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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here is my Christmas tree- digital photo swap. All my life I always wanted a real Christmas tree. My mom and dad would always say no or its too dangerous. Well, in 2005 I bought my first real Christmas tree. Now I can never see myself getting a fake one.

It smell so nice. Its like have a really BIG plant or flower in the corner of my living room. It's always fun to see the look on my sister's face when she open her gift and there are pine needles on everything. This year's tree is smaller. Small living room = small tree. I really hope you enjoy the pictures if this years tree.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pasteles: Puerto Rican Savory Cakes.

Here's another recipe famous in Puerto Rican households during the hoildays. This is the first year I made these yummy pasteles. Of course, Grandma took the recipe with her to puerto rico. I made pastels three times in the last two weeks. The first two attempts, I got the recipes from different sites and they didn't taste right. So I created my own. Third time was a charm. It tastes just like Grandma's. So here is the recipe.

There are two products that go into a pastels; the masa (dough) and the filling.

Ingredients for masa:

6 green bananas, peeled and shredded
2 green plantain, peeled and shredded
1 medium sized yuca, shredded
1 russet potato, peeled and shredded
salt, to taste
1/4 cup milk

Ingredients for filling

1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
12 oz jar of sweet pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
4 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 lbs of pork butt or shoulder, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons oil
salt & pepper, to taste
oregano, to taste

For Assembly:
Parchment paper, 30 sheets. 2 sheets per pastel
kitchen string, about 36 inches per pastel

30 olives, 2 per pastel
Masa
1- As you shred the ingredients for the masa place into a large bowl of water and salt so it doesn't turn brown.
2- Drain the water and puree ingredients in 1 cup batches in blender. Add a little milk to masa to smooth mixture. It should look like hot oatmeal. Chill in frig while you make the filling.
Filling
1- Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot. Add the filling and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Assembly
Gather the masa, filling and assembly stuff on a large enough area.
1. Layer two sheets of parchment paper. Brush the center of top parchment paper with achiote.
2- Scoop up about 1/2 cup of masa place on the achiote part of the parchment paper.
3- Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the masa. Place olives in masa.
4- Fold the top of the paper over the pastels. Flip over and fold end over. Repeat with second sheet.
5- Tie kitchen string around it like a package.
6- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently boil for 1 hour. Remove string and paper. Serves 12- 15.

Goes great with rice and chick peas. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

WEPAAAAA! COQUITO TIME!

You can't have the holidays in a Puerto Rican home with out Coquito. Coquito is the puerto rican version of eggnog. It's been some time since my family had this creamy drink.

When my grandmother moved to Puerto Rico three years ago, she took the recipe with her. After searching and searching for a good recipe, I found it. I did a trail run for Thanksgiving. Now I have been given the job of always making it for the holidays.

Since my search for the recipe took forever to decided to post the recipe here.


Ingredients:
2 egg yolks, beaten
12 fluid ounce can of evaporated milk
14 ounce can of cream of coconut (Coco Lopez is the best)
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white rum ( Bacardi )
1/2 water
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions:
1- In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (for us type A people, until it reaches 160 degrees F)
2-Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottle or a heat resistant plastic bottle and chili overnight. Serves 10-12. Coquito is best on the second or third day.
Serve in a small glass. Some prefer a little cinnamon top. Wepaaa! Feliz Navidad.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another Swap

Something Red - Crocheted this hat and scarf to match my sister's cell phone.
Food - Onion volcano
Child- Big Bea on our way downtown
Natural- Bronx River
Animal - American Bald Eagle Tea - Green Tea in my fave. mug.


I hope my partners enjoy my pictures.