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Puerto Rican food, is among the most flavorful in the world, its has roots in Spanish, African, and Taino cooking.

The diverse combination of cooking styles yield unique flavors.

The base of most Puerto Rican dishes is the "Sofrito", a thick sauce produced by sautéing a variety of vegetables, herbs, spices, then adding tomato sauce.

"Sofrito" is used to create soup dishes to rice dishes.

You'll ask your self; Why isn't Puerto Rican food not internationally known?

It is among the most flavorful foods in the World.

Try some of these Puerto Rican Recipes, and you be the Judge !

 

 

 

 

Alcapurrias

 5 very green Bananas

2 pounds of Yautia (Taro Root)

2 teaspoons of salt

1 packet of Sazon with achiote

1 tablespoon of melted cooled shortening

 

Fill a bowl with salted water. Peel the bananas and taro root and as you peel place them into the salt water. If you are going to use a grater use the fine side and grate the vegetables into a plastic bowl. Note: If you have a food processor cut the vegetables into small pieces and process until fine. Add the salt, Sazon and shortening and mix well. Refrigerate for 3 hours or for best results overnight.

 

The meat stuffing:

1/2 pound of ground Pork or Beef

1/2.ounces of salt pork (Tocino)

1 ounce of cooking Ham( Jamón de cocinar )

2 tablespoons of Recaíto

1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of Sazon with Achiote

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

1/4.teaspoon of Black Pepper

4 large pimento Stuffed Olives (chopped)

1/2 teaspoon of Alcaparras (Capers)

In a frying pan brown the meat. Once browned add all the remaining ingredients and stir well then cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Taste the meat for seasoning, add more salt if needed to taste.

Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Take a large piece of aluminum foil and place a little oil on top and smear it around. Spread about 1/4 cup of the Alcapurria dough onto the aluminum foil. Place a tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle and flip one side of the dough over using the aluminum foil to cover the meat. Using a spoon help glide the dough gently into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown and blot on paper towels.

Makes 15

  

 

  

Bread Pudding (Budin )

1 1/2 Pounds French bread

2 Quarts Milk

1/4 Pound Butter

2 1/2 Cups Sugar

4 Eggs

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Vanilla

 Cut the bread into small cubes, soak in the milk. Melt the butter; blend in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Pour into a 13x9x2 glass baking pan which has been buttered. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven 1 1/2 hrs.

  

  

 

 PASTELES

 

4 lb pork - very lean

Salt

1/4 cup Annatto oil

10 Cilantro leaves (recao)

1 tsp Oregano

1 red bell pepper - chopped in fine strips

1 md Onion, chopped

10 sweet peppers (aji dulce)

6 cloves of Garlic

2 large tomatoes - Chopped

8oz can of Tomato sauce

24 Stuffed spanish olives

Salt and pepper to taste

 

-----PASTEL DOUGH-----

7 lb White Yautia (Taro root)

4 lb green Plantains

1/4 cup Annatto Oil (recipe follows)

3 1/2 tablespoon Salt

Store bought Banana leaves (washed)

 

Wash and pat dry the meat. Chop into very small pieces and season with the tablespoon of salt. In a large saucepan add the remaing ingredients (NOT THE DOUGH INGREDIENTS) and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the meat, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 30 more minutes or until meat is tender. Peel the yautia and green plantains. Grate them until you have a smooth dough type mixture. Slowly add a little of the meat sauce to the dough and mix well. Add 1/4 cup Annatto oil and the salt to the dough, mix well and set aside. (dough should be smooth but not to soft.) Brush the leaf with a little annatto oil and place 6 or 8 tablspoons of the dough mixture in the center of a 12x12 piece of banana leaf which has been washed. ( these leaves can be purchased at most spanish stores and are pre-cut. But if you can not find them, you can use parchment paper, which is also available at the spanish market.) Spread the mixture in the center of the leaf and form a well in the center of the mixture. In the well; place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Carefully fold the dough so the meat mixture is covered over. Then fold the leaf to form a rectangular shape and tie with string (tight enough where the mixture won't come out of the pastel). Repeat this until all of the dough mixture has been used. There should be about 36 pasteles. In a very large pot, place 5 liters of water and 3 1/2 tablespoons of salt; allow to boil. Place about 12 pasteles in the boiling water and allow to boil for about 45 minutes. Immediatly remove from water once they are cooked.

