When we think of the Caribbean, we think of Puerto Rico. Though the island itself is a Commonwealth of the United States, Puerto Rico’s culture is closely tied to Latin America. Its cuisine is the result of three main influences: Taino, Spanish and African, but you’ll also find hints of the Dutch, French, Italian, and Chinese immigrants that passed through. The Caribbean Chef brings you all these flavors right to your kitchen.
1 bunch of spinach
1/4 red onion chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne
Chop spinach into small pieces.
Place into a mixing bowl and toss
with the olive, lemon juice,
avocado and salt. Add in the onion and cayenne.
1 cup of almond milk or rice milk
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1 frozen banana
1 tsp coconut butter
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
12 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1. Stir coconut milk, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Spoon a few tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture into a small bowl and stir cornstarch into the mixture to dissolve; pour into the mixture in the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly; cook until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour the coconut milk mixture into molds, cover each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold and firm, 3 hours to 2 days.
3. Run a thin knife around the edges of the mold and invert onto a plate to remove putting. Garnish top with cinnamon.
PUERTO RICAN MOFONGO
(For video lesson, click here.)
4 green plantains
1 lb of chicharrón (crunchy pork skin)
3 garlic cloves, mashed
4 teaspoons of olive oil
2 cups frying oil
1. Peel the plantains, cut them into 1 1/2-inch slices, soak them in salty water for 15 minutes, drain them and dry them before putting them on the hot skillet with oil.
2. Fry them for about 12 minutes at medium-low heat or until they turn light brown. Make sure to turn them. Do not brown them too much, so they are easy to mash. Stick a fork in them to check if they are done.
3. Remove them and mash them on a mortar. Add some mashed garlic and pieces of chicharrón.
4. Once you have mashed all the plantains, mold them into the shape of half sphere using your hands or a container. Serve hot with chicken broth or your favorite meat.
(For video lesson, click here.)
2-3 Cinnamon sticks
2 cups Water
14-oz Sweetened, condensed milk
12-oz Evaporated milk
12-oz Crème de coco (Coco Lopez)
1 to 2 cups Rum
Ground cinnamon (for garnish)
1. Place the cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 5-10 minutes to infuse the water with the flavor of cinnamon. Remove the cinnamon sticks and set the flavored water aside to cool.
2. Whisk the cooled cinnamon water, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and crème de coco together. Chill well.
3. To serve, stir in the amount of rum desired, pour into glasses and garnish each serving with a pinch of cinnamon. Enjoy!
1/2 lb desalted cod fillets
1 1/2 lb all-purpose wheat flour
1 1/2 cup water
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 culantro leaves, finely choppedVegetable oil (for frying)
Salt and pepper, as desired
1. Cut cod fillet into pieces. Make sure bones have been removed; rinse twice or three times. Soak cod in water for half an hour to completely desalt it. Drain, thoroughly pat dry on paper towel. Shred it.
2. In bowl, combine wheat flour with water and mix well to remove all lumps.
3. Crush garlic in a mortar with a little salt and pepper, and add it to the flour. Add shredded codfish and mix well.
4. Heat oil the codfish will be fried on high ( if using an electric fryer place at 375°F, if using a casserole insert a thermometer and let it raise same temperature, if desired), but not on the highest heat.
5. With rice serving spoon, carefully pour some mix into hot oil. Fry in pairs; this way it’s easier to turn over the fritters, allow fritters to turn golden brown on both sides.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whisk together the cornstarch, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Stir in the milk to evenly blend ingredients, and set over medium-high heat. Continue whisking and cooking until custard reaches a thick consistency, 25 to 30 minutes. It is important to stir the entire time, or the custard can easily burn or clump. The custard will continue to thicken as it cools. Spoon into bowls. Serve while hot!