Loading...

Follow Kitchen De Lujo | A food blog with easy Caribbe.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
This mouthwatering sandwich is a MUST HAVE. Buttery toasted Cuban bread stacked with crispy ham croquettes (croquetas de jamón), swiss cheese, pickles, and smoked ham slices. What more could one ask for in a sandwich!?

What is a Ham Croquette (Croqueta De Jamón)? 

A croquette (croqueta) is a small finger length breadcrumb fried food roll that usually consists of minced ham, ground meat, or fish as its main ingredient. This delicious roux filling is either shaped into a cylinder or an oval shape. Then, it is rolled into seasoned breadcrumbs before being fried. However, the croquette (croqueta) roux filling is made differently in various parts of the world.

But what are we exactly making in this recipe? Our recipe follows how it is made in the Caribbean Islands. Even more, the Cuban croqueta preparada version. Croquette (croquetas) are found everywhere in the Caribbean Islands, and also parts of South Florida where they’re many Cuban bakeries. This small fried finger food is perfect for any occasion and any time of the day. Especially, when you are on-the-go and need something quick to eat!

These little golden delights require patience while making them. If you don’t have the patience, you can find the Goya frozen version at your local grocery store. But, fresh is always best!

How To Make Ham Croquettes (Croquetas De Jamón) Recipe?

These are VERY easy to make. However, –patience– is key. The Cuban croqueta filling takes up much of the prepping time because it requires some hours to chill inside the refrigerator. Usually, we store the ham roux filling inside the refrigerator overnight. But, two to three hours will do just fine. We also like to replace the chopped parsley with chopped cilantro. In our opinion, cilantro is usually a better herb to use instead of parsley in our recipes. Same goes for the flour. We used wheat flour for personal preference but all purpose flour can be substituted. Speaking of, the filling is made by a process of cooking equal parts of butter and flour together. This is called a “roux” and is used to produce a thickened base.

How To Make A Ham Croquette Sandwich (Croqueta Preparada)? 

Finally what you’ve come here for. This amazing sandwich!! Now that we went over the basics of the croqueta recipe, this is how we prepare our sandwich. First, this recipe calls for similar ingredients of a traditional Cuban sandwich. But, this is not a Cuban sandwich. So some of these ingredients can be substituted if you are not keen to the traditional Cuban sandwich.

We prepare the sandwich by spreading mustard on one side of the bread, then in order the pickles – swiss cheese – smoked ham – ham croquetas. Lastly, grill and flatten the sandwich just like you would with a traditional Cuban sandwich. Be careful not to burn both sides of the sandwich or flatten the croquetas too much.

You will have extra Cuban ham croquetas to use as a side for your sandwich. You may use this recipe without the additional sandwich ingredients to make croqueta sides for any lunch or dinner dish. Two great recipes that would go great with croquetas are tostones and our jibarito sandwich dishes.

Croquette Sandwich (Croqueta Preparada)

This mouthwatering sandwich is a MUST HAVE. Buttery toasted Cuban bread stacked with crispy ham croquettes (croquetas de jamón), swiss cheese, pickles, and smoked ham slices. What more could one ask for in a sandwich!?

Croqueta Filling
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic (ground)
  • 1 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup smoked ham (finely chopped)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
Sandwich
  • 1 loaf cuban bread
  • 1 lb ham (sliced)
  • 1/2 lb swiss cheese (sliced)
  • dill pickle chips
  • mustard
  1. Begin by bringing a medium sized pan to medium heat. Melt the butter inside the pan and add olive oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, toss in your finely chopped onion and sauté. 

  2. Slowly add in 1/2 cup wheat flour to create a paste. Next, season with salt, pepper, and your ground garlic. Gradually whisk in your milk and mix until texture is thickened. 

  3. After the base is thickened, stir in your chopped parsley and ham. Turn off heat and place the filling into a sealed container. Refrigerate the croquette (croqueta) filling for at least 2 hours. 

