Monday, November 12, 2012
You may think that it is a strange thing to want to make but it is often fought over by family members. It is delicious with stewed beans (habichuelas) poured over it. Many Puerto Ricans call this 'Puerto Rican popcorn.'
WATCH MY VIDEO for this recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAsBnmL05zc
NOTE: Do NOT use a non-stick pot for this recipe.
2 cups white rice (I use long grain rice but you can use medium grain also)
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
About 1 tsp. salt (more if needed)
1. Boil the water in a large pot.
2. Wash the rice to get rid of some of the starch.
3. Add rice to the boiling water.
4. Add the oil and salt and stir.
5. Bring to a boil and boil until the water is absorbed. You should see little holes form in the rice.
6. Lower the heat all the way down to low and cover the pot.
7. Cook about 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is cooked.
8. When rice is completely cooked turn up the heat to about low-medium so that the rice starts to burn a little on the bottom.
9. Turn off when the bottom rice has gotten partially burned and is stuck to the pot.
Serve with stewed beans.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Bistec encebollado is a very common Puerto Rican dish. It can be made with any type of thin steak so that the flavor of the seasonings and vinegar penetrate the meat. Onions are sliced very thin and then placed on top of the steak.
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. thin steaks (I use cube steaks)
Adobo (with black pepper)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 very large onion – thinly sliced
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil – for adding to the steaks
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil – for frying the onions
- Place steaks in a large bowl and sprinkle with the Adobo and oregano on both sides. Pour the 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar on steaks so that they are coated on both sides. Put bowl in the refrigerator between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over LOW heat. Add the sliced onions and cover the pan so the onions cook until they are tender and translucent. Stir occasionally. Do not let the onions burn. Remove the onions when partially tender, put in a bowl and set aside.
- In the same frying pan add the seasoned steaks and turn the heat onto high so that they start to cook quickly. After they have cooked about 15 – 20 minutes, turn them over and cook them on the other side about another 15 minutes.
- Pour the cooked onions on top of the steaks and cover the pan. Continue to cook (it won’t take long) until most of the liquid is absorbed and the steaks have browned on the bottom. Don’t let them burn.
The most important thing to remember when you are planning to make alcapurrias is to purchase green bananas that are very green. If the bananas have started to ripen they will be too soft to grate and they will be too mushy to form into fritters.
WATCH MY VIDEO for this recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92BQ611ayPU
SPECIAL ITEMS NEEDED: Grater, potato peeler and wax paper
PREPARE IN ADVANCE: You will also have to make picadillo first as it is what you will use for the filling. You can find the recipe for picadillo on this blog. Once you have made the picadillo then you will be ready to make this tasty snack.
1. About 5 lbs. very green bananas
2. 1 lb. yautia (might be called malanga)
3. About 2 cups prepared picadillo
4. 1 pkg. Sazon Seasoning
5. Oil - canola or vegetable
7. Large bowl filled half way with cold, salted water
1. Rinse green bananas and yautia in cold water. Cut off the ends of the bananas. With a small knife, make one slit straight down on each green banana and then carefully peel the skin from the banana. As you peel each banana place it in the bowl of salted, cold water. Peel the yautia with a potato peeler and add the pieces to the salted water.
2. When all the bananas and yautia are peeled you can start grating them. Use the side of the grater that will grate finely. This batter is referred to as the "maza."
3. Add the Sazon to the maza and stir well. Add about 1/2 tsp. salt and taste a tiny bit of the maza. If it needs a little more salt add it now. Do not over-salt.
4. Add about 1 tbsp. of oil to the maza and stir well.
5. Cut a piece of wax paper about 12 inches and spread a little oil on the wax paper.
6. Spread a little oil on 2 plates and keep the plates next to the wax paper so that you can transfer the alcapurrias to the plates as you make each one.
7. Place about 2 tablespoonfuls of maza on the oiled wax paper. Add 1 tablespoon of picadillo in the center of the maza.
8. Bring both sides of the wax paper together so that the sides of the alcapurrias come up and are joined to cover the picadillo. The maza should not stick to the wax paper because you oiled the paper.
9. Carefully transfer the alcapurria onto the oiled plate. Make the rest of the alcapurrias the same way.
10. When you finish making all the alcapurrias, place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so.
11. When the alcapurrias have been in the refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour, pour about 1-1/2 inches of oil into a frying pan. Turn the heat on high.
12. When the oil is hot (make sure it is hot) start to carefully place the alcapurrias into the oil. You will probably be able to fit 3 or 4 alcapurrias in the pan at one time. The oil should be sizzling. When the alcapurrias are done on one side carefully turn each one over.
13. Place the alcapurrias on a paper-towel covered plate so that they drain as much as possible.
Servings: Makes about 12 to 14 alcapurrias
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Puerto Rican Rum Cake is very moist and sweet. It is a wonderful cake to make during the holidays and it's nice to take to a party or get-together. The rum glaze which is applied after the cake is baked, penetrates the cake and makes it very moist. I use a box mix in this recipe because it makes this cake a snap to make. If you like, you can always replace the box mix with you own recipe for yellow cake mix and then add the rest of the ingredients. You will love a slice of this cake with coffee or hot tea.
