Archive for ‘Venezuela’

Pabellón Criollo

By , 25 June, 2010, No Comment

Pabellón Criollo

This is Venezuela’s National Dish.  You can also serve it with Arepas and Queso Blanco (white cheese – similar to mozarella).

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Serve all ingredients on a plate and sprinkle some shredded queso blanco over the beans.  I cannot get white cheese in Germany, so I couldn’t add it to mine :-(

Diablitos Gourmet

By , 6 June, 2010, No Comment

Diablitos Gourmet

Diablitos was everyone’s favorite in Venezuela when I was a kid.  It is actually an American product – Deviled Ham, but its largest consumer is Venezuela.  It’s usually consumed with arepas, toast or crackers.  A friend of ours started mixing it with mayo and parmesan cheese and jokingly named it “Diablitos Gourmet” (gourmet deviled ham).

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Deviled Ham – Diablitos
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve with Arepas.

Avocado Shrimp Cocktail

By , 3 June, 2010, No Comment

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail with avocado was one of my favorite meals in Venezuela.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked shrimp – 6 per serving
  • Avocados – 1/2 per serving

Salsa Rosada:

  • 2 Tablespoons Mayo
  • 4 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients for the “Salsa rosada” in a bowl.
  2. Place the shrimps on the avocado half.
  3. Top with Salsa Rosada.

Black Beans

By , 21 May, 2010, No Comment

Caraotas Negras, black beans

You will find this dish throughout the Caribbean, and the north of South America.  I make it Venezuelan style.  I do know that in Brazil and that in Cuba it is prepared similarly, but I am not sure how close their recipes are.  The only downside to this dish is that it requires a very long time to cook. You can replace the bacon with the leftover bone of a pork roast… sorry it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it is the original method and it does give you better results… as a modern twist, I like to add bacon.

  • 1 package black beans
  • 3 red peppers – chopped
  • 3 onions – chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves – pressed
  • 3.5 oz (100 gr) bacon.
  • 3 laurel leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions:

  1. Soak the beans overnight.
  2. Prepare a sofrito with the onions, peppers, and the garlic.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a stew pot, and cook for a few hours, until the beans are tender.

Lemon Chicken

By , 11 May, 2010, No Comment

Lemon Chicken

This recipe is a combination between the way roast chicken is made in Venezuela and the way I used to make it in Florida… It’s also an easy recipe when the kids have friends over – I still have not met a kid yet that didn’t like lemon chicken!

(This recipe serves 8 – adjust for 4)

  • 2 chickens
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 – 3 lemons – juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 onions – quartered
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstrch – optional

Directions:

  1. Wash and pat dry the chickens.
  2. Place them in a large pan.
  3. Squeeze the lemons over the chickens.
  4. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
  5. Sprinkle a little bit of olive oil over the chickens.
  6. Place the garlic cloves in the chicken cavities.
  7. Place the quartered onions around the chickens.
  8. Add the water to the pan.
  9. Lemon Chicken 1Place in an oven at 350ºF  (180ºC) covered for about 40 minutes.  Uncover, make sure that it has enough water, and continue baking uncovered for about another hour. Make sure it is thoroughly cooked before serving!
  10. Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in water to the sauce and let it boil for just a sec if you would like a thicker sauce.

Chupe andino

By , 6 May, 2010, No Comment

Chupe andino

This is one of my favorite Venezuelan soups.  It is really nice to make when expecting guests that are traveling and are not sure when they arrive, because it is a main dish, and you do not have to worry about any last minute cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken or 6 legs (thighs & drumsticks)
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 6 carrots -  peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 leeks – clean well and cut in thin round slices
  • 6 potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 cans sweet corn (or you can use corn on the cob, sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • cilantro – chopped
  • white cheese (queso blanco) or mozarella – in small cubes
  • Hot sauce – optional

Directions:

  1. Clean the chicken, and place in a large stock pot. Add enough water to just cover the chicken. Add the salt, and the celery sticks.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then continue cooking at medium heat for 1.5 hours.
  3. Place the chicken on a plate while you pass the broth through a sieve to remove impurities.  Remove as much fat as possible from the broth.
  4. Remove the bones from the chicken pieces and cut the meat in small chunks.
  5. Add the chicken, potatoes, carrots and leeks to the broth. Bring back to a boil and then continue cooking at medium heat until the potatoes are cooked.
  6. Add the evaporated milk and the milk.  Check for salt and add some pepper to taste.
  7. When serving, add some cheese cubes and a little bit of chopped cilantro.  If you like, add a little bit of hot sauce to spice it up.

