Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pan-Roasted Trout Bruschetta with Chili Vinaigrette (Italy)

Recipe by Michael Chiarello (

1 large loaf country-style bread
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Trout:
1/4 cup salt
8 trout fillets, skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup instant flour (recommended: Wondra)
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, sliced into bite-size pieces
16 oil-cured black olives, halved and pitted
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

For the Chili Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 cups chili oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the bread into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut those slices in half on a diagonal. Lay the slices on baking sheets in a single layer and brush the bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp outside but still soft within, about 5 to 6 minutes.

On a baking sheet covered with foil, sprinkle salt over the foil. Lay the trout fillets skin side down and sprinkle the tops of the fillets liberally with more salt. Set aside in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Blend the Chili Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, chili oil, olive oil, sherry vinegar, chili powder, salt, pepper and parsley.

Rinse the trout fillets and pat dry. Sprinkle some pepper on the fillets. In a shallow dish filled with the flour, dredge the fillets with the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over moderately
high heat. When hot, add the fish, skinned side up, and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Turn with an offset spatula and cook on the skinned side until done, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

To serve, cut the trout into bite size pieces. Top each toast with a slice of roasted pepper and a piece of trout. Spoon some of the vinaigrette over the trout. Scatter a few olives around each portion, and dust the fish with the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

Polenta Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms (Italy)

Recipe by Michael Chiarello
Show: Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
Episode: Venetian Tapas Cocktail Party

For the polenta:
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup polenta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

For the mushrooms:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
Finely ground salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

Cook the polenta: In a medium, heavy pot over high heat bring the cream, stock, salt, and nutmeg to a boil. Add the polenta gradually, whisking constantly. When the mixture thickens, switch to a wooden spoon and adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thick, smooth, and creamy, about 15 minutes. Add the Parmesan and stir. Keep the polenta warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. If the polenta gets dry as it sits, stir in about 1/4 cup of warm stock or cream.

Saute the mushrooms: In a medium skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer. Don't stir them! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add the butter and cook until it begins to brown, then add the garlic. Continue to cook until the garlic begins to brown. Add the thyme and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the lemon juice and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the wine, and simmer until the mushrooms are glazed with the sauce. Add the parsley. Then stir and remove the pan from the heat.

Place or pipe about 1 tablespoon of warm polenta onto a spoon. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the mushroom on top of the polenta. Garnish with grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Blackberry Cobbler

I love this dessert because its emphasis is on the fruit, and not so much on the sugar. I love berries too. I like to make this dessert because it reminds me of when I was little and I used to pick blackberries outside with my friends all morning in the forest and then come back home to make the cobbler. It was probably the first baking project I ever did.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Fresh Blackberry Cobbler

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Desserts Fruits

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 1/2 cups To 4 cups fresh blackberries
2 TBSP Lemon juice (pour over blackberries)
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Flour
6 tablespoons Butter or margarine
1/3 cup Shortening
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
3 tablespoons To 4 tb cold buttermilk -- or ice

1 tablespoon Melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon Sugar
I prefer pouring cream or half and half on top, but if you have a sweet tooth, ice cream or whipping cream is great too.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour the blackberries into a 2-quart casserole dish
(about 8 by 8 by 2 inches), or a pan of equal size.
Add the water.
Combine the sugar and flour in a small bowl.
Stir to mix. Sprinkle over the berries. Dot with butter.

To make the crust, cut the shortening into the flour
until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
This can be done quickly in a food processor,
but you can also use a pastry blender or two knives.
Add the buttermilk or ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix
until the dough clings together
and can be formed into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface,
roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch.
Cut the dough to fit the top of the berry filling or cut into strips
and make a lattice crust.
Brush the crust with the melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.
Continue baking until the crust is golden brown and
the juices have started to thicken. This
will probably take an additional 15 to 20 minutes. A

s the pie cools, the juice will get thicker.

Injera "Ethiopian sponge bread" (To accompany any Ethiopian meal)

What Do I Need? .
Teff grain

• 1/4 cup teff flour
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup water
• a pinch of salt
• peanut or vegetable oil

• a mixing bowl
• a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet

If you have teff grain instead of flour, first grind it in a clean coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle.
What Do I Do?

1. Put the teff flour in the bottom of a mixing bowl, and sift in the all-purpose flour.

Did You Know?
Teff is extremely high in fiber, iron, and calcium.

Many Ethiopians in America use square-shaped, electric, nonstick pans. These heat evenly and make it easy to remove the injera once it is cooked.

2. Slowly add the water, stirring to avoid lumps.

3. Stir in the salt.

4. Heat a nonstick pan or lightly oiled cast-iron skillet until a water
drop dances on the surface. Make sure the surface of the pan is smooth: Otherwise, your injera might fall apart when you try to remove it.

5. Coat the pan with a thin layer of batter. Injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. It will rise slightly when it heats.

cooking injera

Did You Know?
Teff is the smallest grain in the world. It takes about 150 teff seeds to equal the weight of a kernel of wheat!

