Tag Archives: Central American food

Sancocho de gallina

28 Jun

Sancocho de gallina is Panama’s national dish, making it an obvious choice for our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

Chicken and root vegetables are simmered to a melting tenderness, resulting in a gently flavoured, nourishing meal.

The problem is, none of us liked it much. Continue reading

Picadillo de platano verde

17 Jun

Picadillo de platano verde reminds me of the hamburger mince gravy my dad made each week.

A colourful, exotic Latin cousin perhaps, with its chunks of red pepper and golden plantain, spicy with cumin and paprika.

I found it interesting that Worcestershire sauce turned up in most of the picadillo recipes I looked at.

Like great-uncle Arthur’s chin or great-aunt Nellie’s hooded eyelids recurring across the generations. Continue reading

Curtido

4 Aug

Curtido

Curtido is as far as it is possible to get from that innocuous, gloopy, overly sweet coleslaw that turns up uninvited on far too many restaurant plates.

There’s not a lick of mayonnaise for one thing. For another, this simple-looking cabbage and carrot salad really packs a punch. With only five ingredients, there’s little to soften the impact of that chilli powder. Continue reading

Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice)

1 May

Moros y Cristianos is a Cuban dish of black beans (Moors) and white rice (Christians).

In some versions, the rice and beans are cooked together – resulting in visually unappealing (though tasty) gray rice. I prefer to keep the rice and beans separate until the last moment to maintain the contrast of colours.

I reheat leftover rice and beans separately while I cook the onion and peppers, then stir it all together just before serving. Dressed with a splash of vinegar or lime juice, and a dash of hot sauce it makes a very satisfying lunch. Continue reading

Cuban black bean soup

21 Mar

Cuban black bean soup

Traditional Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock, which is simmered along with the beans and removed before serving.

I prefer this vegetarian version, adding smoked paprika to give the soup an element of the ham’s smokiness. Anyway, for me it’s the vinegar that gives Cuban black bean soup its distinctive flavour.

This soup tastes even better the following day, and freezes well too. Continue reading

Turkey enchiladas

31 Dec

Turkey enchiladas

After turkey soup and turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas are the next step on our quest to conquer the post-Christms turkey mountain.

When no one can face another scrap of turkey, I package the rest into ziplock bags and stick it in the freezer.

And forget about it until at least July, at which point I make turkey enchiladas again… Continue reading

Black bean salad

14 Sep

Black bean salad

This black bean salad has a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a salad? A salsa? A filling?

When I worked in central London, I’d regularly pack this black bean salad for my lunch. It travels well and the  flavours improve over time. I’d eat it as it is, maybe with some crackers,  or use it to fill a wrap. It’s also good mixed with an equal amount of cooked quinoa or other grain.

Continue reading