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.

Pique (Puerto Rican Hot Sauce) Recipe

Pique Puerto Rico Hot Sauce

If you like your food hot and spicy then you need some Pique in your life! There are two types of Puerto Rican pique: pique verde (Puerto Rican green hot sauce) and pique criollo. Pique verde is usually made with green Caballero hot peppers, green Cubanelle peppers, culantro, cilantro, onion, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice. On the other hand, pique criollo usually consists of Caballero hot peppers (and or Habanero peppers), pineapple, vinegar, oregano, peppercorns, garlic and or onions. Today’s recipe is an example of pique criollo, also known as Pique boricua de botella.

It has always been said that real Puerto Rican pique uses the Ají caballero at its base. The ají caballero is a hot chili pepper that stands vertically or upright on the plant (unlike other peppers that hang down). If you don’t have ají caballeros you could always substitute it with habanero chile.

Many people like to let the pique sit for weeks or months to make it hotter and spicier!

Here’s the Pique (Puerto Rico Hot Sauce) recipe compliments of LaGasse:

Serving: Makes approximately 13-16 ounces

Ingredients:
12 ounces white vinegar
2 slices of Pineapple rind (you may use 2 ounces of the juice instead)
4 Garlic cloves, sliced in half
4 Ajices caballero (or habanero)
4 cayenne peppers, whole
10 peppercorns, cut in half
4 sprigs of Cilantro (also known as chinese parsley)
2 recao leaves (if available)- also known as culantro
4 TBSP Olive Oil (2 ounces)
Pinch of Oregano
Pinch of Salt

1- Carefully cut the ajices in half. If you like it hot, don’t discard the seeds.
(Wash your hands carefully after handling the ajices or the cayenne peppers!)

2- Cut the pineapple rind into 6 pieces that are each: 1 inch by 2 inches. So each piece is approximately the size of 2 regular postage stamps, side by side.

3- In a small saucepan, simmer the ajices in the olive oil for approximately one minute on medium low heat. This brings up the hotness of the ajices without having to let it sit for months. Let it cool.

4- Place the rest of the ingredients in a jar, or an old salad dressing bottle. The large kind will probably accommodate the entire recipe. If you need to use two jars or bottles, divide the ingredients into each one.

5- Add the ajices and the olive oil to the jar(s) or bottle(s). Shake and let it sit for at least a day before using.

Remember… the longer it sits, the hotter it gets! ENJOY!

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