Sopa de Plátanos (Plantain Soup) Recipe

SopadePlatanoRecipe

Puerto Rican Sopa de Plátano has an authentic flavor that is rustic and pleasing to the palate. This plantain soup is perfect for cold winter months. Puerto Rican plantain soup can be prepared with boiled plantains, but this recipe by Mayra Rodríguez (author of Español’s Guía de Cocina latina y caribeña) uses fried bananas. ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • 3 green plantains, peeled * (see tips below)
  • Vegetable oil sufficient for frying the plantains
  • 4 Tbsp. sofrito (see: Recaito or Sofrito Recipe)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1–2 Tbsps. chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

    1. Peel the plantains, cut them into one-inch-thick pieces, and soak in salted water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, you may prepare the soup broth (step three).

    Tip: Peeling Plantains

    • Cut the ends of the banana.
    • Make four cuts along the peel of each piece with the tip of a knife.
    • Soak in ice water for three to five minutes to loosen the shell.
    • Remove from the water and peel it.

    2. Drain and pat dry the plantains. In a skillet, heat oil and fry the plantains for about 12 minutes at medium-high until golden brown, making sure you turn them at about six minutes. Remove them from the oil, drain them well on paper towel, and proceed to mash them using a pilón (mortar and pestle).

    3. In a deep pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the crushed garlic and cook until soft. Then add the sofrito and cook for two minutes. Finally, add the chicken or vegetable broth and cook until it boils.

    4. Add the plantains, mix well, simmer for about three minutes and reduce the heat. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened.

    5. Add the cilantro. You can sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

    6. Process half the soup in a blender to make a purée. Return soup to pot and mix well with the rest of the soup that still contains bits of plantains. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tips:

  • If you prefer a creamy soup without chunks of plantain, do not attempt to process the whole batch in the blender. Do it in two parts.
  • If soup is too thick, you can more broth.
  • If the soup is hot, be careful when using the blender. Remove the liquid from the heat and let cool for five minutes. Fill the blender only halfway, place the lid slanted so the steam escapes.

Surullitos – Cheese Corn Sticks Recipe

surullitos-cheese-corn-sticks
Photo source: jetsytravels

Tired of your usual appetizers? Surprise your loved ones and or guests with Puerto Rican surullitos! Surullitos are fried corn sticks that could be served as a side dish or snack. Here is the recipe for surullitos compliments of Jessica at The Novice Chef Blog. ENJOY!

Surullitos (Cheese Corn Sticks)

Makes 20 cheese corn sticks

Ingredients:
* 2 cups of water
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 cup of extremely fine cornmeal
* 4 oz Edam or Gouda cheese, shredded
* 2 cups vegetable oil

Sauce:
* 3 tablespoons ketchup
* 1 tablespoon mayo
* 1 garlic clove, minced

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in salt, sugar and cornmeal. Return to heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the dough does not stick to the pot.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Let sit for 5 minutes -or until you are able to handle the heat- and roll 1 tablespoon balls of dough into cigar shapes.

In a large deep skillet, heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Cook Surullitos 4-6 at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan, until lightly golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and serve immediately.

Sauce: Mix together ketchup, mayo and garlic. Serve with fresh hot Surullitos.

Sancocho (Puerto Rican Beef Stew with Sofrito) Recipe

Sancocho Puerto Rican Beef Stew Recipe


Today’s Puerto Rican recipe is compliments of celebrity chef Eric Ripert of New York’s popular Le Bernardin. Sancocho, a Puerto Rican Beef Stew, is a traditional dish that has many variations across Spain and Latin America. In Puerto Rico it is usually made with chicken, top round beef, pork feet with chick peas or beef short ribs with chorizo, chicken and smoked ham. There are several variations within the Puerto Rican households as well but Puerto Rican sancocho should always have sofrito! Check out the recipe below…

Ingredients

* 2 Italian frying peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
* 2 small red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
* 1 onion, roughly chopped
* 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked (about 2 ounces)
* 5 garlic cloves, peeled
* 3 tablespoons canola oil
* 4 pounds beef shank, bone-in
* Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 pound chorizo, sliced
* 4 cups water
* 1 green plantain, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
* 1/2 cup medium-diced potato
* 1/2 cup medium-diced celeriac
* 1 avocado

Preparation

Make the sofrito by placing the Italian frying peppers, red bell pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro in the container of electric blender or bowl of food processor. Cover and blend or process about 20 seconds, or until coarsely chopped. Reserve.

