Rice w/ Chorizo & Fresh White Cheese (Arroz Clavado)

This dish has to be one of my favorite ways to eat rice. I love chorizo and fresh white cheese (I know fattening, but so flavorful!). This rice is from Colombia in the region of Chocó. Every region in Colombia has their own way of preparing their special rice and in recipes to come you’ll notice. You can serve this dish at a BBQ, with your favorite salsa on the side, or as is. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes for 4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil or Achiote Oil
  • 1 Chorizo, cubed
  • 1/2 White or Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • 1 Plum Tomato, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/2 Tsp Annatto Seeds (you don’t need this if you already have the achiote oil)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Cup Long Grain Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh White Cheese (Quesco Fresco) or you can substitute with Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
  • Cilantro, chopped (to garnish)

Preparation:
If you’re lazy like me you can use your food processor to chop the veggies (heehee). Start by heating the oil in a medium size pot on medium. Add in the Annatto Seeds and cook them until they let out the coloring (orangish). Then discard them.

Add the chopped chorizo in the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes, to get it crisp on the outside and to flavor the oil. Then remove the chorizo from the pot and set aside (it doesn’t have to be fully cooked). Then add in the chopped veggies (onion, scallion, tomato, & garlic) to the pot and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add in the rice and toast it for a minute. Finally, add in the water, chorizo, and salt stir to combine. Bring heat up on high. Let it boil down until the rice is visible. Cover and let the rice finish cooking, 15-20 minutes.

When the rice is fully cooked, turn heat off and add in the cheese. Stir and serve. Garnish on top with the chopped cilantro.



Posted in Colombian, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Meat, Pork, Rice, Side Dish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grandma’s Colombian Arepas (Abuela’s Arepas Colombianas)

This recipe is supposed to be a secret…But it’s so delicious I had to share it with you!! What makes this Colombian arepa so unique is that it has ricotta cheese. The ricotta gives flavor and a creamy in the middle texture to it. This is the perfect breakfast/brunch to share with everyone. It truly is easy, delicious, and worth it to make!

Makes for 4-6 Arepas

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Pre-Cooked White or Yellow Cornmeal (example: P.A.N. or Masarepa )
  • 3/4 Cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Hot Water (I ended up using 1 Cup)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Butter

Preparation:

Begin by adding the cornmeal, ricotta cheese, and salt in a medium size bowl. With one hand, mix it all together. Then with your other hand slowly add in the hot water until the mixture comes together like a pizza dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes until it becomes a soft dough. Let it rest in the bowl for 10 minutes with a damp paper towel over it.

Preheat your saute or grilling pan on medium. Divide the dough in 4 to 6 equal parts. Roll it into a ball then flatten it into an arepa. Round and 4-5 inch’s in length and however thickness you like. I like mine a bit thick….Once all arepas are formed, add the butter into your pan and let it melt. Add as much arepas as you can into the pan and let it cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve immediately with eggs any style and fresh white cheese.

*If you have some extra dough you don’t want to use at the moment you can plastic wrap each formed arepa in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Colombian, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bread Soup (Sopa de Pan)

This is considered a comfort meal in Ecuador. Mother used to make this whenever she didn’t have meat or poultry on hand. This soup is so delicious you’ll want seconds. Easy, comforting, and fast to make. A wonderful meal to keep you warm for winter.

Makes for 4-6 Servings

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil (or Achiote Oil)
  • 1 Tsp Annatto Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup White/Yellow/Red Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 8 oz Fresh White Cheese (Queso Fresco), cubed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Dried or Fresh Oregano
  • 6 Cups Milk
  • 4 Slices of day old Bread (I used French baguette. You can also use Cuban, Italian, White Country…etc), cut 1-2 inch thick
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped

Preparation:

If you have Achiote Oil, skip this step. If not, In a medium-sized pot begin by heating the oil with the annatto seeds on medium high heat. Cook until the oil is orangish red. Remove the seeds and discard them.

Add in the onions and cook until translucent. Add in the water and bring up to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Then lower heat to medium and add in the milk, cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir to combine. Let simmer covered for 10 minutes.

Add in the slices of bread and cover. Cook until the bread is soft. Before serving mix in the cilantro and serve immediately. If the soup is too thick for your liking add in some milk.

Enjoy!

Posted in Dinner, Ecuadorian, Entree, Lunch, Soup, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Cinnamon Sugar Fried Apples (Manzanas Fritas con Azucar de Canela)

So my inspiration for this dessert was fall and a Swiss recipe called Thurgauer Apfelkuchlein . This delicious dessert is easy and great as a finger food for this Halloween (cuz they’re kinda ugly-looking)…..Crunchy on the outside and sweet apple-y in the inside. Go on and use them apples!!