6. Cook until holes appear on the surface of the bread. Once the surface is dry, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool.

What’s Going On? .

If you’ve ever cooked pancakes, making injera might seem familiar. In both cases, tiny bubbles form on top as the batter cooks. Keeping an eye on these bubbles is a great way to see how close the pancake or injera is to being ready without peeking underneath.

These bubbles come from the carbon-dioxide produced by the leavener—usually baking powder or soda in the case of pancakes, “wild” yeast in the case of injera. Neither batter contains much gluten. Most pancake recipes tell you not to mix the batter too much: If you do, gluten will develop, making them too chewy. Teff, the grain used to make injera, contains very little gluten to begin with. In both cases, the result is the same: With no gummy substance to “blow up,” most of the carbon-dioxide from the leaveners rapidly escapes into the air, leaving the little popped bubbles that contribute to the distinctive textures of these breads.

You can buy Tef flour at

Recipe by

Atar Allecha and Niter Kebbeh (Ethiopia)

  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon niter kebbeh (See recipe below)
  • 1 cup dry split yellow peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons green chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup water

What You Do:

  1. Soak the split peas for one hour in three cups of water.
  2. Bring them to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary. When the peas are cooked, drain if necessary and mash well.
  3. In a dry pan over moderately low heat, stir-fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the niter kebbeh and sauté until the onion becomes transparent.
  5. Add the mashed peas, turmeric, salt and green chili to the onion mixture.
  6. Add the water and cook to reduce the mixture to a thick, well-spiced pureé.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature with injera.


This is the base flavor in most Ethiopian dishes. It is a vital ingredient and should not be skipped. Traditionally, it is a seasoned clarified butter or ghee. Make a pound of it at a time and keep it in a covered dish in the fridge. If made from margarine it will last practically indefinitely. All hail the mighty margarine. (If you are averse to using margarine, it will work in a mild vegetable oil like canola; use about 1 3/4 cups of oil).

What You Need:

  • 1 pound soy margarine
  • 4 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, scraped and finely grated or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

What You Do:

  1. Slowly melt the margarine in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the other ingredients and simmer uncovered on the lowest heat for about 20-30 minutes. Do not let it brown.
  3. Strain the mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth or other such concoction, discarding the spices.
  4. Refrigerate until set.
  5. Use as needed in Ethiopian recipes or spread sporadically on toast.
Recipes from

Aleecha Vegetable Stew (Ethiopia)

Yield: 8 Servings
I love Ethiopian culture and people. In Seattle I know many people from Ethiopia and I miss the restaurants. Ethiopian food is soo flavorful and healthy. I feel so energized after I eat it. I hope to learn Amharic, the Ethiopian language. It is a cross between Hebrew and Arabic. I have already started learning the alphabet. I know some of the language as well. I am fascinated by the religious history of the country. The country has many Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and some of the most pious people I have ever known are from there. I love talking religion with them. I also like their customs, and their music and dance style. I really hope to go there someday.
Here is one of the dishes I always order with Ingera. Ingera is the ethiopian version of a tortilla. They eat it with every meal. They eat with their hands using the ingera like Arabs. One of their neat customs is to feed their loved ones a bite before they begin to eat. I will post a recipe for the Ingera although I've never tried to make it myself because I heard that the flour that the Ethiopians use to make it is very hard to come across in the states. If you can make it, I would highly recommend it as it completes any of their dishes.

2 large Onions, sliced
1 ½ pounds Potatoes, cut into chunks
1 each Cabbage, cut into eigths
½ each Head cauliflower, break into pieces

4-5 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
¼ pounds Butter, seasoned
1 tablespoon Curry powder

Boil the cabbage.

Fry the onions in the butter until translucent

Add curry powder, cook for one minute
add 1/4 cup water to the onion mixture, cook for 5 minutes add carrots and potatoes and cook 15 minutes add cauliflower, cook 5 minutes add cabbage, cook for 15 minutes

Recipe from

Traditional Miso Soup (Japan)

I love home-cooked soups. I fell in love with them when I was working in an authentic French bakery while I was working for the Red Sox so I could learn baking secrets and some French. I would get up before dawn and walk to the bakery from my hotel to work for a few hours during the mornings for about 3 days per week. It was a great experience. The owners were from the south of France. Their food there was sooo fresh and delicious. There was not one thing on their menu that I didn't absolutely love. The bakery is called Bara Bread Bistro & Bakery on 1520 Broadway in Fort Myers, Florida. They used to make a wonderful carrot soup. I can still taste it when I close my eyes and think about it.

Another thing I make sure to include in my diet is bacteria. I eat a lot of yogurt and cultures. This helps to keep my digestive system in order. When the digestive system is healthy, it shows in our skin and in our immune system. I also try to take acidophilus pills. This is why I love Miso soup. It not only tastes delicious, it contains bacteria that help the digestive system.