  

 

  

Baked Sweet Plantains

 

4 medium plantains -- very ripe

1/2 cup dry white wine -- or light rum

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter -- salted

ground cinnamon -- to taste

ground nutmeg -- to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the plantains in an ovenproof casserole, pour the wine, sherry, and sugar over them, and sprinkle with butter and cinnamon.

Cover the plantains and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, turn the plantains over, baste, and bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top, another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

  

 

  

Polvorones (Cookies)

 

3c Flour

1/8 tsp Salt

1c Sugar

1c Shortning

1 Egg - seperated, yolk beaten

1 Tbsp Butter

 

Sift salt and flour together.. set aside.

Beat shortning and slowly add sugar while beating.. add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Combine flour to egg mixture and mix well. Form cookies into small rounds about an inch in diameter. place on baking sheet and press down a little in the center. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes..

  

 

  

Stewed Chicken

 

1 1/2 pounds chicken

1 med onion diced

1 green pepper diced

1 red pepper diced

1 garlic clove

1 tbs olive oil

1 pkg sazon with achiote

adobo with pepper

1 8 oz can of tomato sauce

1 8 oz can of corn strained of water (* not required)

2 Medium potatos (cut in half inch squares)

 

Heat the oil in a skillet. Season the chicken with adobo and cook in the skillet until brown. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and tomato sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat and add the canned corn. Add the pkg of sazon, potatoes, and then fill the empty can of tomato sauce with water and add to skillet. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until meat is falling off the bone. Serve over white rice.

 

 

 

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

 

3 cups of short or long grain rice (rinsed)

2 lb's of chicken parts (skinned)

4 1/2 onces of tomato sauce

2 tablespoons of alcaparrado

2 teaspoons of salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of Sofrito

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

4 cups of boiling water

1 packet of sazon with saffron

 

Wash the rice, drain and set aside. In a large dutch oven. Brown the chicken parts with the oil, 5 minutes each side. Remove from the pot and set aside. Leave the chicken drippings inside the pot and add all the other ingredients except for the rice, water and chicken. Mix well in medium heat and cook the sofrito for 5 minutes, taste to see if there is enough salt. Add the chicken and rice to the pot and mix well. Add the boiling water until the water is about 1 inch above the rice, mix well again.

Don't cover the pot until the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed use a wooden spoon and gently stir from bottom to top. Cover and lower the heat to low for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender.

 

  

 

Arroz Con Gandules

 

2 cups long or short grain rice (rinsed)

3 1/2 cups of boiling water

1 1/2 cups of chorizo (sliced bite size)*

2 Tablespoons of sofrito

16 ounce can of gandules (pigeon peas)

2 tablespoons of alcaparrado without liquid

one packet of Sazon with achiote

4 ounces of tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons of oil

Salt to taste

 

* Chorizo can be substituted with tocino (salt fatback crackling's) and jamón de cocinar (smoked cooking ham). If you are going to use the tocino be sure not to use to much salt to the rice because the tocino is salty.

In a dutch oven pot with lid fry the chorizo in oil. Add the tomato sauce, alcaparrado, sofrito and sazon to the pot and stir together. Cook at medium heat for 4 minutes. Add all other ingredients except the salt, pore the boiling water into the pot so the rice is submerge one inch below the water. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt stir and keep adding and mixing well until you are satisfied with the taste. Don’t cover yet, let the rice absorb the water. Once absorbed stir gently from bottom to top, cover and turn the heat down to low. Stirring once in between cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Serves 3 to 4

 

 

  

Asopao de Camarones

1 1/2 cups Rice

l oz Sofrito

1 packet of Sazon

4 or 5 Spanish olives - Alcaparrado

1/2 cup Tomato Sauce

2 oz of pimientos morrones

l lb. Shrimp, shelled

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 cups of Water

 

Rinse the rice with water. In a large pot, add the sofrito, tomato sauce, pimentos, olives, sazon and salt. Cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add rice and water, bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to cook about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp tails and continue to cook til the rice is tender and the desired consistency has been reached.

 

 

  

  

Pork Chops

 

4 Pork Chops

2 cloves of Garlic

1 tsp. Salt

2 Onions, cut into rings

1/2 cup of Peas

2 oz Tomato Sauce

1/2 cup White Wine

2 tbsp Oil

Flour

 

Season the chops with salt and garlic, then roll in flour. Fry then in a little oil til golden. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the chops are tender..