Printable Recipe

Makes 16 “fritters”

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Apples, cleaned (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji, any apples you like or on hand)
  • Oil for frying
  • Cinnamon Sugar (1/3 Cup Brown Sugar and 1 Tbsp Powdered Cinnamon

Batter:

  • 150g All Purpose Flour, sifted
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
  • 250ml Milk
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients for batter in a bowl until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

While batter is resting core and slice apples 1cm thick. Set aside. Start heating oil.

Dip apple slices in batter, then fry until golden on each side. Drain the apples well on double lined paper towels. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the slices. Serve immediately.

Posted in Appetizer, Brunch, Dessert, Dinner, Fruits, Side Dish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baked Chicken with Cinnamon Apples (Pollo al horno con Manzanas Caneladas)

Nothing beats baked chicken. I think it’s the best way of cooking it! This recipe is a great way of using up your apples and taking it in. The apples and onions blend so well with the cinnamon and chicken you’ll remember me when you take your first bite…Okay that’s weird (just kidding) lol. No but really this recipe is a must! Representing fall and the fruit that is in full season….Apples!! Enjoy 🙂

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Chicken, washed and excess fat removed
  • 2 Apples (Granny Smith, McIntosh, Crispin, Jonagold, Fuji, Golden Delicious), washed, cored, & quartered
  • 1/2 Large Onion or 1 Small Onion, peeled & quartered
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine
  • Powdered Cinnamon, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • PAM Cooking Spray, to grease baking sheet

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Grease your baking dish with PAM. Place the quartered apples and onions in the baking dish and stuff some in your chicken.

Sprinkle the cinnamon all around and on top of the apples and onions. Place chicken in the middle and pour on and around the white wine and drizzle on and around the extra virgin olive oil. Using kitchen twine, truss your chicken (optional).

Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Then lower oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve chicken with the apples/onions and some rice on the side 😉

Posted in Dinner, Entree, Fruits, Lunch, Poultry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avocado & Apple Salad (Ensalada de Aguacate y Manzana)

So yesterday I took a day trip to explore the town of New Paltz and went Apple picking in Dressel Farm. I ended up getting 2o pounds of apples!! Yeah….So now to use them all up I’ll be sharing a bunch of apple recipes that once this is over…We’ll be apple’d out 😉

I share with you today a delicious, elegant, fast, and easy recipe that can be served in any occasion. The almonds give a nice nutty crunch to this salad. Who knew these two fruits could blend wonderfully together!  Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes for 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 2 Apples (of choice), with skin, cored, and sliced
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds with shell or without (up to you), toasted
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Assemble the sliced apples, avocado, and toasted almonds however you like on your serving platter.

Whisk together the lime juice, mustard, and extra virgin olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Spoon the dressing on your salad. Then sprinkle the parsley on top. That’s it!

Posted in Appetizer, Brunch, Fruits, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Green Plantain Pancake w/ Cheese and Tomato Scallion Sauce (Arepa de Platanos Verde con Queso y Salsa de Tomate y Cebolla)

Yes, another frying recipe. Don’t you love it? This dish is super delish and easy to make. So I mixed a bit of Ecuadorian w/ Colombian in this recipe. Plantains with cheese represents well, both (hehe) and the pancake feel to it and sauce is Colombian. Great for a brunch or as an appetizer. Enjoy!

Makes for 7-8 pancakes

Printable Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large or 4 Small to Medium Green Plantain, peeled
  • 8-10 ounces of Fresh White Cheese (Colombian queso fresco), cubed
  • Oil, for frying
  • Salt

For Sauce:

  • 2 Large Plum Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 Scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Smidgen or Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Butter

Preparation:

Begin by making the Sauce. In a small sauce pot add in all the ingredients except the Cayenne Pepper. Stir to combine, cover with lid and cook on low heat while working on the pancakes.

Fill a medium-sized pot to cook the plantains. Fill just enough water to cover the plantains and sprinkle in some salt. Bring to a boil and cook the plantains until fork tender. Then transfer it all in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Use your hands too to get a smoother texture.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on your work surface. Grab a piece of the mashed plantain and roll it into a ball. Then pat it down to a pancake form. Place a piece of cheese in the middle. Grab another plantain ball and place it on top. With the help of the plastic wrap combine both pieces of plantains to make one pancake by patting it down or with a rolling-pin. Then set aside. Repeat this procedure until all mashed plantain is used up.

Fry pancakes on medium heat 2-3 minutes on each side. Have ready a plate double lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Going back to the sauce. It should be saucy by this point. Add in the Cayenne Pepper before serving. Serve the pancakes warm with the sauce on top or on the side. OH! And for brunch a sunny side up egg will do the trick 😉

Posted in Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Lunch, Salsa, Sweet/Green Plantains, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments