A Taste Of Puerto Rico

 A Taste Of Puerto Rico

A Taste Of Puerto Rico Cookbook

A Taste Of Puerto Rico is a cookbook that my Mom gave me years and years ago.  I think I cracked the spine on that book once.  I felt like I knew how to cook the dishes I wanted, and what I didn’t know Mom knew how to make.  When Karen and I went to Puerto Rico at the end of March for the 70.3 San Juan race I was brought back to the kitchen of my mother.

The flavors exploded in my mouth and I was determined to re-create everything I ate.  This included mofongo, tofu in criollo sauce, platanos maduros, and arroz con bichuela.  Those dishes would be a fried plantain dish.  Criollo sauce is a tomato based sauce with peppers and capers.  Platanos maduros are fried plantains that are squashed and fried twice.  Arroz con habichuelas is rice and beans, typically made with pinto beans but I love black beans.

For a few weeks I kept playing over and over in my head how to make any or all of these dishes in one night.  Then while at the CPR/AED course yesterday I was inspired and when I got home I knew what I was having for dinner.  Part of the inspiration came from watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network where the highlighted restaurant boiled the plantains.  This idea made it easier to make the mofongo because I would not have to fry it.  Side note I have eliminated oil from diet thanks to Engine 2 Diet and consequently have lost 3 pounds in a week effortlessly.

Here are the recipes for the various pieces to the dish I made last night.  All servings are for one person.

Arroz Con Habicuelas (Rice and Beans)

This is a take off on that since I used quinoa instead of rice, but if you were to use rice I would use long grain brown rice.

Ingredients: 1/2c Quinoa (cleaned), 1 1/2c Vegetable Stock, 1/4c Black Beans (rinsed and drained), 1/4c White Onion (chopped)

Nutritional Information: 259 calories, 2.5g Fat, 60g Carbs, 17.5g Fiber, 14.6g Protein

Directions:

  • In medium pot on medium-high heat add quinoa and toast for 3-5 minutes.
  • In separate pot add beans, onions and enough water to cover.  Turn heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Add vegetable stock to quinoa, cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to simmer.
  • Allow quinoa to absorb all the liquid.
  • When all the liquid is gone turn off heat, remove pot and set aside.
Green and Mushroom Empanadas
Ingredients: 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour, 4-6 Tbsp Warm Water, 1-1 1/2c of Greens (I used Turnip Greens, Kale, Spinach, and Cilantro), 3 Baby Bella Mushroom (chopped)

Nutritional Information: 245calories, 1.2g Fat, 46.6g Carbs, 6.8g Fiber, 14.5g Protein

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 405*
  • In food processor add flour and turn on.
  • While blade is going drizzle water in until a dough is formed.
  • Take dough out of food processor and set aside on wax paper.
  • While dough is resting bring pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add all the greens.
  • Once greens have wilted remove from water and place on towel.
  • Squeeze all the excess water out, add mushrooms and combine well.
  • Roll out dough into 3″ circles.  Add in green/mushroom mixture and fold dough over.
  • Pinch with work and set aside on silpat on baking tray.
Mofongo
Ingredients: 1 Plantain, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1/2c Vegetable Stock
Nutritional Information: 260 calories, 0.06g Fat, 68.5g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 2.8g Protein

Directions:

  • Bring medium pot of water to boil.
  • Cut plantain into large pieces and add to water.
  • Allow to boil until softened.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • In food processor add garlic and vegetable stock.  Once plantains have boiled add them to food processor as well.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are well combined and somewhat sticky (that is the starch releasing from the plantain.)
  • Set ring molds on same baking sheet as the empanadas and fill to top with mixture.
  • Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops begin to brown.
  • Once tops are browning extract mofongo from the ring mold and flip over.
  • Remove empanadas from the tray and set to broil.
  • Broil the mofongo for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve all the pieces together on a plate and enjoy.
Nutritional Information (entire plate): 764 calories, 4g Fat, 175g Carbs, 29g Fiber, 31g Protein
Nutritional Breakdown (entire plate): 81.4% Carbs, 14.4% Protein, 4.2% Fat
Ideally you would like more fat and one way to do that would be to add a medium avocado to the plate.  The medium avocado would add 161 calories to the dish, but bring the nutritional breakdown to 71% Carbs, 13% Protein, 16% Fat.
WHAT MEALS HAVE YOU RECREATED FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD TO BE HEALTHIER?
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Comments

  1. Chuck says:

    Try sauteeing some plantains in coconut oil then topping with cinnamon and a pinch of salt–awesome!
    Chuck recently posted..HeadwindsMy Profile

  2. Jessica says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for these recipes! Every time I think of making PR food for my family (I’m 2nd generation PR/American) but cringe when I think of using Rico (too many calories!) and frying in oil. I can’t wait to try these recipes and for my family to have the yummy food I grew up on. Any other recipes you’re thinking of trying?

  3. Jessica says:

    A question though. For the empanadas (We called them pastellilos), how long do they bake in the oven?

    • CTER says:

      Jessica – I wish I could remember how long I baked them for, but you can tell when they are ready by touching the crust. I should not be mushy because that is raw and by paying attention you know that they will not burn. I hope that helps.

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