My 5th grade class will be studying Latin America over the next month or so. I'd like to wrap up our unit with an open house for parents & students, featuring their projects and, of course, FOOD! I tried eatethnic.com for recipe ideas but came up with a couple (most were in Spanish). Ideally, the recipes should be easy enough for students and their parents to make, without expensive ingredients like shrimp, sirloin, etc. Appetizers and desserts would probably be best- any type of small, walk-around type foods. Any and all recipes from Mexico/Central America, the Caribbean and South America welcome... If you don't have specific recipes, you can point me to some great websites. Thank you in advance, so very much.
Here's a website, although I've never made anything from it:
My husband makes a wonderful flan if you're interested in a good flan recipe. Definitely not low-fat, though! Also, I have his mother's recipe for arroz con gandules (rice w/ pigeon peas, from Puerto Rico) that is fabulous -- there's also a low-fat one on this website.
[This message has been edited by aggie94 (edited 03-16-2001).]
Have you checked with the Brazilian 1 thread? There were some interesting recipes there. I don't imagine Tex-Mex is what you had in mind though is it?
The April issue has a whole section on Latin American cuisine, and CL has produced a new magazine dedicated solely to Latin cuisine. You might look for that in the grocery store, and in the meantime, check out the April issue. I haven't looked it over thoroughly (just got it today), so I can't comment on any specific recipes that would work for you....(sorry!)
I've certainly got some things-- Cuban and Mexican mostly, but I may have something from South American if I poke around, but I'm unable to post today. I'll try to get back to you ASAP, probably Monday, if that's okay, unless I have computer access before then. I'm sure you'll be hearing from Vanessa, too, as soon as she spots the post!
Do check SOAR in the meantime. Chances are good you'll find leads there as well!
Hi. Do you want only desserts and snacks?
Are you making it or the kids? I will get some recipes from Puerto Rico for you soon
I just got back from Honduras and had the opportunity to cook with a wonderful Honduran woman. Among other things, one of the dishes she made was rice and beans (or casamiento, a marriage), it is VERY typical central american fare and simple.
Melt a little butter or margarine in a pan and add diced green pepper, onions, tomatoes, dried cumin, chilli and lots of fresh cilantro. Saute until done. Add small red pinto beans (pre cooked) and long grain rice cooked in chicken stalk with cilantro and onions. Mix together adding bean liquid if neccesary. Garnish with cilantro.
We had this everywhere we went in Honduras. They also ate a lot of hand made corn tortillas, sausages, chicken and eggs. Desserts seemed to be very sweet pastrys and flans, I wasn't too enthusiastic about those. For breakfast every morning we had absolutely AMAZING watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe. It was so delicious and I miss it!!
I was in spain for a month in the fall, and they eat A LOT of meat and use an amazing amount of oil. Some very common things were "tortilla de patatas" made with no actual tortillas, but potatoes and eggs (it is like an omlette), lots of fishy things and shellfish, lettuce with canned tuna (oil packed of course) for salad and paella. Lots of paella. I had some good experiences with it, some not so good. Any other questions, just ask... I think I am going on and on... good luck!
Thank you all so far... feel free to keep them coming! Grace, looking forward to the April issue and I'll check for the special issue today. Gail, what is SOAR?? Vanessa, I'm not limited to desserts and snacks, but I'll be giving out the recipes for students and/or their parents to make. Something portable and able to be made ahead would work best I think. We don't have use of a kitchen facility, so anything served cold or at room temperature would be great though I do have access to microwaves. Again thanks so much!
Hi again.Well I have been looking for recipes. There are many but basically since you need things that can be served at room temperature it limits things a bit. First let me start by saying in P Rico when entertaining we make fritters such as cod fish, surrullitos which is similar to your hush puppies, rice fritters,tostones (plantains). I could give you any recipe you like but fritters must be serve warm. Its like reheating french fries they don't taste as good. Usually in PR we make for parties pork in the oven which is called pernil season with garlic, oregano, salt, cumin, vinegar and olive oil. To accompany this we serve rice with pigeon peas (Goya has canned pigeon peas), we serve salad and maybe a vegetable. For dessert flan is very popular or brazo gitano which is very similar to the american jelly roll cake but we use guava paste as a filling. We could also serve platanos en almibar which is very ripe plantains in a sugarlike syrup. We finish our meal with cafe negro (black coffee or cafe con leche)Other dishes used a lot are rice with chicken, chicken with onions and peppers, stuffed pimientos.