Arepitas

By , 3 May, 2010, No Comment

arepitas
This is basically the same as the arepas, but formed very small in order to eat them as appetizers.  They are also served along with parrilla (barbecue).

Carne Mechada – Shredded Beef

By , 28 April, 2010, No Comment

Carne Mechada
This is a Venezuelan favorite.  It is usually eaten for breakfast with arepas:

Arepas con Carne Mechada

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef (sirloin or skirt – skirt shreads easier! – I cannot buy in Germany, but if I could I would prefer it)
  • 2 peppers – chopped
  • 2 onions- chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – pressed
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (in Germany, buy it at the Asia Markt – do not use german cumin)
  • Pepper to taste

Extras:

Directions:

  1. Boil the beef for 2 hours.  Add salt, peeled carrots and celery, and continue boiling for at least another 2 hours.
  2. Let cool, and then shred the beef using 2 forks or with your fingers – I prefer the fork method:carne mechada step 1
  3. Make a “Sofrito”:  Fry the onions, peppers and garlic for about 15 minutes at medium heat.
  4. Add the shredded beef to the pan, and then add the broth you boiled the beef in.carne mechada step 2
  5. Add the tomato puree and the cumin, and cook until the broth has reduced.
  6. Taste for salt and pepper.
  7. Fill your arepas with carne mechada, or eat with rice and black beans.

Arepas

By , 24 April, 2010, No Comment

Arepas
This is a Venezuelan delicacy I was happy to grow up with.  There is nothing better than to eat an arepa and have a nice “cafe con leche” for breakfast.  I’ll break any diet for them! I’ll happily skip crème brûlée – no problem – but arepas I cannot resist!

harina PAN

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Harina PAN – corn flour, available at most latin american markets (Germany: Asia Markt)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoom salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (brown or refined)

Directions:

  1. arepas step 1
    Add the corn flour, salt and sugar to a bowl, and mix well.
  2. arepas step 2
    Measure the water, and then add it all at once to the bowl.
  3. arepas step 3
    Quickly, mix the flour and the water with one hand.  You have to make sure that you do this very fast, if not, lumps will form and you will have to knead it for a long time.  If you mix it while it’s still liquid, you will not have to knead at all – really! Instead, now you have time to make yourself a nice coffee and relax for about 15 minutes, while the flour soaks the water.
  4. Now it’s time to form the arepas.
  5. arepas step 4b
    Take about a large spoon of dough, and first make a ball
  6. arepas step 6
    Press it to form a disc 4 ” (8 cm) in diameter and about 1/2 ” (1 cm) thick – like an english muffin!
  7. arepas step 7
    Moisten your fingers with a little bit of water and close any gaps formed when pressing the dough.  The surface should be smooth. (See my Video on youtube if you need to clarify this procedure)
  8. budare
    If you happen to be the proud owner of a “budare”, please use it.  If not, a cured cast iron pan will also work (that’s more or less what a budare is).  A budare is better than a regualr cast iron pan because the edges are low, therefore making it much easier to turn the arepas.  If you do not have either one, buy one! ;-) …just kidding!!!, – just fry the arepas on a nonstick pan, with very little oil.  On the budare, it is enough to add just a little bit of oil, and then spread it with a paper towel.
  9. arepas step 8
    You need to fry the arepas for about 3 minutes on each side.  This is done just to form a hard film around the arepa, so that you can finish cooking them in the oven – on the rack, not on a cookie pan! The arepa I’m pointing at was turned earlier.  If you like your arepas to look lighter, by all means turn them as soon as the film forms, but if you like the toasted look, leave them a little bit longer!
  10. Bake in oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for 10 minutes.
  11. arepas in a basket
    Let the arepas rest in a basket (cover with a clean towel) for about 5 minutes.
  12. In Venezuela arepas are eaten almost every day for breakfast instead of bread.  You slice them through the middle (again, like an english muffin), and you can fill them with ham, cheese, queso blanco (similar to mozarella), avocado slices, “carne mechada” (post coming up soon), even tomato slices…  more or less, anything you would normally eat with bread!

Guasacaca – Venezuelan Guacamole

By , 10 April, 2010, No Comment

Guasacaca - Venezuelan guacamole

This is the Venezuelan version of guacamole.   It is a little darker than the Mexican version and that is due to the fact that we use red peppers instead of or besides using tomatoes.  In Venezuela it is served with steaks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado – make sure it is ripe!
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/3 red pepper (without seeds)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix well. That’s it! … I’m assuming you understand the avocado needs to be peeled and seeded first…. :-)