  4. Prepare an egg wash by whisking the eggs with a tablespoon of water in a bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a separate bowl or plate with 1/4 cup of the remaining flour. Bring vegetable oil inside of a pan to medium heat. The oil level should cover half of the croqueta log. 

  5. Take your ham croquette (croqueta) filling out of the refrigerator and shape individual croquette (croqueta) logs. They should be at most 3 inches long. Dip ham croquette (croqueta) logs into the egg wash then into breadcrumbs. Repeat egg wash and breadcrumbs dip one more time then place into frying pan. 

  6. Fry the croquettes (croquetas) making sure it is golden on all around. Then, place fried croquettes (croquetas) inside a paper laced bowl or wire rack to soak excess oil. Lastly, prepare a sandwich by placing in order – mustard, pickles, cheese, ham, and croquetas. Bring griddle or pan to low-medium heat with butter. Flatten sandwich with a separate skillet or bacon press and toast each side.  

The post Croquette Sandwich (Croqueta Preparada) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
A delicious easy ground beef recipe, that uses Puerto Rican sofrito as its base seasoning and can be used as a filling for pastelillos and alcapurria. This quick picadillo recipe is an absolute must try dinner for those busy weeknights! What is Picadillo?

Picadillo is a traditional Latin American dish that is made using ground beef. However, ground turkey may be used instead if you are trying to stay away from the beef. Ingredients vary from different parts of the Caribbean Islands. For example, Puerto Rico picadillo uses sofrito (recaíto) and Cuban picadillo usually has potatoes and raisins. One thing that is consistent with all variations of picadillo, is that it includes the amazing bell peppers and tomato sauce! This dinner meal is very similar to the dish “hash” in the United States and around the world.

Authentic Puerto Rican Picadillo

The picadillo meat is used in various Puerto Rican recipes. Traditional recipes include alcapurrias (a popular fried finger food using masa dough and picadillo as a filling), pastelillos de carne (meat turnovers using a flaky dough surrounding the picadillo meat), and many other island recipes. This ground beef recipe is multi-purpose and is perfect alone or used as a filling in another recipe.

Puerto Rican Sofrito (recaíto) is used in this recipe and is, in my opinion, the seasoning that makes this meal absolutely amazing. I stress so much that homemade sofrito (recaíto) is a staple in the kitchen and making it doesn’t take much effort. We have an amazing sofrito (recaíto) recipe that you may use if you need any help making it at home. Once you start making your own sofrito with fresh ingredients, you won’t ever buy the store-bought brand.

They’re various recipes that include garlic, culantro, and oregano. However, you will be overdoing the said ingredients if you are using homemade sofrito.

How To Make The Best Picadillo

These are various tips on perfecting this Puerto Rican ground beef recipe.

Our recipe ingredients call for a green and red bell pepper. However, you may use any colored bell pepper. Your preference on how sweet you like your peppers will determine which one to use.

Also, we use more than usual tomato sauce in our recipe. Traditionally it is made with less tomato sauce if you are using this ground beef as a filling. You can reduce the sauce moisture as you cook the meat while keeping the pan uncovered.

This can be stored in the refrigerator at most 3-4 days and 2-6 months frozen.

This dish is simply easy and flavorful no matter what occasion!

Puerto Rican Picadillo

A delicious easy ground beef recipe, that uses Puerto Rican sofrito as its base seasoning and can be used as a filling for pastelillos and alcapurria. This quick picadillo recipe is an absolute must try dinner for those busy weeknights!

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sofrito
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper (seeded & chopped)
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper (seeded & chopped)
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (goya brand)
  • 1/4 cup olives with pimento (sliced)
  • cilantro (for garnish)
  • salt (for taste)
  1. Start by adding the olive oil inside a medium sized pan over medium to high heat. Sauté the sofrito for two to three minutes. After your sofrito is slightly brown, turn down the heat to low-medium, and add in the yellow onion with the bell pepper chopped mix. Stir occasionally for two to three minutes. 