PREPARATION: Grease and flour a bundt pan.
1 cup chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
Maraschino cherries (for decoration)
Preheat oven to 325º F
1. Grease and flour bundt cake pan. Sprinkle pecans in bottom of the pan. Set aside.
2. Combine the remainder of the ingredients, except the maraschino cherries.
3. Pour batter on top of the pecans in the bundt pan. Bake in oven approximately 1 hour. While the cake is baking you can make the glaze.
1/2 cup butter
¼ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark rum
1. In medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add in the water and sugar and keep stirring. Turn the heat up and stir constantly as the mixture bubbles. Do not stop stirring. When the mixture has cooked about 5 minutes, turn off heat and add in the rum and stir. Set aside.
2. When the cake has baked to a light-golden color, remove from oven and let cool at least 20 minutes. Turn the cake upside down onto a plate so that the pecans are on the top.
3. With a brush, apply the rum glaze all around the sides of the cake and on top. Don't be stingy with it, let it soak into the cake. Place pieces of maraschino cherries on the top for decoration.
Your family and friends will love this cake. I often make two cakes because I know that one is never enough!
Servings: The number of servings depends on how big you cut each piece!
Friday, September 21, 2012
Rellenos (reh-yeh-nos) de papa are little bundles made from potatoes and stuffed with picadillo. They are a little more work to make but they are worth it. The potatoes and meat filling are both cooked first and then made into little balls and then fried.
PREPARATION: Prepare the picadillo first. The recipe is on this website.
Picadillo - 2 cups
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Canola or vegetable oil
8 large potatoes
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. salt
Flour for coating the outside of rellenos
1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are cooked by don't let them get overdone and mushy. Drain the water and after the potatoes are cooked, peel them and mash them well.
2. Add in the eggs, butter, cornstarch and salt and mash well. Set aside.
3. Working on a floured surface, place a rounded tablespoonful of the potato mixture onto flour. Make a small well in the center. Add a teaspoonful of picadillo in the center. Add a teaspoonful of potato on top of the picadillo. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the potato and then flatten the potato down very lightly on the top so that it covers the picadillo.
4. Gather up the sides of the relleno so that the flour coats the sides all around. Carefully, roll it on the other side to coat with flour. With floured hands, you should now be able to handle the relleno to shape it into a ball.
5. Place the prepared rellenos in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so they harden a little or refrigerate overnight and fry them the next day.
6. TO FRY: Pour oil into a frying pan that is more than 2 inches deep and set the heat on medium-high. You will want to have enough oil in the pan so that the rellenos are half submerged in oil when you put them in. When the oil is hot, carefully place about 4 rellenos in the pan, one at a time. The oil should be hot and sizzling. If it is not the potatoes will lay there and may start to come apart.
7. When the rellenos are a light golden color turn them over and let them fry on the other side. They will not take long to cook because all the ingredients are already cooked.
8. Place the rellenos on a paper towel lined plate so they can drain. Serve hot.
Servings: 6 - 8
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Stewed black beans are really delicious and a very healthy food. They are actually easy to make. The most important thing to remember is that you need to soak the beans first. You can soak them overnight or you can put them in water very early int he morning.
Soak 1 lbs. of beans overnight in a bowl with 5 or 6 cups of of cold water. If you don't want to soak them overnight or forget you can start to soak them early in the morning.
1 pkg. dried black beans
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sofrito
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 cups low-fat chicken broth (I buy the one without MSG)
2 - 3 cups water
1. Throw out the water that the beans were soaking in and rinse the beans in cold water. Set aside.
2. In a dutch oven or other heavy pot (I use an enamel-covered cast iron dutch oven) set the heat on low and heat the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the sofrito, bay leaves, black pepper, salt, oregano and vinegar. Cover and saute about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the beans chicken broth and water. Turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and cover.
4. Check the beans every 15 minutes or so to make sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Keep covered while they cook.
The beans will take about 1-1/2 hours to cook. Taste to determine if they need more salt. They will be ready when they are tender. Remove the bay leaves.
Serve over rice.
Servings: About 8
Thursday, September 13, 2012
These are such great little treats. They are crunchy, little corn fritters that are perfect for breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea.
Canola or vegetable oil
Between 1 and 1-1/4 cups stone ground cornmeal
1/2 cup milk (very warm)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pure vanilla
1-1/2 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal with all the ingredients. Mash it all together with a tablespoon. The mixture should be firm so that you can form little fritters.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and when the oil is hot, carefully add the cornmeal to the oil by tablespoonfuls. They should sizzle when you put them in the pan. Fry until partially done, then turn over and fry the other side.
3. When they are a light-golden color, turn them over again and fry until light-golden brown. Do not over-cook. You must watch them because they fry quickly. Drain on paper towels.
Servings: 2 or 3