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Archive for April, 2008


Ajiaco is a very old-fashioned stew-like dish, incredibly tasty and nutritious, which features several of the most typical root vegetables used in traditional Hispanic Caribbean cuisine. This dish is so hearty that it can be served as the only dish in a meal, especially if it is served for lunch. It is so simple and easy to make, you must try it!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes, cut into fourths
  • 1 large ñame, cut into medium pieces
  • 4 corn on the cob, cut in halfs
  • 1 small calabaza, cut into medium pieces
  • 4 malangas, cut into fourths lengthwise
  • 4 medium boniatos, cut into medium pieces
  • 2 medium yucas, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 lb beef (flank or round beef for stewing, cut in 1″ chunks)
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil for braising the beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tsp salt or to your taste
  • 2 to 4 cups of water
Method:

Season the beef with salt and generously with garlic powder. Peel and cut all the vegetables. Braise the beef with cloves of garlic in a large pot; then add water and cook for 10 to 15min.
Add all the other ingredients, add the rest of the water, cover, and simmer slowly over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until beef is tender. Serve with fresh lime wedges in deep soup bowls.

Chefs Tip:

You can use a pressure cooker and cut the cooking time almost by half. Just put the lid on the cooker after you have braised the beef and added all the ingredients. Cook for 15 minutes after the cooker’s pressure valve begins to whistle and rock. Use 1st quality round or flank beef.

Dip it in the stew to soften it as you enjoy this heartiest of meals. Enjoy!

Serves 10 – 12.

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Black beans and rice is such a classic combination, especially in Caribbean or Southern cooking. There are probably dozens of ways to make it; this one is an easy recipe that cooks up quick and tastes great.I recommend mixing some chopped up canned green mix vegetables,for giving an additional boost to basic black beans and rice.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (if not roasted red bell peppers or some chopped pimentos)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 16-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • A few dashes of Tabasco or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 heaping Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Lime wedges and cilantro for garnish
Method:

1 Cook rice according to package instructions. White rice usually takes 15 minutes to cook once the water is simmering, and 10 minutes to sit.

2 Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high. Sauté onions and bell peppers for 3-4 minutes, until just beginning to soften, then add garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the black beans, vinegar and Tabasco or cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

3 Stir in rice and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6.

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After buying some really delicious “golden” pineapples and I wanted to make something special out of it. Grilling really brings out the sweetness in the pineapple, and sauce is very good and easy to make. I bet it would be good on ice cream or even made into a butter free version.

Photo via Coconut and Lime

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 pineapple, cored and cut into 1/2 in slices
  • 1/2 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Method:

Lightly spray a grill pan and heat until hot. Place pineapple slices on the grill and allow to cook 3-4 minutes on each side. When it is time to flip, you should see caramelized grill marks on the slice. If not, cook it a little longer. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the butter, rum and sugar to almost a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until it is slightly thick and can coat the back of a spoon. Whisk occasionally to insure that it doesn’t separate. Serve warm.

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