  2. Thereafter, pour in your tomato sauce, sliced olives, and add your ground beef. Stir the picadillo until it is evenly mixed and bring heat to medium. Cover pan to hold in moisture and to cook the beef faster. 

  3. Uncover pan occasionally to stir the picadillo. Once the beef is browned and well done, you may lower heat to reach your desired sauce consistency. However, the picadillo should not be runny. Serve with white rice, salt for taste, and use chopped cilantro as garnish. 

  1. Ground turkey may be used instead of ground beef.
  2. Homemade sofrito (recaíto) is always better than the store-bought kind. You will get a more fresh flavored picadillo using homemade sofrito (recaíto).

The post Puerto Rican Picadillo (Spiced Ground Beef) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Can’t get enough of the authentic Puerto Rican coquito? Why not spice it up a bit with this unique amazing twist of the traditional holiday drink! Pistachio makes the perfect combination with this delicious coconut nog!

What Exactly is Pistachio Coquito?

Pistachio coquito is just a flavor variation of the classic Christmas drink “Coquito”. We have a whole explanation of what is coquito and the traditional Puerto Rican coquito recipe if you would like to learn more. The blend of pistachio and coconut is AMAZING together. Moreover, pistachio is used as a base in many desserts like ice creams or even cakes! Yes, I too was unaware that this little cashew is very delicious as a sweet beverage or dessert.

The first time I tried anything pistachio dessert related was Ben & Jerrys Pistachio Pistachio ice cream. I thought any type of peanuts or cashew was only considered a topping but never the main star of any dessert. But when I first took a bite out of the pistachio ice cream, I was hooked. If you are a fan of pistachio, then this pistachio coquito recipe is perfect for you!

Also, they’re much different flavored coquito recipes including chocolate and strawberry. Any coquito flavor is perfect for large gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas!

How To Make Pistachio Coquito

Here are the secrets of making this amazing authentic coquito drink. First of all, obviously we need the pistachio base. Some people use pistachio ice cream, therefore making a super sweet drink since our coquito ingredients use a can of sweetened condensed milk already. So, instead of using pistachio ice cream, we use pistachio paste. This makes the authentic pistachio coquito taste a lot more natural than a sugar bomb drink.

Simply put, pistachio paste is made by blending the dry pistachios in a food processor. If you want to skip this step, here is an Amazon link to pistachio paste if you are unable to find it at your local store. However, all you need is a bag of no shell pistachios to make the paste.

Making Pistachio Paste

Most noteworthy, we have to remove that brown exterior of the pistachio if we want a nice green colored paste. Giving the little pistachios a blanching will help with removing the skin.

To do this, heat water inside a medium saucepan to a rolling boil. Toss in the raw pistachios inside the water and wait about one to two minutes max. Immediately strain the pistachios and place into an ice bath. Next, easily remove the skin from the pistachios and place them inside a blender or food processor.

Finally, blend until a paste consistency and place inside an airtight jar.

Authentic Pistachio Coquito Recipe Tips

We don’t use evaporated milk in our traditional coquito drink and chose to use another can of coconut milk. This promotes more of a coconut flavor and many people prefer it over the evaporated milk taste. Also, like our traditional Puerto Rican coquito recipe, we do not use eggs as it is a personal preference. This is a long debate of eggs being the deciding factor of “traditional coquito”. Over the years, Puerto Rican families have they’re own passed down preference on including eggs or not. However, our coquito recipes do not include the egg ingredient.

Puerto Rican white rum is the set in stone ingredient and should never change. Some white rums to consider would be Don Q and Barcadi. We use 1 cup in our recipe but everyone has their own liquor amount preference. Use more or less after pouring your own coquito drink.

If you want to make your authentic pistachio coquito a little more green color, use a few drops of green food coloring while blending the ingredients.

How Long Does Pistachio Coquito Last?

