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Hector Rodriguez

Hector's Latin Caribbean Food Blog

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Easter Menu from the Latin Caribbean

Friday April 18, 2014

Easter Table

In the Caribbean, Easter usually falls during the height of the dry season, with beautiful weather and Christian traditions working together to make it a somber but happy time. Celebrate tradition with my Latin Caribbean Easter Menu, which includes an appetizer, salad, vegetables, lamb stew, potatoes and rice pudding. I've planned the menu for you; all you have to do is cook it!

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Photo © Ingrid Balabanova | BigStockPhoto.com

Fried Ripe Plantains Recipe

Monday April 14, 2014

Fried Ripe Plantains

Fried Ripe Plantains is a universal Caribbean dish. They are served on almost every island with just about every meal. Cynthia Nelson explains that the key to an excellent plate of fried ripe plantains is to ensure that the plantains are at the right degree of ripeness. Enjoy her recipe for these sweet bites any time of day.

Photo © Cynthia Nelson.

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Flamenco Style Baked Eggs

Thursday April 10, 2014

eggs There are many recipe variations of this classic Spanish dish, which is essentially poached eggs in tomato sauce. My recipe is a baked version of flamenco eggs with a Latin twist. Enjoy individual serving cups layered with vegetables, shrimp, crab, and eggs.

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Photo © Marek Kosmal Image from BigStockPhoto.com

Asparagus and Serrano Ham

Sunday April 6, 2014

Asparagus and HamAsparagus is one of my favorite spring vegetables. One way to put a Latin twist on it is to serve it with Serrano ham. Here is a simple recipe using asparagus, Serrano ham and shallots.

Photo © Hector Rodriguez. Licensed to About.com.

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Bay Leaf Tea

Sunday March 30, 2014

Bay Leaf Tea A hot cup of bay leaf tea is comforting. The fragrant leaves release there essence and gives you a spiced tea that will have you going back for a second cup. Older folks in the Caribbean believe that bay leaf tea can lower your blood pressure, aid with digestive problems and even get rid of headaches. Whether or not these claims are true, one thing is certain, you'll love this tea.

Article and Photo © Cynthia Nelson

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How did canned ham make its way into the Caribbean?

Sunday March 30, 2014

You might be wondering how canned ham made its way into the repertoire of Caribbean cuisine. When you think about it, the answer really does make sense. It has to do with climate and the remoteness and size of the islands. In a nutshell, there are only a few islands large enough to sustain a livestock industry, so most meats were imported. Before the days of refrigeration, the meat was preserved through several methods before being shipped to the islands: salting, smoking, pickling, and canning.

Canned hams and other meats have several advantages. They're fully cooked, have a shelf life of 3 to 4 years, and they don't need refrigeration until you open them. However, they're usually consumed right away, so you don't have to worry about left overs.

My recipe for canned ham with brown sugar and rum glaze is an interesting and delicious way to serve up a canned ham. It's simple to make, yet elegant. Everyone will think you spent all day in the kitchen cooking.

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Caribbean Coconut Bread Pudding

Friday March 28, 2014

Bread pudding can be made in several different delicious flavors. Every culture seems to have come up with their own. This sweet dessert has a tropical twist with the addition of coconut and it's an excellent way to use up stale or day old bread before it spoils. Caribbean Coconut Bread Pudding.

Hallacas

Friday March 28, 2014

Hallacas or Pasteles Photo © Hector RodriguezHallacas are very similar to Puerto Rican pasteles. The main difference is that the masa (dough) for hallacas is made from hominy grits (corn). A traditional seasoned meat filling is encased in the masa, then wrapped in banana or plantain leaves, and then tied into a neat little package.

Photo by Hector Rodriguez. Licensed to About.com.

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Rice Fritters - Frituras de Arroz

Monday March 24, 2014

rice fritters Photo © Hector RodriguezThese rice fritters have a taste reminiscent of Dutch funnel cakes. You can serve them warm for breakfast, instead of pancakes, or allow to cool and serve them as a party snack. You can also change up the flavor a bit by substituting coconut or lemon extract in place of the vanilla. This recipe is also a great way to use left over white rice.

Photo by Hector Rodriguez. Licensed to About.com.

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Guyanese Cheese Pie

Saturday March 22, 2014

Guyanese Cheese Pie In the Caribbean it isn't uncommon to find dishes with strong European influences from colonial days. The local populations have made adaptations to their tastes, which is the case for most foods that have traveled. In Guyana, they make a cheese pie with British influence, which is more like a mini quiche. The ingredients are simple but the taste is superior. Make these and serve them up for breakfast, brunch, lunch (with a salad) or for afternoon tea or even a snack.

Article and Photo © Cynthia Nelson

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