Since this is an introduction to latin america and taking into consideration easy recipes to make, transport, serve etc I would go with tortilla española (Spanish omelette with potatoes) which is used a lot as tapas or in entertainment since you cut in squares and serve at room temperature.
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 pound onions peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/2 pound potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
6 large eggs
3/4 tsp salt
In a 10 inch Tefflon frying pan combine ing in A and saute 10 mins, stirring occasionally.
Strain in colander. REserve onions and pour back the oil into pan
Add potatoes and salt included in B, mix, cover and cook over low heat for 20 mins or until potatoes are fork tender
Remove potatoes and reserve
Beat eggs and salt included in C throughly and mix with reserved onions and potatoes. Turn heat to med high add egg mixture so that the oil in the pan starts cooking eggs fast. Inmediatelly reduce heat to low and cook until upper part is dry. Occasionally move the pan to release borders. When dry, put plate over and turn the tortilla, slip again into frying pan and cook the other side
Note: You can vary by adding chorizos (Spanish sausage), shrimp etc. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Cornsticks (Sorullitos de Maiz)
2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
3 cups corn oil
1 Bring the water and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Remoce the pot from the heat and add the grated cheese. Let the mixture cool a little. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a stick about 3 inches long. Repeat with the remaining dough. Heat the oil in a skillet until hot but not smoking and fry until golden brown on all sides.
Arroz Con Gandules
2 cups long
3 cups of water plus drain the liquid from the can and complte to have 4 cups of liquid if using LONG grain rice
2 Tablespoons of sofrito )if you don´t find it saute green red peppers onion and a bit of ham chopped
16 ounce can of gandules (pigeon peas)
2 tablespoons of alcaparrado without liquid
1 packet of Sazon with achiote (this will give it taste and color)
1 ounces of tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons of oil
Salt to taste
In a medium size pot add the oil, tomato sauce, alcaparrado, sofrito and sazon. If you are using the onions etc saute now. Cook at medium heat for 4 minutes. Add all other ingredients. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt & taste until you have adjusted the taste to your liking. Once you have rice cooking leave it alone, DO NOT STIR!!!Bring to a boil lower heat to med high and allow most of the water to be absorbed. Once the water has been absorbed, stir gently from bottom to top, cover and turn the heat down to low.Check in 20 more mins your rice should be done fluffy and tender.
Note : In PR on Sundays many do a ham (like in USA with a glaze or with the pinapple slices) and serve it with arroz con gandules & a potato salad decorated with slices of cooked egg.
This next one is easy & made through the Caribbean
Spinach pastries (serve hot or cold)
2 c flour
1/2 c butter or margarine chilled and diced
1 egg yolk
milk to glaze
2 tab butter
1 small onion finely chopped
6-8 fresh leaf spinach chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 veg stock cube, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven 400.
Lightly grease the hollows of a muffin pan. First make the filling. Melt butter or margarinme in a saucepan, add onion and cook gently until softened. Stir in spinacxh, then add cumin, stock cube and pepper and cook for 5 mins or until the spinach has wilted. Set aside to cool. Make pastry : put flour in large bowl and rub in butter or margarine until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add egg yoplk and 2 dash 3 tab of cold water and mix to a firm dough. Turn out the pastry onto a floured surface.
Knead for a few seconds, and divide dough in half and roll out one half to a square or rectangle. Cut out 10-12 rounds using a 3 1/2 inch pastry cutter. Press into the hollows of prepared pans. Spoon about 1 tab of spinach mixture into the pastry cases. Roll out remaining dough and cut out slightly smaller rounds to cover the pastries. Press the edges with a fork, to seal. ***** the tops with the fork. Brush with milk and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
Well if you need more info let me know.... & buen provecho
SOAR is searchable online archive of recipes. Just type SOAR in your search and it should come up. Scroll down a bit on the home page and you'll see they offer international recipes from all over.
I'm sorry I'm really limited on my computer time this weekend (hubby's doing taxes) so I probably won't be back with anything until after the weekend.
I kept looking and found an old cookbook of South American cooking. As I was reading (gives a little history) I thought you might want to know this. In latin America hearty soup are meals themselves. An Argentinian example is Sopa CRiolla de Pollo, Mexico has Sopa Frijoles Rojo and Chile Sopa de pescado y almendras to name a few.I was thinking you could make a soup and keep it in a slow cooker warm?