  

  

Fried Pork Chops

 

4 Pork Chops

3 cloves of Garlic

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp powdered Oregano

 

Season the chops with salt and garlic, pepper, and oregano. Place in a large pot and add a cup of water. Lower the heat and cook til all the water has evaporated.. then fry until golden..

  

  

Coquito

 

28 Ounces Coconut Milk

2 Cups Bacardi rum

14 Ounces Condensed milk

4 Egg yokes

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Nutmeg

 

Add the coconut milk or cream, condensed milk, four egg yokes, rum and the cinnamon in the blender and blend well. Pour into a bottle and refrigerate well.

Serve in small cups and sprinkle top lightly with nutmeg.

  

 

  

Flan

 

6 cups Milk

1 cup Sugar

1/4 tsp. Salt

7 Eggs

1 tsp. Green Lemon Rind

1 tsp. Vanilla

-----CARAMEL-----

1 cup Sugar

Place milk, 1 cup sugar, salt and lemon rind in a large pot and bring to a boil; stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; strain and allow to cool. Melt 1 cup of sugar in a 9x3-1/2 inch round mold; turn to coat the sides well.

Place the mold in a pan with hot water; then place both in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Pour the milk mixture into the mold and bake for 1 hour or until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Place in the frig. until cold. Turn the flan onto a serving plate and remove the mold.

 

 

Flan #2

 

(caramel custard) is an oven-baked dessert that includes a velvety texture and the sweetness of a light caramel sauce.

3 cups of dilluted evaporated milk

(1 can of milk to 1 can of water)

6 whole eggs

1 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt or to your taste

In a large bowl, beat the six eggs slightly. Add the milk and mix well. To this mixture add your vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and salt. Mix this well and set it aside. In a mold, metal bowl or pot, place 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water then mix it well. Cook this on medium heat on your stove until the sugar turns amber and caramelizes to a soft stage. Swirl the caramel around the mold ,totally covering the interior. Pour in the egg mixture and let it cook at 325 in your oven for 30 minutes. Test the flan to see if it's done by inserting a knife in the center. If the flan is still soft, let it cook longer until a knife inserted again comes out clean. When the custard cools, lay a plate on top of the mold then carefully flip it over and slide the mold off.

 

 

 

Habichuelas Guisadas

 

1 can of rosita beans

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 packet of Sazon with achiote

2 ounces of tomato sauce

1 Tbsp of alcaparrado (olives)

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

1 Tablespoon of Sofrito

 

In a saucepan heat oil . When the oil is hot add sofrito, alcaparrados, sazon, tomato sauce, black pepper. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans and 1 cup of water, season to taste with salt. Turn on the heat again to medium and cook for an additional 20 or until the mixture becomes a bit thick not soupy..

Makes 5 to 6 servings

 

 

Mavi

 

1 Ounce Mavi bark

1 Ounce Ginger -- fresh

1 Cinnamon stick

1 1/2 Cups Water

12 Cups Water

2 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 1/2 Cups Brown sugar

2 c Mavi (previously made)

 

Place the first 4 ingredients in a very large pot and boil for aprox. 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and cool completely. Place the next 3 ingredients in a very large pot and mix well. Add the strained liquid and the 2 cups of mavi. Take a ladle and begin to mix the liquid well until it has foam on the top. Pour the mavi into quart size bottles only 3/4 full and cover with cloth. NOTE - DO NOT COVER WITH TIGHT LID. Place the bottles in a warm place - the sun is fine - and allow to ferment for about 3 or 4 days. Then refrigerate and drink cold. The colder the better..!!

 

 

 

Mofongo

 

3 Plantains -- very green

1/2 Pound Pork rinds -- ground

3 Cloves of garlic

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

Veg. oil for frying

 

Peel the plantains and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces. Place them in 4 cups of water with 1 tsp. of salt and let stand for 15 minutes.

Drain well. Heat oil in a pan to 350 degrees and fry the plantains for about 15 minutes. Do not over-cook. Remove the plantains from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Place the garlic in a food processor and mince well. Remove garlic from the processor and mix with the olive oil well. If you have a large, wooden mortar and pestle; place 3 or 4 pieces of plantain in it and an equal amount of pork rind. Mix well. Add a little bit of the garlic oil and mix well. ( If you don't have a mortar; improvise ) Take 3 Tablespoons of the mixture and with your hands form a ball with it. Repeat until you have used up all of the ingredients. Serve hot!