Coquito can last for multiple months if you store it inside an airtight drink container. I find that storing it for multiple days before serving gives it a much better taste. The egg coquito version may not last as long – another reason why I do not like the egg version :). However, its always hard to save coquito since it runs out before we even get to store it!

Pistachio Coquito (Puerto Rican Pistachio Coconut Nog)

Can’t get enough of the authentic Puerto Rican coquito? Why not spice it up a bit with this unique amazing twist of the traditional holiday drink! Pistachio makes the perfect combination with this delicious coconut nog!

  • 2 13.5 oz can coconut milk (leche de coco)
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 cup pistachio paste
  • 1 cup white rum (more or less for taste)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground cinnamon (for garnish)
  • green food color (optional)
  1. Start by mixing all ingredients into a blender. Blend ingredients until the mixture is well-combined. 

  2. Strain coquito into an airtight bottle and place inside a refrigerator to chill for a minimum of one hour. Shake the bottle before serving.

  3. Serve chilled in a lowball glass. Garnish top with ground cinnamon.

The post Pistachio Coquito (Puerto Rican Pistachio Coconut Nog) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Yuca con Mojo makes a perfect appetizer dish or a side to any dinner meals! The combination of the tender soft cassava and garlicky citrus flavored oil will make you keep coming back for more!

What Exactly is Yuca?

The Caribbean Islands and much of North America describes the Cassava root vegetable as “yuca”. It is a starchy tuberous root and is very similar to potatoes, yam, and malanga. Yuca (cassava) is one of the most drought tolerant vegetables and is a very popular crop throughout the Caribbean Islands.

There is a lot of confusion with the words “yuca” and “yucca”. Yuca is the correct spelling of the vegetable. In addition, the word yucca is a plant that is mainly seen in mountainous and desert areas. Also, yucca is rarely used in food and more as an ornamental plant. A quick google image search will show you that both yuca and yucca definitely do not look alike.

Fresh Yuca vs Frozen Yuca

Furthermore, there is a lot of misconceptions that fresh cassava should always be avoided and frozen yuca is a better option. This reason being that fresh cassava could be too dangerous for human consumption if prepared improperly. In fact, Yuca (cassava) contains cyanide, a toxin that is poisonous at high doses. Usually, cassava is categorized by being sweet or bitter. This bitter type is the cassava that contains toxic amounts of cyanide. However, this is mainly an issue outside of the United States of America.

Do you think a vegetable would be sold in the USA if it was that deadly? We all forget that in the United States of America, USDA has strict regulations on vegetables that are sold in stores. The yuca (cassava) is inspected for quality and freshness prior to being sold in stores. Of course, I do not recommend growing your own cassava for consumption. Food, in general, should always be prepared properly to avoid health issues.

To prepare yuca properly, make sure to completely remove the outside brown layer and any purplish areas. Then, cooking the yuca wedges is sufficient to eliminate all toxicity. Traditionally in the Caribbean Islands, yuca is soaked in water for 24 hours prior to cooking. This also helps to reduce cyanide levels.

How to Cook Cuban Yuca con Mojo?

Yuca (cassava) is cooked differently in the parts of the Caribbean Islands. Yuca con Mojo is one of the most popular traditional Cuban food dishes. These are some traditional cooking tips that are used in Cuban cuisine. Preparation of the yuca root is explained the in paragraph above.

Boil the yuca wedges in water until they are tender soft. If you decide on using frozen yuca, it will take a little longer for them to become soft when you boil them. Delicious mojo sauce is used to give these soft wedges a perfect flavor. But, this is not your ordinary mojo. The mojo used for fried plantains or yuca is more oil based and does not contain oregano or cumin. Naranja agria (bitter orange) juice is traditionally used in yuca con mojo, but some Cubans preferably use lime juice instead. Same goes for the cilantro garnish, with some also substituting it with parsley.

Speaking of, we have a detailed  Cuban Mojo Sauce recipe if you are interested in the marinade version.

