Yucca al Mojo de Ajo (Yucca in Garlic Sauce)

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Yucca, or cassava, is a cousin of the potato.  More commonly used in tropical cooking, yucca is very versatile and can be used in numerous preparations.  Just because yucca does not get as much attention as the almighty potato does not mean it is not as delicious.  Trust me.

This Cuban recipe takes yucca from yummy veggie to extraordinary side dish.  This garlic sauce makes it.  The sweet garlic flavor complements the rich olive oil.  The addition of the lime cuts through the sauce and helps balance it out.  The end result:  Creamy yucca and a sweet garlicky sauce with a hint of citrus.  Yes, please. Continue reading

Locro de Papa (Potato Cheese Soup)

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It is soup season.  Time to whip up a hearty, satisfying soup to help keep the cold at bay. What a better way to heat up those tummies then with some potato soup.  Creamy goodness is just a few minutes away.

Ecuadorian Locro de Papa is a rich soup made of potato, cheese and corn.  Meant to keep you warm while in the Andes, this soup screams comfort food.  It is creamy, starchy, cheesy and full of flavor.  The soup is usually garnished with avocado which makes it even more decadent.  All I can say is be prepared to be blown away. Continue reading

Croquetas de Papa with Chimichurri

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Croquetas are Latin Americas version of croquettes.  Although croquetas can be made from just about anything, standard croquetas usually include potatoes, ham, tuna and cheese. They are very versatile.  This version uses potatoes and cheese because, let’s face it potatoes and cheese make for a superstar pair.  Mashed potatoes are formed into little nuggets, stuffed with cheese, breaded and then fried.  The end result is a crunchy outside with a creeeeeeamy inside.  And what to dip them in?  Well how about some chimichurri.  The fresh herbs really cut through the heaviness of the fried croquettes.  Man oh man these are good. Continue reading

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

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For some time now I have seen several recipes for turning cauliflower into “rice”.  It seemed pretty simple and looked quite delicious so I decided to give it a try.  Good thing I did.  The method works best for turning any type of fried rice recipe rice-free (i.e. using cauliflower to make steam rice may not such a great idea).  As a bonus the cauliflower gives the rice dish more flavor and a better texture.  Plus it is ready to go a lot sooner than traditional rice.  I took a true and tried Mexican rice recipe, nixed the rice and brought in the cauliflower.  The end result is a bit spicy, a bit sweet from the bell pepper and a whole lot of yuminess. Continue reading

Mexican Corn on the Cob

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Summer and corn go hand in hand.  Something about munching on corn on the cob on a sunny afternoon that is just delightful.  It is the perfect summer snack.
It is amazing just delicious one little vegetable can taste.  Mexican-style corn on the cob includes the use of several toppings.  I’m glad it does.  The end result is this sweet, salty, buttery, tart, spicy treat to munch on.  You take a bite and the toppings stick to your face and your hands and your clothes…  But that is what summer is all about. Continue reading

Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)

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Venezuelans know how to make a good pot of black beans.  Mmmm, nothing like a pot of sweet, smoky, salty, hearty black beans simmering on the stovetop.  Caraotas Negras are very versatile as they can be served as a side dish, over rice or stuffed into cornmeal arepas.
And when black beans are this delicious and this easy to make then they are a must in my book.  Just a little chopping and a little spice and boom-tasty black beans! Continue reading

Mexican Macaroni Salad

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Summertime and macaroni salad go hand in hand.  Something about a nice cold salad during a warm day, don’t you think?  So how about a Mexican macaroni salad.  It is a perfect accompaniment to a great asada (good old fashion bbq).  Although most Mexican macaroni salads are composed of pasta and mayo this one adds fresh veggies and black beans to really bring out more flavor.  Add a hit of spices and wowy you got yourself a great side dish, main course or appetizer. Continue reading

Ensalada de Fruta

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Not your typical fruit salad.  Anyone who has visited Mexico is familiar with the fruit carts that line the street.  Cups filled with fresh fruit, diced up and piled high.  Try to find something more refreshing than that!  Mexican-style fruit salad is a little unique as it adds some lemon juice, a little salt and chile pepper for a touch of heat to really help bring out the fruits sweetness.  You get this sweet, tart, salty, spicy bite that is quite tasty. Continue reading

Ensalada de Quinoa

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Quinoa is a staple in South American cooking-and for good reason.  It is chock full of protein, fiber and minerals.  It tastes delicious and is quick cooking.  I’m a quinoa fanatic. Continue reading

Frijoles Charros

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Frijoles Charros roughly translates to cowboy beans.  These yummy beans originated out on ranches as a way for cowboys to make a hearty, warm pot of beans.  Glad someone thought to do this because they are yum-my.  The key ingredient to frijoles charros (aside from the beans) is good old fashioned bacon.  It helps give it a smoky zing.  I have substituted it with vegetarian bacon but the salty smoky flavor is still there.  Add some onions, tomatoes and chilies and you got yourself one filling bowl of beans. Continue reading