In Latin America eggs are used for luncheon or dinner menusEcuador is known for Llapingachos -potato pancakews with poached eggs. Eggs are paired with tomato sauces, sausages, peppers, cheese(in mExico Eggs tomato and cheese are served during Holy week)Cheese is used in sauces that you serve with tortillas or over toast or eggs.
Fish is very popular in caldos, guisados, seviche (the known seciche chileno or seviche peruano) Codfish is used in the CAribbean deasalted and flaked sorrounded with root vegetables (serenata) or in a sauce like (vizcaina) MOstly because fishing is so popular you can enjoy fish in many forms but mostly fried, in croquettes or even arroz con pescado. (rice with fish)
In regards to meat every country has their specialty but Argentina is known for their excellent meat & steaks. Peru is known for Anticuchos (skewered beef)Bistec is served in P Rico with onion (type of round steak), Ropa Vieja in Cuba,meat pies using potatoes or plantains are well known, stuffed vegetables like peppers, chayotes. Pork is a favorite in the Caribbean; highly season is enjoyed in BBQ, baked or made in a pot with wine (pernil al caldero)POultry is used a lot in Latin America and CAribbean specially because its so available in wine, rice pie, stuffed, sauteeed and yes even fried. Rice is used so much just like in USA potatoes. Rice and beans are a staple in every home.
In regards to desserts in Latin America custards puddings, pastries are more common than cakes and pies. When you go to the panaderia to buy bread you also buy all sort of pastries to go along your cafe con leche. Caribbean & Latin America s tend to have a sweet tooth. Because in some countries people eat a late dinner its common to enjoy an afternoon snack of pastries to sustain you til dinner. bAnanas are used in pastries, cheesecake is also a favorite, jelly roll cake (brazo gitano), cream puffs and all kind of pastries with guava, coconut.
And coffee is enjoyed all over of course you have the famous mate in paraguay and Argentina, espresso in P Rico, Cuba etc. Mostly in the morning you have coffee unlike in USA you warm the milk and add sugar and warm coffee too (espresso or rich coffee).
Hope this information helps you in your project.
This was a real challenge trying to come up with something simple which transports well and can only be eaten at room temperature or nuked. There are a ton of good recipes which require either deep-frying, more expense than you want involved, or must be served immediately.
These first recipes are Mexican and you'll notice a conspicuous lack of the familiar taco-enchilada-tamale ilk. Really, if you think you'd like to include enchiladas of some kind, I could provide recipes. Those heat nicely in the microwave.
(Little Meat Balls)
1 pound finely ground lean beef
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup half and half
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 or more tablespoons chile chipoltle, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Butter and oil for frying
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into balls the size of a cherry. Fry in heavy skillet in mixture of butter and oil. When browned, put into chafing dish to keep warm. Serve with toothpicks. This yields from 60 to 70 tiny meat balls. These freeze wonderfully.
TAMAL DE CAZUELA CON POLLO
(Tamale Casserole with Chicken)
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 pound fresh masa
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 2 cups solid-pack canned tomatoes
1 can peeled green chiles, chopped
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 small jar stuffed olives, drained
1/2 cup raisins plumped in hot water and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese
Beat egg whiles until stiff and set asie. Blend masa and cream thoroughly, add butter or margarine and cream well. Stir in salt. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add baking powder and fold in egg whites.
For the filling: Wilt onion in hot oil or butter, add tomatoes. Cook a few minutes, then add chiles, chicken, olives, raisins, and salt. Cook a few minutes more.
Place half of the masa mixture at the bottom of a 2-quart casserole, top with filling, and cover with remaining masa. Bake 45 minutes in a 350º oven. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 15 minutes longer. Serves 6.
NOTE: If gravy is too think, it may be thickened with a little flour or cornstarch.
(FROM: Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking)
PASTELITOS DE BODA
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) sweet butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 cup pecans, chopped fine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and nuts together. Stir in the vanilla. Work the butter into the mixture antil it forms a ball. Shape the dough into 24 patties; place on a cookie sheet; and bake in a preheated 350º F oven for 30 minutes, or until the cookies are delicately brown. Lift off the cookie sheet; cool slightly on wire racks; then dust thickly with confectioner's sugar.
