So You Went and Bought Guava Paste, Now What?

Guava paste is sweet, but not overly so. It is found in Latin food stores, but can also be found in the international aisle in many supermarkets. It comes in a rectangular brick of about 14 ounces. I’ve purchased guava fruit before as when ripe, it has the most divine aroma. The first one I…

If You Can Cut Kitchen Twine, You Can Make Colombian Tamales

Tamales are a real favorite in Colombia. They are unlike “hot tamales” that are found in Tex-Mex cooking although they may have similar ingredients. Colombian tamales are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. They are also filled with a combination of pork and chicken, although sometimes only chicken is used. Traditionally, they are served on…

Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder)

This cut of meat is very inexpensive, but it is quite tough.  That is why it needs much preparation to convert it into the juicy, tender, and flavorful dish it can be.  One way to do it is Puerto Rican style.  The meat is marinated, then roasted.  I like to marinate it for about 3…

Chayote Slaw with Mango Vinaigrette

I like to try unfamiliar ingredients, but sometimes have no idea what to do with them. Oftentimes, if the ingredient is primarily used in Latin America, I still don’t know what to do with it because the recipes are written in Spanish. My husband is Latino, but he doesn’t usually know what anything is. **Sigh**…

Braised Pork Shoulder

I usually cook the pork shoulder whole, but this time I decided to try something different.  Ferdinand and I were shopping and he spotted pork shoulder for $1.29/lb.  That’s a pretty good price and I am trying to encourage him to eat – anything.  I like to make a marinade paste and stuff it into…

Caribbean-Style Sancocho

Sancocho is a soup that is very popular in Latin American cuisine.  I call this one Caribbean because I use ingredients that are more reminiscent of the Caribbean than other parts of Latin America.  According to my husband (from Bogota), Sancocho should be made with both chicken and beef stock.  It also needs potatoes, yucca…

Chickpea Soup

This a delicious soup from the Caribbean.  I like it as a way to use up cooked baked ham.  This recipe calls for dried chickpeas, but you could substitute cooked, canned garbanzo beans.

Pigeon Pea Soup

I love a nice baked ham, but since I am trying to watch my sodium intake and eat less meat, I thought stretching it out with soup was a smart way to go.  I made this with dried peas that were soaked for a couple of days, but you could just as easily use cooked…

Shrimp and Coconut Soup

This is a relatively hearty soup made with shrimp and pasta in a creamy, curried broth.  It is flavored with “complete seasoning” which is a Latino blend made by Goya, Badia, and others.  It is a mix of onion powder, garlic powder, and herbs – sort of like a ranch seasoning mix.

Beef and Lentil Soup

I tend to love anything with red lentils.  They turn yellow when cooked and as they soften they also thicken a soup. This is a Caribbean recipe and is very economical.  You can also use yellow split peas, but they need around 15 more minutes to cook.

Tamarillo Chutney

Tamarillo is also called Tomates de Arbol or Tree Tomatoes.  It can be yellow to orange to red in color and is sort of shaped like an American football with a stem at one end.  It tastes more tart than ordinary tomatoes and the skin can be bitter, so is usually removed before eating.  It…

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

This is a tasty and easy to make soup.  I like it because you can leave it soupy as is, or run your immersion blender around a couple of times to make the soup thicker and creamier without adding actual cream.