Cuban Yuca con Mojo (Boiled Cassava with Garlic Sauce)

Yuca con Mojo makes a perfect appetizer dish or a side to any dinner meals! The combination of the tender soft cassava and garlicky citrus flavored oil will make you keep coming back for more!

  • 1 lb yuca (cassava) (peeled & halved)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small onion (sliced rings )
  • 1/3 cup naranja agria (bitter orange) juice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 lb chicharrón (pork belly) (optional)
  • cilantro for garnish (finally chopped)
  1. Start by peeling the yuca (cassava) skin and cut into medium sized wedges. Place chopped yuca (cassava) wedges into a large pot and add water until wedges are completely covered. Bring to boil and add two teaspoons of salt into water for 5 minutes. Bring to simmer, cover the pot, and set aside for 20 minutes or until yuca (cassava) chunks are soft. 

  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the chicharrónes and fry until golden brown. set aside chicharrónes onto a wire rack or plate with paper towel. sauté onion rings for 3 minutes then add olive oil to saucepan. Bring oil to simmer while adding the minced garlic, naranja agria (bitter orange) juice, and remaining salt. Stir continuously for five to seven minutes.

  3. To serve, place soft yuca (cassava) wedges on to plate or bowl, remove the fibrous core of the yuca if any, pour mojo garlic sauce over the yuca, and add chopped up fried chicharrónes. Garnish with cilantro and add salt for taste. 

  1. Frozen yuca wedges may be used, but will need an additional 5-10 minutes while boiling to get tender. 
  2. Chicharrónes can be replaced by bacon.
  3. Fresh naranja agria (bitter oranges) is hard to find at local stores and Goya’s bottled version can be used. Lime can also be used instead of bitter orange.

The post Cuban Yuca con Mojo (Cassava w/ Garlic Sauce) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
This Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan) is a perfect after-dinner dessert for your friends and family! Coconut tastes fantastic over this traditional Caribbean dessert. How to Make the Best Cuban Flan de Coco

This easy coconut flan recipe removes the “baking” nightmares many people have in the kitchen. If you have made a flan and it comes out as too liquidly or like cottage cheese, then read below to see some tips and tricks on how to prevent flan disasters.

One kitchen product that makes this process way easier is a flanera. A flanera is a flan mold that is made out of stainless steel and has a tight latching lid for efficient closure. This pan is made to make your job 10x easier at molding the flan into the right form.

You can find this product at your nearest latin supermarket or this flanera amazon link if you want it delivered right to your door.

This traditional Cuban flan recipe includes shredded coconut flakes and substitutes the evaporated milk with coconut milk for a slight coconut taste. The addition of condensed milk is also an ingredient that Cubans use in their flan. They’re many other flan flavor variations in the Caribbean Islands. For example, different flavors include mango, pina colada, and a delicious dark chocolate flan.

Delicious Caramelized Sugar

Some people have trouble making the delicious gooey caramel that covers the flan. It is very simple but many people do this step differently. One way of doing this is heating the sugar inside the flanera instead of doing it in a separate saucepan. We personally use the wet sugar method to caramelize in our recipe and the only difference is the added water. This practice helps with controlling the degree of caramelization as some people heat dry sugar quite quickly, resulting in a burnt taste.

Be careful when heating sugar as this can cause very painful sugar burns. Also, you do not want to walk away or do multiple things at once while caramelizing the sugar. It is easy to mess up this step in many flan recipes.

How to Bake a Flan in a Water Bath

Baking a flan in a water bath is essential to perfecting the flans texture. In Cuba, traditionally this is baked in a baño maría (water bath) inside of a pressure cooker instead of an oven.

Because flan is a type of custard, we will want to bake it slowly and not overcook the top or outer sides. To water bath, you place the flanera or similar baking pan into a larger baking pan (preferably one with taller walls). Next, you fill the larger baking pan with hot water up until the halfway mark of the flanera. This water evaporates at boiling point, keeping the water inside the oven at a fixed temperature.