 

 

Pernil Al Horno - Roast Pork Shoulder

 

5 Pounds Pork shoulder

6 Garlic cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Black pepper

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 1/2 Tablespoons Vinager

1 Teaspoon Salt -- for every pound of meat

 

Remove the skin and any fat from the pork shoulder. Make very small cuts over the top of the pork, not more that 1/8 inch deep. Do not make deep cuts in the meat. Set aside. With a mortar and pestle; crush garlic, oregano and black pepper together. Add olive oil, vinager and salt; mix well. Spread the garlic mixture well over the pork shoulder. Refrigerate the shoulder for 24 hours. Cook in a pre-heated, 350^ oven for about 2 1/2 hours or until well cooked.

  

 

  

Baked Sweet Plantains

 

4 medium plantains -- very ripe

1/2 cup dry white wine -- or light rum

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter -- salted

ground cinnamon -- to taste

ground nutmeg -- to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the plantains in an ovenproof casserole, pour the wine, sherry, and sugar over them, and sprinkle with butter and cinnamon.

Cover the plantains and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, turn the plantains over, baste, and bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top, another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

 

 

 

  

PUMPKIN FLAN

 

Caramel ingredients:

 

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

 

Flan ingredients:

 

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

6 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup water

 

Prepare the caramel: combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat without stirring until they caramelize into a rich amber color, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately to stop the cooking. Note: if the sugar begins to color unevenly, you may swirl the pan, if necessary, to assure a thorough caramelization.

Pour equal amounts of the liquid caramel into eight, 1-cup creme caramel ramekins, or into one, 9-inch cake or pie pan. Set aside.Preheat the oven to 350_. In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, using the whip attachment, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger. Begin mixing at moderate speed and add the eggs. When the eggs are well-mixed, about 1 minute, add the pumpkin puree. Continue mixing for 30 seconds until the eggs and puree are incorporated. With the mixer still running, add the evaporated milk, vanilla and water, and continue blending for an additional 1 minute until you have a smooth, homogeneous mass. Pour even amounts of the pumpkin flan mixture into the ramekins, or pour the entire amount into the cake pan. Place the filled ramekins or cake pan in a deep-sided roasting pan and pour in hot tap water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins to make a bain marie. Cover the roasting pan with foil and carefully transfer to the middle shelf of the oven. Bake the filled ramekins for 30-40 minutes until the flan is just firm and set. (If you use a cake pan, increase the baking time to 60-75 minutes.) The cooked flan should jiggle slightly when shaken, and a paring knife will come out cleanly when done. Remove the ramekins or pan from the bain marie and set aside to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate the flan until well-chilled to allow the flan to set.

To serve, unmold the flan by running the point of a small paring knife along the inside of the ramekins or pan. Cover each ramekin or the pan with a chilled plate and invert. The caramel should spill out to form a sauce for the flan. Serve garnished with whipped cream if desired.

 

 

 

Sofrito #1

4- large green peppers

1- medium size head of garlic

2- medium size tomatoes

2- large onions

6- full stems of cilantro

1- cup water

Add these items if you can find them locally:

8- recao leaves

6- ajies dulce (small sweet peppers)

 

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and chop coarsely. Add in the water a small amount at a time. Pour this mixture into jars with a tight fitting lid. Keep the "sofrito" mixture in the fridge, it also freezes well. Add this mixture (to taste) to bean dishes, stews, soups, and anything else you want to spice up.

 

 

  

Sofrito #2

 

1 lb. yellow onion

3 garlic heads

1 large green bell pepper

1 large red pepper

2 large tomatoes 1/4 lb. cilantro

2 li'l envelopes of Sazón Goya

 

Rinse the cilantro and chop it. Cut the tomatoes in cubes. Open the peppers, remove the seed, rinse it and chop it. Peel and chop the onions. Peel the garlics. Now that everything is clean and chopped, using a food processor, process everything together (including the Sazón. Sofrito can be storaged in the freezer.

  

 

 

Sofrito #3

 

1/2 cup Annatto oil

1 bunch Cilantro leaves (recao)

2 red bell pepper - chopped

1 large Onion, chopped

1 lb sweet peppers (aji dulce)

1/2 lb of Garlic

Black pepper

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, but don't over blend. This recipe keeps well in the freezer.

 

 

  

Annatto Oil

Heat 2 cups Canolla oil in a sauce pan and add about 1/4 cup of annatto seeds. Cook the seeds for about 5 minutes over medium heat (do not burn oil). Strain the oil and discard the seeds. This oil can be refrigerated.