Unpasteurized miso
is a "living food" containing natural digestive enzymes, Lactobacillus, and other microorganisms which aid in the digestion of all foods, and which have been shown to ward off and destroy harmful microorganisms, thereby creating a healthy digestive system.

This is the traditional miso soup, but you'll have to find dashi soup stock to make it, or you can substitute with vegetable stock. Tofu, also made from soybeans, gives the soup lots of calcium and protein and helps fill you up.


  • 1/2 pound tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 2 green onions, white and green, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 4 cups dashi soup stock, found in your local Asian grocery (My favorite supermarket - Uwajimaya)


  1. Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil. Add tofu to the soup. Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso paste in it. Return the soup in the pan. Stop the heat and add chopped green onion. Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in.

(Use organic ingredients whenever possible)
Measuring cups

Small strainer

Chopsticks or spoon
4 cups water
1 piece konbu (kelp), about 5" long*
1 cup bonito (dried fish flakes)*
5 tablespoons miso*
1/2 package tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 scallions, cut into thin slices
Soy sauce (optional)
* Note: Konbu, bonito, and miso can be found in most health food, Asian, and gourmet grocery stores.
Let's Make It!

Adult: In the saucepan over medium-high heat, place the water and konbu. Heat for 8-10 minutes, until the water starts to bubble (do not allow to boil). Remove the konbu and discard.

Adult: Add the bonito to the saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Kid: Use the strainer to remove and discard the bonito.

Kid: Above the broth, place the miso in the ladle, add a bit of broth, and stir with chopsticks (or a spoon) until the miso becomes smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir. Then taste the soup, and add a splash of soy sauce if you would like the soup a bit richer.

Adult: Over high heat, add the tofu and heat until amost boiling (do not allow to boil), then turn off the heat.

Kid: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with scallions.

Tip: Personalize your miso soup by adding your favorite ingredients. Some traditional Japanese "extras" include seaweed, daikon radish, fried bean curd, and egg.

Recipe from

"Manju" Traditional Steamed Cake (Japan)

I love any kind of steamed cakes, especially humbows. Here's a tasty Japanese recipe.
I studied Japanese all through high school and college. I also study Karate. I speak pretty good Japanese, but I still haven't had the chance to visit Japan.
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup anko (sweet azuki beans)


Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Put baking soda in the water. Add the water in the bowl. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Make round shapes and flatten them. Put anko (sweet beans) filling on the center. Wrap the anko by stretching the dough and make manjyu. Steam the manjyu on high heat for 15 minutes.

Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed Salad (Japan)

I try to include vegetables in my diet a lot so I get bored easily with salads, so I like to mix it up. I love cucumber and seaweed is sooooo good for you, and this salad tastes so good.
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 cup wakame seaweed (softened)
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Cut softened wakame seaweed into about 2inch-long pieces. Slice cucumber into thin rounds. Put salt over cucumber slices and set aside for 20 minutes. Squeeze cucumber slices to remove the liquid. Mix vinegar and sugar in a bowl.

Add wakame seaweed and cucumber slices in the bowl and mix well.

Mamouls (My favorite Arabic cookie)

Oven temperature: Preheat at 230? C (450? F), reduce to 180? C (350? F)
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
4 ½ cups fine semolina (farina)
½ cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp rosewater

Walnut Filling
1 ½ cups coarsely ground walnuts
¼ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
Ma'amoul means "filled" in Arabic. Ma'amouls are small imprinted
molds made of wood that have a handle attached. A piece of short-pastry
dough is pressed into these molds and date or nut filling is then enclosed
in the dough. Holding the handle, the mold is slammed on the table causing
the finished dough to drop out. The imprinted dough can then be rolled in
confectioner's sugar if so desired. If a mold is not available the cookies
can also be made using a tool of your choice.


Combine semolina and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Melt butter in a pan and heat until bubbling. Pour into semolina and sugar and mix with wooden spoon until butter is evenly distributed.

Heat milk in pan until bubbles begin to rise, remove from heat and stir in soda. Pour into semolina mixture.

Mix with wooden spoon to soft dough. When it cools a little, knead lightly by hand. Cover bowl with a sheet of plastic cling film to make an airtight seal. Leave for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Mix nut-filling ingredients together.

Knead dough again to make it pliable. Take a tablespoonful of dough at a time and roll into balls the size of a large walnut.

Flatten a ball of dough in your palm and push up sides to make a pot shape. Fill hollow with a generous teaspoonful of nut filling and mold dough over filling. Press edges to seal well and roll into a ball again.

Press into a decorated mold (a tabi) and tap out on board. Place on ungreased baking tray. Alternatively place ball of dough on tray, flatten slightly and press tines of fork obliquely around sides to give cakes a slightly conical shape. Press top with fork.

Have oven preheated to very hot, place Ma'amoul in oven and reduce heat to moderate. Back at moderate for 20-25 minutes until lightly colored. Remove and cool on trays for 10 minutes.

Sift some icing sugar onto a sheet of waxed paper. Place Ma'amoul on sugar and sift more sugar on top to coat thickly. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Dominican style chicken "Pollo guisado"

Yield: 4 Servings
    2 lbs chicken parts
    2 limes, halved
    2 ajíes verdes (light green pepper)
    1 small red onion, sliced
    2 roma tomatoes, quartered
    2 tsp. olive oil
    2 tsp. tomato paste
    2 cloves garlic, mashed
    1/2 tsp sugar
    Sal and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of sofrito
Goya or Maggi seasoning

Season the chicken with pepper, salt, Goya or Maggi seasoning, and oregano. Add onion and sliced and de-seeded aji. Marinate for one hour. In a pot, heat the oil and once it is very hot, throw in a pinch of sugar to help brown the chicken. Add the chicken to the pot. Brown the chicken on both sides for a few minutes on each side. Add spoons of water regularly to keep the meat from burning. Add some more water and tomato paste. As soon as the meat is tender, reduce the water. Add the rest of the ingredients (onion and aji) and fry. Add some more or reduce water so that the sauce has a nice consistency.

Recipe from

Hummus (Lebanon)

1 lb 1 1/2 oz. Cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans, see cooking method below, or use canned)
10 oz tahini
7 oz. lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 tbsp yogourt
1 clove garlic mashed with salt to taste
1 ice cube
5 tbsp. cold water
Chopped parsley, olive oil, olives, and cayenne pepper for garnish

Mash garlic with salt until fine. Drain chickpeas from water and stir into it the mashed garlic. Mix well. Pour the mixture into a masher or blender and add an ice cube. When it is well mashed add the tahini. Gradually add lemon juice which has been strained. Run the entire mixture through a fine strainer forcing it through with a spoon. Serve on shallow plates after decorating with the garnishes.

Cooking Chickpeas:
Soak chickpeas in cold water for ten hours, adding to it when soaking half of the amount of soda above. Take chickpeas out of the water, wash and add 3 pints of cold water and the remainder 1.5 tbsp of the baking soda. Cook over strong heat until foam appears. Skim and reduce heat. Cook for about two hours or until well done.

Moro de Guandules "Rice and Pigeon Peas" (Dominican Republic)

This version of moro de guandules is an obligatory addition to any special meal Dominican-style. It is also part of traditional Dominican Christmas dinner.
Serve: 4 people

4 cups of rice
2 cups of boiled green pigeon peas
2 cups of coconut milk
4 cups water
5 tablespoons of oil
4 teaspoons of tomato paste
1/4 cup of chopped green peppers
1 pinch of oregano
1/2 teaspoon mashed garlic
1/8 cup of capers
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1 teaspoon of finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of finely chopped coriander/cilantro
1/2 teaspoon of thyme leaves
1 cube of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt

Heat 3 spoons of oil in an iron pot and add the herbs, olives, spices and the salt. Stir while adding the tomato paste. Add the peas, also while stirring, then add the chicken stock. Once well heated, add the remaining water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking. When all the water has evaporated cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer on very low heat. Wait 15 minutes, uncover, stir, and add the remaining oil. Cover again and wait another 5 minutes. The rice should be firm but tender inside. If necessary, cover and leave another 5 minutes on very low heat.

Milk and Papaya Drink

    1 ripe papaya
    6 tablespoons coconut milk
    5 tablespoons lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel (optional)
    4 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup finely crushed ice

    1. Peel the papaya, cut it in half, remove the black seeds, and chop the fruit coarsely.
    2. Combine the papaya, coconut milk, lime juice and peel, sugar, vanilla, and ice in an electric mixer blender. Blend at high speed until mixture is smooth and thick.
    3. Serve in chilled tumbler.

Dominican Sancocho Stew

One of the most famous meals of the Dominican Republic. We used to make this after a day of swimming at the river.


  • 4 pounds of chicken
  • 2 pounds of beef
  • 1.5 pound of goat meat
  • 4 large plaintain bananas (green and ripe)
  • 2 bananas (green)
  • 2 pounds of yucca (cassava,tapioca,manioc)
  • 2 pounds of malanga
  • 2 pounds of spanish pumpkin
  • Potatoes
  • 2 pounds of white yam (taro)
  • 6 liters of water
  • 1.5 tablespoon of oregano
  • 5 coffe spoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of "naranja agria" (these are oranges that are very, very sour)
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 1 coffe spoon of garlic (smashed)
  • Some leaves of parsley
  • Some leaves of cilantro
  • 1 tablet of chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Sofrito (Cilantro)
How to prepare the ingredients: The day before (to save some time) you can cook the meats and store them in the refrigerator. The way to cook them is the following:

  1. Cut the chicken in different pieces, wash the chicken with "naranja agria" taking out the skin and excess grease. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, English sauce (or soy sauce), tomatoes and salt. After half an hour, cook the chicken without adding tomato sauce. Add more water than usual so that you can use the resulting sauce. Do not let get the chicken to become too tender. When done, save it in the refrigerator.
  2. Cook the pork chops and goat in the same way as the chicken but cook them separately. Add more water than usual so that you can use the resulting sauce. When done, save it in the refrigerator.
  3. Cut the "tocino" in small pieces (half an inch) and pass it through hot vegetable oil (to give a nice color). Add some water and cook. Do not let get the "tocino" to become too tender.
  4. Cut the sausage in small pieces (half an inch each) and fry the pieces. Save the vegetable oil.
  5. Peel of the yucca, plaintain bananas, malanga, spanish pumpkin, sweet potatoesand white yam and cut them in samll pieces. Put them in salt water so that they do not become black.
  6. In a large pot (or two medium size pots) put the salt and the water. Add the onions, bell pepper, leaves of parsley and cilantro, spanish pumpkin, corn, plaintain bananas and malanga. When they are getting tender put all the other vegetables, the meat and the "sauces". Add two tablespoons of the oil in which the sausage was fried, "naranja agria", vinegar, garlic, check the salt. Do not let the sancocho to get too thick.
  7. Put the spanish pumpkin in two portions: the first one to add thickness to the "sancocho" and the second to eat with the sancocho. If some vegetables are too tender, take them out. When the sancocho is done, put them in again. When done, you can serve the sancocho with rice and lemon. This recipe is good for 18 portions.
oregano = oregano, wild marjoram,winter sweet

cilantro = coriander, cilantro

auyama = spanish pumpkin, butternut squash, winter squash

puerro = leek, green onion

Cooking the meat

Place a large pan (ideally one that's not too deep - a wide bottomed, heavy lidded, braising pan is best) on the heat with some vegetable oil, say about half a cup.

Once the oil is reasonably hot you can add the meat (The meat should sizzle appetizingly when it goes into the pan, BUT be careful the hot oil doesn't splash you...or anyone else!!). Don't add too much meat in one go, and let the heat come back into the oil as add each 'batch'. Make sure all the meat is 'seized', or 'browned' on all sides...this will help keep it moist and reduce the chance of it flaking to bits during the cooking process.

Once all the meat is browned, immediately add about a teaspoon of salt and a pint of stock. Stir well.

Let the pot just come to the boil then turn down the heat and let the meat simmer, with a good heavy lid on the pot, for at around 40 minutes before starting the rest of the cooking.

After this time the meat will be more than half cooked, turn it off for the time being. Now you can start the second step.

Take another big cooking pot, quite deep this time, put it onto the heat and add three liters of water.

Add all your plantain, yuca and the other vegetables to the cooking pot together with the coriander, the rest of chopped onion and the chopped green peppers. Also crumble into the pot the other stock cube, and stir.

After heating the pot for 15 minutes, by which time it should be coming to the boil (if not already turned to simmer) carefully mix in all the contents of the meat pan. Add more water if necessary, so that all contents of the pan are just covered, and bring back to the boil before turning down to a simmering heat again.

From now on the Sancocho will start developing a good color and thickening. You need to check it every ten minutes to ensure it doesn't get too dry, it will have the tendency to do this as moisture evaporates and stock is absorbed by vegetables. You should add a little more water if necessary.

Now you can start to cook the rice using your preferred method. We tend to wash the rice well (until water runs quite clear - which means sticky starches have been removed) and allow a fairly generous 75 grams/3 ounces of uncooked rice per person. We bring the rice to the boil with twice the amount of water to rice and a little oil, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the water is absorbed.

After about one hour or so of total cooking time your Sancocho sauce should be nicely thickened by the starchy vegetables (but not too dry) and the meats should be lovely and juicily tender (try them before you turn off the heat, and give another 10 minutes if necessary). Your typical Dominican dish should be ready to serve and enjoy.

A few additional suggestions to 'tweak' or complement your Dominican Sancocho recipe:

  • Why not take some ripe and juicy avocados and prepare a simple accompaniment: (see our avocado recipes page for ideas!)
  • Domplin "Dumplings" (Dominican Republic)


    • 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
      Or a combination of:
      1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of cornmeal
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 cup of water


    Add water (a little at a time) to form dough. Dough should be very firm; not sticky or too soft. May add spoonfuls of flour or water if needed to get the right consistency. Dough is ready when mixture forms a ball and sides of the bowl is clean. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes, covered with a damp cloth, then divide into little even balls (about 8). Prepare boiling water in a big pot (about 8 to 10 cups) with 2 teaspoons salt (or your taste), 1 clove of garlic, mashed and 1 teaspoon oil. Flatten each ball in the palm of your hands and shape round edges with your fingers. Drop them carefully into the boiling water and after a few minutes they will float to the top.

    Stir them around and push them down a few times to make sure all sides are cooked. They should be done in 10 to 12 minutes.

    Top with tomato soup or tomato sauce or add to sancocho stew.