(FROM: The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking)
Although you really could eat it as is, picadillo is commonly used as a filling or stuffing for empandas, tacos, etc. You could always nuke some tortillas and serve them alongside, keeping them steamed in a cloth while serving.
Note: Although recipe states ground meat, Mexicans often use boiled meat, leftover pot roast or whatever.
1 pound ground beef or pork
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons oil (omit for pork)
2 large, fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped, or 1 cup canned tomato
1 mashed clove of garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more)
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup seedless raisins plumped in 1/4 cup hot stock
1/2 cup blanced, slivered almonds
Brown the meat and onion, add remaining ingredients, tossing almonds in last. Simmer about a half hour.
(FROM: Elena's Fiesta Recipes)
Of course, the quintessential easy Mexican nibble is some kind of a dip with chips. Although I usually substitute fresh serranos for the canned peppers, I think the recipe Zinnia posted some months back would do just fine.
2 med. very ripe avacados, seeded, peeled, & cut into small chunks
1/2 of a small onion, finely chopped
1/2 of a 4oz. can (1/4 cup) diced green chili peppers, drained; or several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh snipped cilantro, or parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or lime juice
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 med. tomato, peeled, chopped (optional; I use 1/2 c. HOT salsa)
In a blender cont., or food processor combine avacados, on., chili peppers or hot pepper sauce,
cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, & salt. Cover & blend or process until mix. is smooth; scraping
sides as necessary. Stir in tomato/salsa, if desired. Transfer to a serving bowl; cover & chill up to
24 hours. Serve w/ chips. Makes 2 cups.
* Avacados should be dark green, firm, but soft. When you put it in your hand, gently feel with pressure
like a ripe banana or a juicy firm plum, but firmer- ya know??
The next recipe is from El Salvador. I confess that I got it off the 'net, although it sounds pretty much the same as the ones my sister's caregiver makes. You could substitute some other cut of pork or do without the pork entirely. I've nuked precooked pupusas and though I've sure they're much better fresh off the grill they were certainly edible that way.
(turnovers from El Salvador) as heard on the World, Tuesday, January 26, 1999 From Saveur magazine, Jan/Feb issue
Makes 10 cups, serving 8
3 and 1/2 cups masa harina
1 lb. fresh pork belly, chopped
1 cup grated queso asadero or processed mozzarella cheese
1. Mix together masa harina and 2 and 1/4 cups hot water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes, then stir in up to 8 tbsp. cool water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until dough is as soft as possible without being wet or sticky. Cover with plastic wrap.
2. Meanwhile, fry pork in a large skillet over medium-low heat until most of the fat is rendered and pork is browned and crisp, about 1 hour. Transfer meat with a slotted spoon to a cutting board, then finely chop and set aside. Pour off and reserve fat from skillet and set aside.
3. To form a pupusa, roll some dough into a 2" ball. Rub a little reserved fat on the heel of your hand. Press your thumb in the center of the dough ball to make an indentation, then, turning dough in your oiled hand, flatten it with your fingertips into a 4" concave disk about 1/2" thick. (It should look like an artichoke bottom.) Fill center with 2 1/2 tbsp. pork or cheese or a combination of both. Cup pupusa in your hand, easing dough up and around filling. Pinch dough together to seal. Adding more fat to your hands, pat pupusa into a 4 and 1/2" disc, evening and rounding edges as you work. Repeat process to use up all remaining dough and filling.
4. Rub both sides of pupusas with a little reserved fat. Grill over open heat if possible, turning once dough is marked by heat. If no grill is available, fry in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Either way, heat until browned on both sides and hollow-sounding when tapped with a spatula, about 3 minutes per side.
The following are a few Cuban recipes.
ENSALADA DE FRUTAS CON ALIÑO DE LIMA-LIMÓN
Fruit Salad with Lemon-Lime Dressing
1 papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bananas, peeled and sliced into bite-size pieces
1 mango, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup pineapple, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pint strawberries, washed, drained and hulled
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tablepoons sugar
Handful of fresh mint leaves for garnish
(For an adult dessert, throw in a splash of dark rum)
Place al the fruit in a large salad bowl. Pour the lemon and lime juice over the fruit and sprinkle the sugar on top. Gently toss until all the ingredients are well-combined. Garnish with mint leavs. Chill in the refrigerator, and serve cold.