 

 

 

 

Arañas

 

Arañas are served as the Tostones are, as a side dish or appetizer. You may wonder why not just make Tostones. Well, Arañas have a wonderful texture that warrants giving them a try.

Ingredients:

3 Green Plantains

Vegetable Oil

Salt or Goya Adobo to Taste

Peel plantains as suggested in the Tostones recipe. Grate them on the corse side of the grater. Add salt or adobo. With a large spoon, drop a few at a time in 1 to 2 inches of 350 degree vegetable oil. Be cautious with splattering oil. Serve as appetizer or side dish.

  

 

 

 

Tostones Fried Plantains

 

Tostones are twice fried green plantains or green bananas that make a great appetizer or side dish. I first experimented with green banana tostones when I lived in Japan; plantains were not to be found in Japan. Green banana tostones have a different flavor and texture. I suggest trying both. In Puerto Rico, "Tostones" are usually served in restaurants to acompany seafood dishes, but they go well with any Puerto Rican dish. This recipe calls for salt or Goya Adobo. Adobo is a seasoning that is found in Puerto Rico's supermarkets, and can be found in most Hispanic speacialty stores. If you can't find "Adobo" use a bit of salt and granulated garlic to season the tostones.

Ingredients:

3 Green Plantains or Green Bananas

Vegetable Oil

Salt or Goya Adobo

Peel the plantains or bananas under running water--this is to prevent staining your hands. Green plantains will not peel as easily as ripe ones. The water will also help the peeling process. At a 45 degree angle to the plantain, cut into 1 inch slices. Place in a bowl of water to prevent them from turning brown.

In a deep fryer or frying pan, heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to aproximately 325 degrees (F). Remove the plantains from water, placing them in a bowl with paper towel. Remove as much water form them before placing them in the hot oil. If you don't dry them off well, the oil will splatter. Use caution during this step! Cook in oil until they are firm. Approximately 3 minutes. Remove from oil and let cool off. Now you must flatten them. In Puerto Rico we use a "Tostonera" to flatten them, however a 10x5 inch piece of aluminium paper works fine. Placing the firmed plantains in the middle of the aluminium paper, press down with the palm of your hand to flatten. Place on plate and season with salt or adobo. Now you're ready to fry until golden brown. Serve as snack or side dish. For an added boost of flavor try dipping in a "Mojo" sauce.

 

 

 

 

Adobo Marinade #1

 Adobo is used to season meats, fish and chicken. When your ready to fry, barbecue, or roast, you rub this mixture on and let the meat marinade for a day. It imparts the meat with "buen sabor" (good flavor) You will need a pestle and mortar for this recipe.

  

6- peeled garlic cloves

1/4- cup salt

1- teaspoon black pepper

1- tablespoon oregano

1/2- cup olive oil

1/4- cup vinegar

 

Place the garlic and the dry ingredients into the mortar and mash well. It should be a pastey consistency. Put the mixture into a small bowl and add the oil and vinegar. Blend this well. Coat your chicken, fish, and steak lightly with the mixture and let it marinate well for about a day. If you want to do a beef or pork roast, you must pierce the meat all over, then insert a small amount of the mixture into the holes and rub some of it over the outside of the meat. Let this marinate for two days in your fridge. This seasoning can be very salty, so use it to your taste and have fun.

  

  

 

Adobo Marinade #2

 

5 Cloves of Garlic 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Salt 1 Pkg Sazon with Annato

2 tsp White Vinegar 1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp oregano

If you can't find the Sazon in your local supermarket, substitute with 1 Tbsp of Paprika. This will give your meat or poultry a golden color. Mix ingredients in a morter and pestle or in food processor. Rub on your meat or poultry. Marinade for a few hours. For best results, marinade overnight. Makes about 1/2 Cup

  

  

Marinated Mussels

 

3 dozen large mussels

2 large limes, juiced

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. grated ginger

5 Tbsp. coconut milk

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

2 chopped sweet aji chiles

 

Steam mussels until open and tender, reserving the liquid. While the mussels are still hot, mix the rest of the ingredients with left extra juice from steaming mussels. Pour sauce over the steaming mussels. Serve with toasted garlic bread. 3 portions

  

  

Beef "Bistec" with Smothered Onions

 

24 oz. beef tenderloin center cut

1 large onion, sliced thin

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

1 Tbsp. powdered cumin

1 Tbsp. garlic powder Salt and pepper

 