    Arroz Blanco "White Rice" (Dominican Republic)

    Arroz Blanco is the base of most Dominican lunch menus and the ultimate test of the good Dominican cook. The perfectionists will strive for a tender "arroz graneado" and a thin and crispy "concón".

    Time: 35 Mins
    Difficulty: Medium
    Serve: 4 people

    Before starting to cook: No prior preparation is necessary.

    4 cups of rice
    6 cups water
    5 tablespoons of oil
    1 teaspoon of salt


    Heat up 3 spoons of oil, add the salt and water. Bring to a boil and then add the rice, stirring regularly to avoid excessive sticking. When all the water has evaporated cover with a tight fitting lid and allow to simmer at very low heat. Wait 15 minutes and remove lid, stir, add the remaining oil and cover again. In 5 minutes the rice should be firm but tender inside. If necessary, cover and leave another 5 minutes on very low heat.

    Serve with meat, (or seafood) a side dish and beans.

    Gheimeh (Iran)

    One of my favorite foods

    Stew with yellow split peas and meat (Makes 6 servings)


    • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 1 lb. Split breast with bone-in or Stew meat (lamb or beef) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 5 TBSP. Oil
    • 4 whole dried Persian limes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 TBSP. Tomato paste
    • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into slicks
    • 1 cup oil for deep frying
    • 1/3 cup yellow split peas


    In a large non-stick pot, brown the onions and meat in 3 tablespoons oil. Add dried Persian limes, salt, pepper, turmeric, and tomato paste. Saute for 2 minutes longer. Pour in 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a cover and cook for another 45 minutes.

    During this time fry the potato sticks in 1 cup of oil, drain on a paper towel and set aside.

    Cook yellow split peas in 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt for 30 minutes. Drain and add to pot..

    Check to see that the meat and peas are tender. Taste the stew and correct seasoning.

    Just before serving, arrange the French fries on top. Serve with steamed white rice.


    Recipe by Sadaf (

    Friday, May 25, 2007

    Tres Leches Cake (Latin America)

    Tres Leches means 3 milks and gets its name from the 3 different kinds of milk added to make the cake. It is a popular dessert in many Latin American countries.
    Charlotte, a guest to Diana's Desserts website, is from Costa Rica, Central America. She offers this recipe as being the "Original" Tres Leches that is made in her country. She also says, "The Tres Leches is very rich and delicious and improves with time...a few days after made, it is even better, and she goes on to say: "Never remove cake from baking dish. It is served right from the baking dish or pan". Charlotte also tells me that the Whipped Cream Topping is more popular in Costa Rica than the Meringue Topping. Recipes for both toppings are included below.

    Tres Leches Cake is served at holiday celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, and at other special occasions in Mexico and Central America. It has becomes quite popular in the United States.........Diana's Desserts
    For Cake:
    6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
    4 tbsp. ice water

    For The Tres Leches Syrup:
    1 can sweetened condensed milk (see note)*
    1 can evaporated milk (see note)*
    2 cups (16 oz.) whole milk

    For Topping:
    Whipped Cream or Meringue Topping (see recipes below)
    Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and lightly flour a 9x13 inch rectangular baking dish (pyrex glass baking dish is good). Set aside.

    Beat the 6 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and self-raising flour, the 6 egg yolks and the ice water.

    Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (Make the Tres Leches Syrup while cake is baking). Remove cake from oven and place cake (Do NOT remove cake from baking dish) on wire cooling rack.

    To Make The Tres Leches Syrup:
    In a large bowl combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the 2 cups whole milk. Mix well. Stir in a little rum if desired.

    With a fork, toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes all over top of cake and pour the Tres Leches syrup over the top of cake until completely absorbed.

    Once cake has cooled sufficiently, refrigerate cake in baking dish for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight before frosting with whipped cream or meringue topping.

    Makes 9 - 12 servings.

    For Whipped Cream Topping:
    2 cups heavy whipping cream
    1/4 cup granulated or confectioners' sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Before making the Whipped Cream Topping, chill your beaters and bowl in freezer for 15 - 20 minutes. Make sure your heavy whipping cream is well chilled.

    Pour "chilled" heavy whipping cream into mixing bowl, beat until soft peaks form; add sugar and the vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat!

    Spread whipped cream topping evenly over Tres Leches Cake and garnish cake with nuts, fruit or decoration of your choice.

    Makes approximately 4 cups whipped cream topping.

    *Note From Diana's Desserts
    Depending on what country you live in, Evaporated Milk and Sweetened Condensed Milk come in different size cans.

    Charlotte suggests using 12 ounces of each of these milks plus 2 cups of whole milk for the Tres Leches Syrup. Here in the United States, Sweetened Condensed Milk comes in a 14 ounce can, and Evaporated Milk comes in a 12 ounce can. I used 1 can of each, and this worked well. It is a little more than what the recipe calls for, but that didn't seem to make much difference.