They’re benefits of baking the coconut flan this way. A benefit from water bath baking a flan is insulating the outer part of the flan so it doesn’t cook too fast than the center part. Another benefit of doing this is to prevent the batter from curdling. No one will want to cut into a flan that breaks apart into a cottage cheese texture. Eww.

So, don’t be worried if you check your coconut flan before letting it cool, and it looks under-cooked. It will continue to bake inside of this water bath after taking it out the oven. It is also recommended to refrigerate the coconut flan for at least 4 hours to overnight before serving.

Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)

This Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan) is a perfect after-dinner dessert for your friends and family! Coconut tastes fantastic over this traditional Caribbean dessert.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 14 oz can condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • shredded coconut flakes (for garnish)
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 325℉.  In a medium-sized saucepan, add sugar and water over medium heat. Stir gently. Bring to boil, do not stir and wait until sugar is completely melted and turns into a golden brown. Once melted, quickly pour caramelized sugar into flanera or baking deep dish and completely cover the bottom and sides evenly.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt until combined. Strain mixture slowly into the flanera or baking dish over the caramel. Create a water bath by placing the closed flanera or baking dish inside a larger baking pan (preferably one with higher edges). 

  3. Pour hot water inside the baking pan until it reaches halfway up of the flanera. Place the baking pan with the flanera inside the oven. Bake for 50 minutes. (optional) To see if flan is not overcooked, carefully remove and open the flanera to check the texture. The edges should be slightly firm while the middle is very soft and wobbly. 

  4. Turn oven off and carefully remove baking pan with flanera and let cool inside the water bath. Place closed flanera inside the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least two to four hours before serving. To serve, open flanera and carefully place a knife to slice between the edge of the flan and flanera. 

  5. Place a larger serving plate with raised edges over the flanera and turn to invert both plate and flanera. The flan should slide right out or wait a minute or two for it to slide onto the plate. Pour caramel over flan and garnish with shredded coconut flakes. 

  1. Coconut milk and shredded coconut flakes can be substituted with evaporated milk to make a more traditional Cuban flan de leche. 
  2. You want the flan to be slightly wobbly in the center after taking it out of the oven. 
  3. Keep an eye on the sugar while caramelizing because it burns quickly.

The post Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Guineos en Escabeche is a delicious pickled unripe green banana salad that is perfect year-round and is very easy to make.

What is Guineos?

The word “Guineos” is in many instances used throughout the Caribbean Islands (mainly Puerto Rico) to refer to “bananas”. But, these aren’t your regular Chiquita brand bananas; they are a little smaller in size compared to the Chiquita bananas. However, size is the only difference between the two.

These also should not be confused with plantains (plátanos). Plantains have a lot more starch and used in many different dishes than its counterpart guineos.

For example, unripe green plantains are usually flattened and fried; called tostones and here’s our quick and easy tostones recipe just in case your interested!

What is Escabeche? 

Guineos? Escabeche? Yea… I know, Caribbean lingo very confusing. Simply put, it is a dish (fish, meat, or sometimes vegetables) marinated in an acidic mixture.

In the Caribbean Islands, it is collectively prepared with vinegar (white or apple cider), onion, and garlic. Carrots and scotch bonnet peppers are used commonly in a similar Jamaican dish called Escovitch Fish. Also, A red snapper is the star of the dish and is usually marinated in the vegetable mixture overnight.

Comparably, a Puerto Rican dish called Pescado en Escabeche is prepared almost the same besides using minor ingredient differences.

Escabeche Tips

This process of preservation and is very similar to pickling onions – those nice pink colored onions in the pictures above.

I personally made a small batch of pickled onions to use as a garnish since I enjoy crunchy textured onions more than what this recipe calls for. Its pretty simple – just cut up a separate red onion into thin slices, place into a glass mason jar, and pour some of the escabeche over the onions. You can literally see the onions turn pink while it sits in the refrigerator. Serve as garnish after making your dish.