Carve the beef off the bone and cut into 1-inch cubes, reserving the bones. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a heavy-bottomed large pot. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef cubes and bones and brown on all sides. Add the reserved pepper mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook for 3-5 minutes. Cover with water and simmer for 2 hours adding the plantain, potatoes and celeriac towards the last half hour. Add more water if the stew becomes too thick.

Discard the bones and divide the stew between six warmed bowls. Garnish with avocado slices over each bowl.

Serving Size

6 servings

Source: MSNBC

Arroz Con Gandules Recipe

Arroz Con Gandules Arroz Con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) is Puerto Rico’s national dish. It is a combination of rice, pigeon peas, and pork and has become very popular throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Arroz con gandules can contain any type of meat – even NO meat for the vegetarians out there! Some examples of types of meat you could use are pork, ham, turkey, bacon or chorizo.

There are many great Arroz con Gandules recipes out there and here is one of them compliments of LaGasse. Check out the recipe below, or better yet, watch the video below the recipe to see how it’s done! Now you can cook the national dish of Puerto Rico right in your very home!

Ingredients:
1 ounce of achiote oil
1/4 cup of chopped onion
3 ounces of sofrito
2 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of fresh gandules (pigeon peas), or
1 (15 ounce) can of gandules
4 ounces of tomato sauce
2 cups of white rice
14 – 16 manzanilla olives
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of black pepper
pinch of oregano
2 beef bouillon cubes

Optional ingredients:

1 ounce of salted fatback (tocino)

Procedure:
1. On medium flame, bring the the achiote oil and the salted fatback to a simmer in a medium-sized saucepan. Since the fatback is optional, if you are not using it, simply heat the oil and proceed to step 3.

2. Simmer the fatback for 2 -3 minutes until you see it getting golden colored.

3. Add the chopped onion, and simmer approximately 1 – 2 minutes, until onion is translucent.

4. Add the sofrito.

5. Simmer until the sofrito starts to thicken – this could take up to 3 to 10 minutes, depending upon the heat of the stove, and whether your sofrito is at room temperature, or still slightly frozen. Notice the simmering action in the video, and adjust your heat accordingly.

6. Add the rest of the ingredients, starting with the water.

7. Let everything come up to a simmer. You may increase the heat to Medium-HI.

8. Once simmering, stir once, while scraping the rice on the bottom of the pot (to prevent sticking).

9. Allow the liquid in the pot to evaporate- notice the section in the video that shows the difference between almost ready, and actually ready!

10. Lower the flame to LOW. Cover, and let simmer approximately 20 minutes.

11. After 20 minutes, uncover the pot by quickly flipping the lid- this will catch the water that’s under the lid, instead of it falling back into the rice. Discard the water.

12. Carefully stir the rice as follows: with a large serving spoon, take a spoon of rice from the furthest side of the pot, and scoop it into the middle. Turn the pot a little, and repeat. Do this until you’ve turned the pot once completely around (about 4 or 5 times).

This process is called ‘moviendo el arroz‘ in Spanish – literally meaning ‘moving the rice’.

13. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes on Low heat.

14. After 20 minutes, again uncover the pot carefully, and take some rice out with a spoon. Taste the rice:
a) If it’s still a little hard, cover and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes. Then test it again.
b) If it’s a little sticky, cook uncovered for another 5 – 10 minutes. Then test it again.

15. Remove from heat, and serve.