    Source: Charlotte Leaver
    Submitted By: Charlotte Leaver
    Date: May 3, 2003

    Recipe from

    Israeli Couscous

    This was the first middle eastern dish I ever made. It was when I began studying Judaism and when I was first discovering Islam and learning about the cultures in the middle east. For this recipe, make sure you get the Israeli-style toasted couscous. The little balls are bigger and more puffed and than the tiny traditional couscous and it looks more like tapioca.

    1 lb dry Israeli-style couscous
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 cups chicken broth
    1/2 cup raisins and currants
    1/2 chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds)
    Chopped fresh parsely for garnish
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp cinnamon
    Salt and pepper to taste

    In a sauce pot, saute the onion in the oil until tender. Stir in the couscous and spices and stir until pale golden. cover with the broth and bring to a boil and cook and simmer about 10 minutes or until couscous has absorbed the liquid. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Remove from heat and let stand covered 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper.

    Recipe from CDKitchen (

    Bunuelos (Colombia)

    This is kind of like a donut

    1 cup water
    1 cup flour
    2 eggs
    2 tsp butter
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cardamom
    1 tsp sugar

    2 cups sugar
    1 cup water
    1 cinnamon stick

    Boil the water with the butter, salt sugar and cardamom. Once it is boiling, add the flour, all at once while whisking rapidly with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until it forms a dough that starts to pull away from the walls of the pan and starts to stick to the spoon.

    Remove from heat and allow to cool until just warm. At that point, add the eggs one at a time quickly stirring very well. In a pot add a lot of oil and heat. Once it is very hot, drop the dough by spoonfuls into the oil and increase the heat as the bunuelos grow.

    Once they are brown all over, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.

    Chicken or Turkey with Prunes (Guatemala)

    1 whole chicken or turkey, cut up
    1 tsp Garlic salt
    3 tsp Maggi flavoring
    3/4 cup prunes and raisins
    5 tomatoes
    2 chile pimientos
    1 large white onion
    1/2 cup white wine vinegar
    1 can coca cola

    Wash the meat. Add the seasonings, chopped tomatoes and chilis, vinegar, and coke. Allow that to marinate overnight. The next day, cook in the oven for one hour. Serve with mashed potatoes or white rice and a light salad.

    My aunt Julieta made this for us when we visited her while in Guatemala. It was sooo good.

    Magdalenas (Guatemalan recipe adapted from the original French traditional cookie)

    1/2 lb salted butter (2 sticks)
    2 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    2 cups flour
    1 cup Maizena (corn starch, you can find this type in any Latin market)
    3 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt or to taste
    1 tsp fresh lemon or orange juice
    1 cup milk
    Optional: grated orange peel

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the molds for the Magdalenas.
    Cream the butter, mix with the sugar, eggs one at a time, flour, salt, baking powder, Maizena, Lemon juice, and milk. Blend well and add orange peel raisins, or chocolate chips if desired. Pour batter into the molds and cook on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

    Recipe courtesy of my aunt Rosemary Santizo of Guatemala

    Banana Island with Coffee (Guatemala)

    3 ripe bananas
    1 cup of cold espresso
    1 cup of cold milk
    2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 liter vanilla ice cream of your choice

    Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add to it the coffee, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Blend it in the blender and add ice cream to the blend until it is smooth.

    Serve the drink in large, tall glasses, with ice if desired. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a banana slice.
    Yield: 8 servings

    Recipe by Maria Alicia de Quinonez

    Creme Brulee (France)

    Recipe by Horatio's Restaurant, Seattle

    1 pint whipping cream
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    Granulated sugar for topping
    4 egg yolks
    1 tbsp vanilla extract
    Fresh raspberries for garnish

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat cream over low heat until bubbles form around edge of pan. Beat egg yolks together until thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat cream into egg yolks. Stir in vanilla and pour into six 6-oz. ramekins or custard cups. Place custard cups in baking pan that has about 1/2 inch water in the bottom. Bake until set, about 45 minutes. Remove custard cups from water and refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle each custard with about 2 tsp sugar. Place ont top rack under broiler and cook until topping is medium brown. Chill before serving. Garnish with raspberries.

    Yield: 6 servings

    Chocolate Chip Rolled Oats Cookies (USA)

    Recipe by Congregational Cook Book, Emporia Kansas

    1 cup shortening (or its equivalent in salted butter)
    1/2 white sugar
    1 tsp hot water
    1 1/8 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 6 oz packages semi-sweet chocolate chips (or less if you prefer)
    1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans or both)
    2 eggs, unbeaten
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp salt
    2 cups rolled oats

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.
    Cream shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs. Add hot water and vanilla. Then add flour, salt and baking soda to mixture. Add oatmeal - if using a mixer, stir in by hand the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet.

    Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.

    Lime Light Pie (USA)

    Recipe by my great grandmother, Alta Harness Owen (1902-2003)
    A note from my grandma about her: Alta passed away at the age of 101 and grew up in western Kansas. During my grandma's last visit with her, she was reminiscing about the Christmas celebrations of her youth. All of the family went to her paternal grandparent's farm and nice home for the occasion. Everyone could count on there being four cakes on the table for dessert.