Traditionally, Guineos en Escabeche calls for chicken gizzards, but I personally am not a fan of chicken gizzards and added avocado and cilantro for a more fresh tasting dish.

Trust me, it tastes AMAZING with the added avocado and cilantro. Here in Florida, we have Choquette avocados at almost all stores and is larger than the Hass avocados. I like using them over the Hass avocados because they are less mushy while mixing with the Guineos en Escabeche.

Guineos en Escabeche (Pickled Unripe Green Bananas)

Guineos en Escabeche is a delicious pickled unripe green banana salad that is perfect year-round and is very easy to make.

  • 10 whole green bananas (unripe)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 whole red onion (half-moon slices)
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 whole spanish olives
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 avocado (optional)
  • cilantro for garnish
  1. First, prepare the escabeche by heating a large sized saucepan to stovetop medium heat. Pour in a little bit of olive oil for sautéing. Toss in the half moon sliced red onion and minced garlic after the pan is ready. Sauté the mixture for 3-5 minutes while continuously stirring.

  2. Slowly pour in the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Add in the spanish olives, bay leaves, 1 tsp salt, and the black peppercorns. Stir the mixture around and reduce the heat to simmer. Set aside for 50 minutes. 

  3. Heat a large pot to medium-high heat. Cut the tips of the unripe bananas and add to your large pot with the skin still on. Add water to your large pot slightly covering the bananas. Add the other 1 tsp of salt into the water. Remove bananas from the water when the skin begins to split. Then, peel the skin off of the bananas when they cool off. 

  4. Finally, cut the bananas into 1-inch slices and place into a large food storage (preferably glass). Pour escabeche over the sliced bananas and mix in the avocados. Store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving. 

The post Guineos en Escabeche (Pickled Unripe Green Bananas) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Arroz con Gandules is the best Puerto Rican rice dish that is filled with FLAVOR. 

What is Arroz con Gandules?

Arroz con Gandules is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that is served usually around Christmas season or special occasions. One of the main reasons why this is served for special occasions is because it serves A LOT of people. It is referred as “Puerto Rican Rice” and includes the Puerto Rican Cuisine seasoning sofrito to give it the unique mouthwatering taste.

Gandules, which is pigeon peas in English; is essential to the rice dish and is packed with nutrients. You’ll be surprised how flavorful the little pigeon peas are in combination with the seasoning. You can find these canned at your local market under the brand Goya or if you’re fortunate enough to get them fresh depending on your location.

This rice dish recipe requires a medium sized caldero (cast aluminum cooking pot) to be cooked in which is similar to a dutch oven. It is used throughout the Caribbean Islands for cooking rice, beans, stews, and soups. It is very versatile and durable for kitchenware and helps create pegao! You can purchase a caldero online if you cannot find one at a nearby store.

Sofrito Seasoning

This Puerto Rican rice recipe absolutely requires its signature seasoning – Sofrito. Sofrito; also sometimes called Recaíto, is a green seasoning base that is used in Arroz con Gandules and many other Puerto Rican dish recipes.

Being a Caribbean Island seasoning staple, tomatoes are rarely used in sofrito in Puerto Rico. Homemade sofrito is always the best kind to use and we have a delicious sofrito recipe for you!

Pegao

Pegao, the tasty rice at the bottom of the caldero. It is regular for Puerto Ricans to eat the crusty rice leftovers and it takes practice to get it to the right crispiness.

A tip to making pegao is using coating the inside of the caldero with vegetable oil and making sure you do not cook the rice with high heat. It is a little difficult your first attempt but in due time you will be a pegao pro!

Perfecting water and rice ratio is key to this Arroz con Gandules recipe. Since the ingredients like the sofrito, tomato sauce, and vegetable oil add liquid to the dish; it is difficult to know how much water is enough. A perfect rule of thumb is to use a 1 cup – 1 cup ratio and the liquid should be about 1 inch above the rice before you cook it.

The cured salted pork is optional and can be swapped out with ham or chorizo. However, the cured salted pork grease really complements the rice flavor.

