5 Fav Cinco de Mayo Dishes

I’m excited to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I love the parades, the music and of course, the food. Cinco de Mayo is a great opportunity to do all of the above. Of course, the teacher in me needs to put this out there, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are my 5 Fav Cinco de Mayo dishes. Continue reading “5 Fav Cinco de Mayo Dishes”

Beef Barbacoa

I stumbled upon beef barbacoa through my students obsession with a Mexican grill I shall not name. They were constantly rushing out of class to try to make it there and back before lunch was over. Of course, the bright side of them catching my attention was that it encouraged me to check the place out. It was delicious and a dish I knew I wanted to make my way.

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Pastelon de Platano Maduro: Costa Rican Lasagna

Sometimes it pays to be adventurous. One of the first dinners my dear friend from Costa Rica made for us was pastelon de platano maduro. Pastelón de platano de maduro is like a Costa Rican lasagna but you substitute the noodles out for bananas. When she first told me what she was making I was hesitant. But the mixture of the savory meat sauce with the sweet bananas is to die for.

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Pollo a la Brasa: Peruvian Roasted Chicken

A few years ago my parents introduced us to a “Pollo a la Brasa” in the neighborhood. At the time, the Pollo a la Brasa or Peruvian Roasted Chicken was one of the more popular Peruvian dishes. Roasting the chicken made it moist and delicious. The elements from both Chinese and Latin America cuisine added wonderful layers of flavor that were unbelievable.

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Beef Empanadas

One of my favorite dishes is picadillo. Not only is it easy to make but I typically have left-overs Sometimes those left-overs are used to make beef empanadas. Who doesn’t like a delicious hand held meat pie? I eat them as a snack though my husband thinks it can be a complete meal. When I make them he says, “empanadas are not a snack.” I’m sure his response is partially fueled by the fact that I used the larger empanada disc to make them. Of course, for some reason his retort always seems ridiculous to me. Not a snack? I only eat these as appetizers or snacks. Of course, I consulted some of my friends. The responses were half and half.

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Brigadeiros: Brazil’s Traditional Chocolate Sweet

Ever read a recipe and get really excited about it? Well that’s how I felt when I  saw the brigadeiro recipe in Food 52’s article “Cookies from around the World”. I was amped to take on the challenge of making this traditional Brazilian dessert. First, who doesn’t think “Woo Hoo” chocolate? Second, global dishes, that is kind of my thing. Third, making treats as gifts is something the family loves to do.

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Camarones Guisado: Shrimp Stew

During the holidays I’m always looking for a dish that is super comforting and quick. I always remember my friends having some sort of fish stew during the holidays. Camarones guisado is one of those dishes to make whether it’s the holiday season or not. There’s a sense of melancholy during the holidays that warrants a dish like this. Of course, depending on where you live and your background, the holidays might be done a little differently. But everyone needs a good soothing stew.

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Flan

Sweet caramel, deliciousness. That’s what I think of when I think of flan. I have no idea when I 1st had flan but what I do know is that I like it so much I’ll eat anyone’s flan. Yes, even the over processed version of this custard that comes in plastic cup. I’ll admit it, it’s one of my weaknesses. The nerd in me wondered, how is this a Latin American dish? Custard makes me think of Europe. And what do you know? Flan is from Europe. Originally Rome, then eventually it made its way to Spain (with some alterations). The European version is more savory dish where as the Latin American version is sweet and filled with local flavors like coffee. It’s the Spanish version I like because this version is topped with caramel. Yum. Continue reading “Flan”

Picadillo Recipe

I’ve been dying to make this dish for some time. I’m not sure why it has taken so long. It feels like it’s been over a month since I asked my colleague to help me translate some traditional Cuban recipes. Growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I was always lucky enough to have access to great Puerto Rican and Cuban food. I’ve always been able to go to a friend’s house or find a restaurant that made what I like just right. But now that we are in the suburbs, it’s just not the same.

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