    Here is one of her recipes with a few twists I did as I worked on molding the recipe to fit my taste bud tastes

    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup canned sweetened condensed milk, chilled
    4 egg yolks, cold
    1/2 cup key lime juice, cold

    A couple drops of green food coloring
    Baked pie shell or graham cracker crust
    1 pint Whipping cream
    1 tbsp powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Grated lime and whipped peel for garnish

    Combine: sweetened condensed milk, salt, and key lime juice.
    Stir until thick. Blend in pineapple and food coloring.
    Pour into baked pie shell and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
    Whip 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff. Fold in powdered sugar and vanilla.
    Spread over top of pie and garnish with grated lime peel.

    Blackberry Juice (Guatemala)

    1/2 lb fresh blackberries
    6 cups filtered water
    1 cup sugar
    Chopped ice
    A sprig of mint and a blackberry for garnish

    Wash the berries well and mash them. Mix them with the water and sugar. Pass through a colander, serve chilled with ice.

    Baked Apples (USA)

    Recipe by Paula Deen (
    Prep time: 6 minutes
    In active prep time: 1 hour
    Cook time: 15 minutes

    This can be served alongside roasted turkey or chicken, or just as a dessert with some heavy whipping cream. Yum!

    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
    6 same-size granny smith apples (or any other baking apple)
    2 tbsp. butter, cut into 6 tsp-size pieces
    1 cup apple cider
    6 springs fresh mint (optional)
    Heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, or vanilla ice cream for topping

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

    Core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain. Remove skin from 1/2 inch around top of apples at the opening. Fill each cavity with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Place apples in casserole dish and pour apple juice around them. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.

    White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

    Recipe by

    1/4 lb. white chocolate, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    4 eggs, separated (room temperature)
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 tsp almond extract
    2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
    1 tsp/ baking soda
    1 cup buttermilk (not too cold)
    1 can raspberry filling
    1 recipe marshmallow frosting

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans. Combine chocolate and water, stirring until chocolate melts; set aside to cool. Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed of any electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in white chocolate mixture and flavorings. Combine flour and soda; add to chocolate mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into chocolate mixture. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans at least 10 minutes, remove layers from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Place 1 cake layer on cake platter; spread with 2/3 cup pie filling. Top with second cake layer and pied filling. Top with third cake layer. Frost sides and 1 inch of top edge with marshmallow frosting, leaving an 8 inch circle on top center of cake. Spread remaining pie filling onto center of cake.

    Yield: 16 servings.

    Bamia Stew/Soup (Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan)

    Kuwaiti Version:
    Yield: 6 servings

    2 cups washed lentils
    1 onion, coarsely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    5 cups water
    1 tbsp ghee
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 tsp. cumin
    6 oz. ( 1 small can) tomato paste
    3 dried lemons or loomi
    8 1/2 cups water (less if you want to make more of a stew than a soup)
    2 potatoes peeled and quartered (for the stew only)
    1 cup mini okra (not the big ones pictured in the photo)

    Put the washed lentils with onion and garlic in a pot with the water. Let it boil and wait until it dries up. Puree the lentils in a blender. In a pot fry some garlic in some ghee, then add the cumin. Stir and add the tomato paste, then the pureed lentils. Add to that the second measure of water (or less if you want to make a stew). If making stew, also add peeled, quartered potatoes at this stage) and the dried lemons. Let the mixture boil, then reduce the temperature and let it simmer on lower heat until done.

    Jordanian version:


    300g (10oz) lamb chops and boneless lamb cubes
    500g (1lb 2oz) mini okra (trimmed) (not the big okra in the photo, unless that is your preference)
    4 whole peeled garlic cloves
    1½ teaspoons salt
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    100g (4oz) dry *tamarind
    2 tablespoons tomato puree
    400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
    1 tablespoon oil, for frying
    1.2 litre (2 pints) boiling water


    1 Break up the dry tamarind in small pieces, place in a large bowl and add 300ml (½ pint) of boiling water. Set aside to soak.

    2 If using fresh okra, trim top and tail, wash and soak in cold water for 5 minutes. Next drain and set aside.

    3 Trim and wash meat, then place in a medium saucepan and cover with boiling water (meat must be completely covered). Boil for 5 minutes. Drain meat and discard water.

    4 In a medium saucepan, fry garlic cloves on medium heat with meat for 1-2 minutes, until garlic is slightly brown.

    5 Now add 900ml (1½ pints) of boiling water, cover pan and boil on medium heat for 30 minutes.

    6 Strain the liquid of the tamarind through a sieve, pressing hard to extract as much juice from the pulp as possible. Discard the stones.

    7 Pour 300ml (½ pint) of tamarind juice, then add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and okra to the pan. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Next lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring gently after 15 minutes, making sure not to break the pods.

    This version from