Also, make sure you do NOT open the tightly secured lid during the 30 minute cooking time and also avoid stirring the rice. Let the caldero work its magic!

Arroz con Gandules

Arroz con Gandules is the best Puerto Rican rice dish that is filled with FLAVOR. 

  • 3 cups medium grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can gandules (pigeon peas) (drained)
  • 1/2 cup cured salted pork (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sofrito
  • 6 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 packet sazon culantro y achiote
  • 10 whole spanish olives
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt for taste
  1. Start by adding the vegetable oil to the caldero or large pot and set the stove heat to medium. Toss in your chopped cured salted pork into the pot and cook until it is fried. Remove the cured salted pork and set aside but keep the grease in the caldero. 

  2. Next, add your sofrito, tomato sauce, sazon culantro y achiote, cumin, spanish olives, and gandules to the caldero. Cook and stir the mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes. In addition, add your water and bring to boil. Rinse your medium grain rice to remove starch. 

  3. Lastly, add your medium grain rice and the fried cured salted pork and stir everything gently. Place a sheet of foil covering the top opening of the caldero and cover with lid. Cook the Puerto Rican rice for 30 minutes over medium heat without opening the lid at all. Fluff rice and add salt for personal taste. 

 1. For perfect water amount, make sure the rice is below liquid amount by 1 inch before placing the foil and caldero lid. 

2. Do not wash the starch off of the rice if you prefer your rice a sticky. 

The post Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Sofrito, also called Recaíto; is a staple to seasoning many Puerto Rican food dishes. 

If there is one thing that was always in my grandmother’s kitchen, it was the unlimited stock of sofrito.

There something about that fresh homemade sofrito smell as it sizzles on a frying pan.

A childhood aroma that will forever continue to be passed down generations.

It is made in different variations around the Caribbean Islands. The base consisting of peppers, onion, garlic, and tomatoes.

However, Puerto Rican Sofrito rarely has tomatoes and uses two main ingredients – recao (culantro) and ají dulce. This is one of the main reasons why sofrito is also called “recaíto” for Puerto Ricans.

This seasoning is used to prepare Arroz con gandules, pasteles, and many other Puerto Rican food dishes.

The ají dulce is also called aji cachucha and is very hard to find at the grocery stores. They are usually found at a vegetable market or Hispanic/latin supermarkets.

Be careful when blending with a high powered food processor or blender because it can become too purée. To reduce water content, strain the blended sofrito seasoning before storing.

Also, it is a common practice to spread it out in an ice cube tray and freeze the sofrito. Then, place sofrito cubes into a ziplock freezer bag for long-term storage.

Puerto Rican Sofrito

Sofrito, also called Recaíto; is a staple to seasoning many Puerto Rican food dishes. 

  • 1 yellow onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded & chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded & chopped)
  • 1 garlic head
  • 14 ají dulce (seeded)
  • 10 leaves culantro
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano (ground)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin )
  1. Start off by roughly chopping the yellow onion. Continue doing the same and removing the seeds from the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and the ají dulces.

  2. Place the chopped ingredients into a food large sized food processor or blender. 
  3. Break apart the garlic head into cloves and peel away the outer papery skin. Place the garlic cloves and culantro leaves into the food processor or blender. 

  4. Add a tbsp of salt, black pepper, and oregano. Lastly, add the 1/3 cup of olive oil and blend everything together. 

  • The ají dulce are also called aji cachucha and are very hard to find at the grocery stores. They are usually found at a vegetable market or a hispanic/latin super markets. 
  • Be careful when blending with a high powered food processor or blender because it will become too purée. To reduce water content, strain the blended sofrito mixture before storing. 
  • To store, it is a common practice to spread it out in a ice cube tray and freeze the sofrito. Then, place sofrito cubes into a ziploc freezer bag for long term storage. 

The post Sofrito (Traditional Puerto Rican Style) appeared first on Kitchen De Lujo.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview