixed with water and cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Unroll the puff pastry one sheet at a time. With a large round cookie cutter, the top of a cocktail shaker, or a wide glass, make about 12 rounds (repeat this for the other 3 sheets of puff pastry). Take one round and rub water on it with your finger. Place 1 tablespoon of meat filling in the middle of the pastry dough and cover with another round of dough. Press down with your fingers and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat this until all pastries are done. Rub egg wash over each pastry. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush on the simple syrup. Place back in oven for 6 minutes. Remove and let cool before handling.
Egg Wash
3 Eggs
2 ounces of Water
beat together and set aside.
Simple Syrup
1/2 Cup Fructose (or sugar)
1/2 Cup Water
Mix the water and fructose in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, and bring the temperature to low and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.


1 loaf Cuban bread (Italian or French bread may be substituted)
yellow mustard
1/2 pound baked ham, thinly sliced
1/2 pound roast pork, thinly sliced
8 thin dill pickle slices
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
Slice the bread horizontally to open. Spread a thin layer of mustard on top and bottom halves of bread. Arrange ham, pork, pickle slices, and Swiss cheese evenly over the bread. Cover the sandwiches with the top halves of the bread. Cut into 4 sandwiches. Sandwich Press: Grill sandwiches in a hot buttered sandwich press until flat, bread is browned, and cheese has melted. Remove from heat; cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately.

Mojo Criollo

20 cloves garlic
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Coarse-ground Pepper
2 tsp. Oregano
1 ¾ cups orange
¼ cup white vinegar
Using a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, salt, pepper and oregano to make a paste.
Stir in the orange juice and vinegar.

Pastelitos de Guayaba Y Queso

1pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
1 bar guava paste
1 pkg. Cream cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. Use baking parchment to line your cookie sheet so the guava won’t stick.4) Unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan. Cut guava into 1/4 inch slices and place on the pastry sheet. Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional). Unfold second pastry sheet and place on top of guava paste. Cut into desired size before baking. Bake at 400 for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.


1 ½ pounds top choice ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup olive oil
1 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 small green bell pepper, chopped fine
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
1 medium potato peeled and cut into pieces
8 green olives, pitted and sliced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Thoroughly combine the beef, oregano, and cumin in a mixing bowl.Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the garlic, onion, and bell pepper until soft. Add the meat, wine, and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over a medium to low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Add the olives and cook uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until the liquid is almost fully reduced, making sure that the meat is still moist. Season with salt and pepper for taste.
Serves 4


1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C milk
1/2 C water
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients and pour into a 2 quart baking dish that has been lined with a caramel coating. (Recipe follows.)Place pan in a larger pan that contains water. Bake 55-65 minutes or until pudding is soft set. Chill. Invert onto platter. Drizzle caramel on top when serving.
Caramel coating:
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. water
Cook everything in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until bubbly and caramel brown. Do not burn! Pour into a warm baking dish. Roll dish to coat sides.

Pudin de Pan

7 slices white bread
1 1/2 C milk
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 C flour
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C raisins
Preheat oven to 350°.
Crumble the bread into a large bowl and pour the milk over it. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Butter a 1.5 qt. baking dish, add mixture, and bake 45-55 minutes.


4-6 cassavas, peeled and halved
1 tsp. salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 C olive oil
Boil yuca in salted water until tender (about 25 minutes). Drain yuca. Add garlic and lemon juice. Heat olive oil in a pan until bubbling, then pour over yuca. Mix well and serve.

Ropa Vieja

2.5 lbs. flank steak
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 mild chilies, chopped
1 carrot, peeled
1 big onion, diced
4 big tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 celery stalk
1 bell pepper, chopped
dash cayenne to taste
Put the meat in a pot and cover with water. Add the carrot, the peeled onion, and the celery stalk. Boil, then simmer 1-2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove from heat and cool in the liquid. Remove and shred the beef when cool. Reserve stock. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the diced onion, garlic, and green pepper about 5 minutes. Add the chilies, tomatoes, and tomato paste, plus 2 cups of the stock. Add cayenne. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Raise the heat and uncover until sauce thickens some. Pour sauce over beef. Serve hot.

Arepas de Pabellon

Servings: 5-10 arepas
Pre-cooked cornmeal (see notes) -- 2 cups
Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
Boiling water -- 3 cups
Oil -- 3 tablespoons
Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal and salt. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon to form a mass. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Using wetted hands, form balls of dough out of about 1/4 cup of dough and press to form a cake about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks at the edges, mix in a little more water and then form the cakes.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the patties, a few at a time, to form a light brown crust on one side, 5-6 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side.
When all the patties have been browned, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they sound lightly hollow when tapped. Serve immediately.
To make filled arepas, split them in half when finished and scoop out a little of the soft dough filling. Stuff with your chosen filling.
Arepa de Pabellon: shredded, seasoned meat and black beans.
Reina Pepeada: chopped chicken, avocado, and mayonnaise mashed together.
Arepa de Dominó: black beans and crumbled white cheese.
Arepa de Perico: scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Columbian Arepas: make smaller and thicker and don't bake. Top with butter and melted cheese.
Other possible fillings: grated white or cheddar cheese; ham and cheese, hard-boiled eggs.
The sautéing step is sometimes skipped and the arepas are simply baked. In the countryside arepas are often cooked on the grill.
Small arepas can be made and served as appetizers with garnishes on top instead of inside. Or they can be eaten as small biscuits.
Sometimes a little sugar is mixed in with the dough to form sweet arepas (arepas dulces).