Posts Tagged ‘latinfoodie recipe’

Magnificent Mangú

Mangú with cebollita, huevito and jamoncito

For me, weekends are for sleeping in, seeing friends, catching up on life and most importantly, indulging in the luxury of time. Creating elaborate breakfast dishes is such a treat that I sometimes enjoy the process more than the actual tasting (ahem, NOT). Mangú con huevo, the quintessential breakfast dish from the Dominican Republic is the perfect case in point. Mangú, or mashed green plantains, is made by boiling green plantains and crushing them with olive oil and butter until they’re soft and creamy. In the D.R., mangú is typically served with fried cheese, fried salami (a local sausage), sunny side eggs and avocado. The end result is a feast of textures: the smoothness of the egg yolk balances the density of the plantain, the cheese and salami add a salty crisp and the avocado a cool refuge for your taste buds.

As I prepared this beloved breakfast dish on a recent Saturday, I was reminded of a drive I took with the family through the Dominican countryside, as we made our way to the mountains of Jarabacoa. The morning was rainy and fresh, and we stopped at the breezy roadside restaurant Típico Bonao which lures locals from all over the country to start the day with this dish and an aromatic cup of Dominican coffee. Mangú con huevo brings back this Dominican love, and nourishes the spirit as well as the belly.

Mangú con Huevo Serves 2

2 green plantains
olive oil
red onion
white vinegar
4 eggs
breakfast ham
“queso de hoja” cheese (optional)
avocado (optional)

Chop the ends off each plantain. Make slits throughout the plantain, running the tip of your knife through the length of the fruit. Chop the plantains into 1″ chunks. Fill a pot with water and boil the plantain chunks for about 45 minutes.

While the plantains cook, thinly slice the onion and place the slivers in a bowl with 1 tablespoons of white vinegar, olive oil and salt. Stir these around until the onion gets covered and let it rest.

Check if the plantains are ready by piercing them with a fork. They should be tender when cooked. They will also be easy to peel. Remove their skin and place the chunks in a deep bowl. Pour a 1/4 cup of cooking liquid, a drizzle of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and start to mash with a masher or fork. Work through the pieces, alternating with the liquid, olive oil and butter, until you achieve your desired consistency.

Working quickly, pan fry the onions in a drizzle of olive oil and pour over the mangú. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Next toss the ham, and fry the eggs sunny side up, on a non-stick pan. You can also deep fry the queso de hoja for an authentic latin kick and slice up some avocados on the side. Serve the mangú with the onions, eggs and ham. Eat immediately!

The Clean Experiment

Crazy Veggie Toss

I’m on a roll. The past week and half, I’ve dedicated myself to cooking and eating “clean”. I figured, it’s the beginning of the year, perfect time to establish new habits, so why not try something different? I was inspired by Clean, a book by Alejandro Junger M.D. (viva Uruguay!), that crossed my path on January 1st (was this a sign or what?). The book focuses on a detox program that promises to heal and clean your body. But it also gives an in-depth explanation about toxins and practical advice to decrease exposure to them in a very clear and descriptive way.

When it comes to detoxes and cleansing, I’m your #1 skeptic. I believe that the body is intelligent enough to activate its natural cleansing functions so I was a little hesitant to even pick up the book. But when my friend JP told me it was written by a fellow Hispanic, I figured I should give him chance. Well, looks like I’m almost done with the book and I’m still not sold on the detox program. Yet, the one thing it has definitely done for me is build my awareness.

As an experiment, I spent the last 10 days cooking as clean and simply as possible, focusing on whole foods whenever possible and going back to basics: lots of fruits and veggies, more seeds and nuts, less animal products, more water. Immediately I noticed a huge difference in my energy. Not only did it soar, but I felt very balanced, both emotionally and physically. I haven’t really deprived myself of anything ( I had some Baklava for dessert!), just have paid more attention on preparing more simple and nourishing foods.

This conscious way of nourishing myself has made me more creative in the kitchen, too. This week, I made everything from roasted beet and carrot salad with thyme and goat cheese to an Italian-inspired kale and white bean soup. I’m devoting myself to the Clean Experiment for the next few weeks. Throughout my journey, I plan to share with you some of the best recipes I come across, in hopes that you too can restore your energy and balance. Happy cooking!

Crazy Veggie Toss Serves 4

1 bunch of Tuscan kale

1 tomato cubed

1 red onion cubed

2 carrots grated

3 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Herbs: could be thyme, rosemary, or cilantro for a latin kick (get creative!)


2-3 Sausage (I used a sun-dried tomato and rosemary chicken sausage from Whole Foods) cubed

Parmesan cheese

Stem and devein the kale. Roughly chop and rinse with cold water. Warm the olive oil in a deep pan, add the onion and carrots and heat until soft. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the garlic and tomato and cook until soft. Taste for salt. Add the herbs and the kale. Add a splash of liquid (water, broth, wine) until the mixture acquires your desired consistency. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Serve over pasta, chicken or a filet of grilled fish. Top with some grated parmesan cheese. If you want to make it veggie-friendly, just omit the sausage. ¡A tu salud!

Brandy Alexander, it goes down easy

Serve your Brandy Alexander in a pretty glass with some cinammon

I was on a mission to find “Latinized” versions of holiday drinks, like the egg nog and mulled cider that now abound in outdoor market around the city. And I found them. In the December issue of the Food Network magazine, a handy guide perfect for adding to your off-line recipe collection featured how-to’s for Hot Dulce de Leche, Mexican Hot Chocolate and Coconut Nog, as well as festive concoctions perfect for warming us up from the inside out (ei. maple chai) and getting us into the spirit with a little bubbly (ei. kir royale).

But this week, as I read through Melissa Clark’s rediscovery of eggnog in the New York Times, I remembered the holiday traditions of my life back home. Along with an arduous fruit cake production that would tie up the kitchen for days, Mom would always be ready to prepare her own decadent interpretation of one of her favorite drinks, the Brandy Alexander. She whipped up this creamy elixir every time she was ready to entertain (which was almost daily). With exuberant gusto she combined condensed milk, evaporated milk, white rum and crème de cacao, blended it with ice and poured the frosty mixture into delicate rose-colored goblets, topping each glass with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The result was a dreamy, creamy drink that is (almost) worthy of replacing  dessert. As Feist best puts it in her song, this drink definitely “goes down easy”.

This holiday I invite you to make a batch, bottle it up and give it away as homemade gifts. Or keep it, invite your favorite people over for a drink and celebrate how sweet life can be.

Cora’s Brandy Alexander

1 ½ cans of condensed milk
2 ½ cans of evaporated milk
1 can of white rum
1 can of crème de cacao (or your favorite chocolate liqueur)
powdered cinnamon and/or cinnamon stick

note: use one of the empty cans to measure the rum and liqueur

Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend with ice or mix in a cocktail shaker. You can also serve without the ice. Top with cinnamon. Enjoy!

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