Note on mangoes and papayas: If green allow them to ripen on a windowsill to ripen. Mangoes will turn pink or yellow with brown or black spots; papayas will turn orange and soften. Both fruits secrete an enzyme that may cause skin eruptions or swelling in some people. Therefore it is advisable to wear rubber gloves when peeling
mangoes and papayas and to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
(FROM: A Taste of Cuba)
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed in cold water, picked over, and soaked overnight in cold water to cover by 1 1/2 inches (remove any beans that float to the top)
1 bay leaf
1 medium size green bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters.
For the Sofrito:
2/3 cups pure Spanish olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium size green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, optional
1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded aji cachucha (Rocatillo pepper) or green chile, optional
1. The next day, check that the water is still covering the beans by 1 1/2 to 2 inches, and add more water if needed. Pour into a large saucepan, add the bay leaf and green pepper, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and cook uncovered, until the beans are tender and they have almost cracked open, about 2 hours. Check the beans while they are cooking and if they need more liquid, add some hot water.
2. To prepare the sofrito, in a skillet heat the oil over low heat until it is fragrant, then add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion is transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cumin, vinegar and Rocatillo pepper and mix well.
3. Add the sofrito to the beans, mix well, and cook over low heat, covered, until the beans crack open, 30 to 40 minutes. Season to taste and serve.
Makes 8 servings
Note: Depending on the quality and freshness, beans will vary in the amount of cooking time needed and the amount of liquid they will absorb.
Green plaintain chips
(Please be sure the oil is perfectly clean and the temperature hot enough so that the chips become golden when they are "just dunked."_
2 large green plantins, peeled and cut into paper-thin slices
Peanut or vegetable oil for deep frying
Salt to taste
1. Place the plaintain slices in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak 30 minuts. (If you are frying right away, you do not need to soak in water.)
2. Drain the slices and pat dry with paper towels. In a frying pan or deep fryer over medium-high heat, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 375º F, or until a slice of plaintain sizzles when it touches the oil, and fry the plantain chips a handful at a time, turning them with a slotted spoon until they are golden brown and crisp. Do not fry too many chips at once, or the oil temperature will fall and the chips will be soppy rather than crisp. Drain on a paper-towel-lined platter, transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with salt and serve hot.
Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups of chips
DIP DE FRIJOLES NEGROS
Black Bean Hummus (not technically Cuban, but with a similar taste)
One 16-ounce can black beans, drained
1 tablespoon tahini, optional
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 to 2 cloves garlic, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for one week.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
(From Memories of a Cuban Kitchen)
This last one is one of the few family recipes I've got from the Cuban half of my family. Although this isn't the only way bread pudding is made, the nice thing about this recipe is that it cooks up into something firm which can be eaten at room temperature and eaten like a cookie. You could also serve it warmed or refrigerated, too!
AUNT LAURA'S CUBAN BREAD PUDDING
24 slices of stale or dry French bread (or 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup anise tea (about) made from 2 tablespoons anise seed in 1 cup water
3 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks of margarine
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cups crushed pineapple
1/2 cup raisins
Use 3 9" pans
350º F for 1 hour
Start out by boiling anise seed in 1 cup water until in boils down to 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup. Strain this into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 4 cups of liquid. Allow to cool, while you tear up bread into a large bowl--putting all the crusts at the bottom of bowl and the soft crumbs on top. Pour the 4 cups liquid over the bread and let soak. Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla and set aside. Beat bread (electric mixer is best). Add baking powder and mix into the butter mixutre, add pineapple and raisins, pour into greased pie or cake pans. Bake 1 hour at 350º or until dry enough. Makes 3 pans full. (Gail note: I just bake this in a medium roasting pan.)
In my search for the pupusa recipe, I came across this link to other links to Central and South American recipes. While some are in Spanish, you should find quite a few recipes in English.
Hope this helps out! What a fun project!
Wow! Thank you so very much for your help!! Thank you for your website suggestions; I got a few from them as well as from Gail's and Vanessa's postings. I'm really excited about this endeavor... and Gail, you're right, it is tough when you limit the types of food! But for my sanity (and that of the parents who will most likely be preparing these goodies 2 hours before our party), it's better this way. And as always, keep 'em coming!! Gracias
Since the search machine is now operating, I'm able to refer you to yet another thread which had temporarily slipped into The Void.
Hi... thought I'd bump this up- I'm still looking. I have quite a few great recipe ideas but I'll still take 'em if you've got 'em! Thanks again everyone!
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