Take half inch slices of the tenderloin and pound until thin, in the style of scallopini. Mix cumin and garlic powder, and sprinkle on pounded beef, along with salt. In a skillet, heat the butter and wilt onions until translucent. Place the pounded, seasoned beef over the smothered onions, and continue cooking until the meat is done. Add the vinegar and cook for an additional minute. Serve beef slices with smothered onions over them. Traditionally served with white rice and red beans. 3 servings

  

 

  

Arroz Con Habichuelas (RICE AND READ BEANS)

 

1lb Red Kidney Beans (freshly cooked or canned)

2 cups long grain rice

3/4 can tomato sauce

1/2 cup Sofrito

2 tablespoons Capers

2 tablespoons Olives with Pimentos

1 teaspoon Oregano

1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Salt or to your taste

1/4 cup Olive oil

3 1/2 cups Water

 

In a large pot, on medium heat, add your oil. When the oil gets warm, put in the sofrito capers, olives, spices and tomato sauce and let it cook for one minute uncovered. Add your beans and let this cook until it boils, then add your rice. This should cook for about a minute more, then pour in your water and add the salt. Cover tightly and let it cook on medium low for 15 minutes. After this time, open the lid and check out your rice then give it a stir. Replace the lid and continue cooking for 20 minutes then re-open the pot, stir the rice again and let it cook for 10 minutes more on low heat or until done.

  

 

  

Carne Frita

1- 6 pack of chicken drumsticks

Adobo

2 cups vegetable oil

 

Wash the chicken. With a sharp knife, make a couple of incisions on each drumstick. Season all the dromstick with liberal amounts of adobo. Set aside for one hour before cooking to allow the meat to absorb the seasoning. In a frying pan, place the oil and heat at moderate low heat for about 15 minutes. Place the chicken in the hot oil carefully. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Turn the chicken every 15 minutes to insure even cooking. Makes approximately 3 servings.

  

  

 

Arroz Blanco

 

3 cups long grain white rice

3 -3/4 cup of water

1 1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoon of vegetable oil

 

Place the water and salt in a pan over moderate heat. Mix until the salt has dissolved completely. Add the oil to the water. Rinse the rice and add to the water. Let it come to a slow boil. Move the rice once while the water is boiling. When the rice is almost dry, set the heat to low, move the rice and cover it. Let it cook for 15 minutes then move the rice. Cover the rice again. Let it cook for another 30 minutes. Makes approximately 6 servings.

  

 

 

 

Habichuelas: (beans)

 

1 cup of pink beans

3 teaspoons of salt

1 medium potato

2 tablespoons of sofrito

1 ounce green bell pepper

2 bay leaves

5 green olives

2 ounces of smoked ham

1 teaspoon of olive oil

6 ounces of tomato sauce

3 1/2 quarts of water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

 

Wash the beans and soak in 2 quarts of water already mixed with the white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let the beans soak overnight. Rinse the beans and place in a pan with 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the beans have softened. Discard water used to soften the beans. Set aside Peel and dice the potato into 1/4" size pieces. Set aside Dice the smoked ham into 1/4" size pieces. Set aside. Dice the green bell pepper into 1/8" pieces. Set aside In a pan add the sofrito, 1 teaspoon of salt, tomato sauce, olives, smoked ham, potato, green bell pepper, bay leaves, olive oil, and 2 cups of water. Cook at moderate heat until it starts boiling. Lower to moderate low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. stir once while simmering. Add the beans. Continue to simmer at moderate low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the beans are fully cooked. Stir avery 15 minutes. Makes approximately 8 servings.

  

 

Flan Con Brandy

(deserts)

1 1/2 cup of sugar,

3 large whole eggs,

1 egg yolk,

2 cups milk,

1 1/2 tablespoons brandy, preferably Spanish,

1 teaspoon vanilla extract,

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready six 8-ounce ramekins.

Make the caramel: Place 1 cup of the sugar in a heavy saucepan with 3 table spoons water. Cover and cook the sugar over high heat for 1 minute. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the mixture turns dark golden brown, about four minutes.

Pour a little of this mixture into the ramekin. Tilt and rotate the ramekins to coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 1 quart of water to a boil.

Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the whole eggs, and egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk, brandy, vanilla, and cinnamon. Correct the flavors, adding sugar or cinnamon to taste. Pour this mixture into the ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a small roasting pan and pour in boiling water to a depth of 1/2 inch. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the flans puff slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Remove the flans from the roasting pan, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours. The flan set up even better if you allow then to chill over night. Just before serving, run a sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin. Place a plate on top and invert. Gently shake the dish; the flan should slip out easily. Spoon the caramel sauce around the flan and serve.

 

 

Puerto Rican Beans

 

6 slices turkey bacon (if using regular bacon, 1 Tbsp of drained bacon fat can be used instead of vegetable oil)

1 medium onion, chopped

vegetable oil for frying

1 green pepper, chopped

2-3 large cloves garlic, pressed or chopped

15 oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 can pinto beans

2-4 servings cooked rice

In good-sized frying pan cook bacon, then place it aside. Sauté‚ onion, pepper, and garlic until onion is translucent. Add tomato sauce, vinegar, and spices, heat through. While sauce is heating, tear bacon into small pieces, and add it to mixture. Add pinto beans and cook until they are heated through (about 3-5 minutes). Serve over rice. Serves 2-3, but easily doubled.

* note you can also add some finely diced hot peppers or crushed peppers - to your taste !

 

 

  

Arroz Con Dulce

 

CANDIED COCONUT RICE

(Serves 12)

1 1/2 cups rice

3/4 cup undiluted coconut milk

4 1/4 cups diluted coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup seeded raisins

2 ounces fresh ginger, scrubbed under running water (cut into 6 pieces about 1 inch long, 1 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick. Crush well.)

6 whole cloves-optional

Pinch of nutmeg-optional

C- 1 1/2 cups either white granulated or brown sugar

 

Wash rice and soak in water to cover, generously, for 2 hours. Twenty minutes before soaked rice is ready, proceed as follows: Reserve the 3/4 cup undiluted coconut milk included in B and combine rest of ingredients in B in an 11-inch caldero or heavy kettle. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to moderate, cover and boil for 15 minutes. Drain rice thoroughly and add to caldero. Mix and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until rice is completely dry, without stirring. Add ingredients included in C, mix and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, without stirring. Add reserved 3/4 cup of undiluted coconut milk and mix. Turn heat to moderate and boil about 30 minutes, or until rice dries again. In this cooking period, turn rice over occasionally and scrape bottom of caldero. Remove spices. Spoon rice into a flat serving platter. Allow to cool at room temperature.

Arroz Con Pigeon Peas #3

 

2 cups long or short grain rice (rinsed)

3 1/2 cups of boiling water

1 1/2 cups of chorizo (sliced bite size)*

2 Tablespoons of sofrito

16 ounce can of gandules (pigeon peas)

1 tablespoon of alcaparrado without liquid

1 ounce Jamon de cocinar (Cooking ham or smoked ham)

1 one packet of Sazon with achiote

4 ounces of tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons of oil

Salt to taste

* Chorizo can be substituted with tocino (salt fatback crackling's) and jamón de cocinar (smoked cooking ham). If you are going to use the tocino be sure not to use to much salt to the rice because the tocino is salty.

 

Sofrito:

3 cloves of garlic,

1/2 Banana or Bell pepper (chopped in fine pieces),

1 teaspoonfull oregano,

3 Culantro leaves (chopped),

medium onion (chopped),

2-3 Aji dulce.

 

In a dutch oven pot with lid fry the Tocino (porkfat) or Chorizo in oil. Add the tomato sauce, alcaparrado, sofrito and sazon to the pot and stir together. Cook at medium heat for 4 minutes. Add all other ingredients except the salt, pour the boiling water into the pot so the rice is submerged one inch below the water. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt stir and keep adding and mixing well until you are satisfied with the taste. Don’t cover yet, let the rice absorb the water. Once absorbed stir gently from bottom to top, cover and turn the heat down to low. Stirring once in between, cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

 

Tembleque #1

( the easy version)

4 cups of undiluted coconut milk (from 2 coconuts or 1 can Coco Lopez is ok, too! )..

½ cup of cornstarch

2/3 cup of sugar

½ cup of salt

1 tblspn. orange blossom water (optional)

 

In a saucepan dissolve cornstarch and milk, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook at medium-high heat stirring constantly! As it thickens, lower heat until it boils thick. Pour right away into wet molds, pans or cups. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Top with cinnamon or candy spinkles.

 

 

 

Me at

medinacruz@aol.com

Or

medinacruz@puertorico.com