Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate
Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

In Mexican ancient civilizations, before the Spanish conquistadors imported chocolate to Spain and added sugar, the ancient Mayans and Aztecs drank the bitter cacao

(“Ka-Kow”) mixing it with wine, and adding spices: vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and chile.  Remember when Juliet Binoche adds chiles to her chocolate in the movie Chocolat ? Well, you don’t have to be a movie star or an Aztec Emperor to make your own Mayan Hot Chocolate with this ancient recipe of chile-infused milk, cinnamon, nuts and vanilla. This is an excellent drink when the weather is cold or to treat yourself after a long days work, surely, it will warm you up and soothe your soul.

Ingredients
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups whole or lowfat, or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 3 tablets Mexican chocolate, cut into 1/4″pieces
2 tablespoons sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
Whipped cream

Instructions
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat water to boiling; add chile pepper. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused* water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds, hazelnuts and sesame seeds and whipped cream.

Serves 4-6
*Chile can be infused in Milk instead of water
Enjoy !

Cumin Pork and Sweet Potato Guiso

 

 

Guiso de Carne
Guiso de Carne

This delicious guiso, or stew, has pieces of tender pork, cumin and other seasonings, sweet potatoes, and raisins. The sweet and mildly spicy flavors come together beautifully for a simple one dish meal. Serve pork and sweet potato stew over rice, with a side of arepas. Leftovers make an excellent filling for empanadas.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 teapsoon cumin

  • 2 tablespoons flour

    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 sweet potatoes
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 packet sazon Goya with achiote and cilantro (optional)
    • 3/4 cups raisins
    • Salt and pepper to taste

     PREPARATION

    1. In a heavy, deep-sided skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onions and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown (about 10 minutes).

    2. While the onions are cooking, toss the cubed pork with the cumin, flour, sazon Goya (if using) and salt and pepper.

    3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a separate skillet, add pork pieces, and sauté until well-browned on all sides (work in batches if necessary). Remove pork to a plate and set aside.

    4. Add 1 cup chicken broth to the skillet and deglaze, scraping up any pieces of pork from the pan with a wooden spoon. Add chicken broth to onion mixture.

    5. Add the pork to onion mixture, along with enough chicken broth to cover. Simmer gently for 1 hour.

    6. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add the sweet potatoes to the stew with the raisins and simmer until the pork and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 105 minutes
    • Total Time: 120 minutes
    • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Mejillones Escabechados- Marinated mussels

Mejillones Escabechados
Mejillones Escabechados- Marinated Mussels

Marinated mussels or are available small cans, but home-made tastes even better! These mussels have an intensely flavored sauce of onion, wine, garlic and Spanish paprika that only gets better with time. We like to make this dish a day ahead, store it in the refrigerator and serve it the following day with fresh rustic-style bread – either as an appetizer or a first course.

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs. raw mussels in shells
1/2 large yellow or white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups (16 oz) white wine
6 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp Spanish paprika
salt to taste
virgin olive oil

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

PREPARATION
This marinated mussel recipe makes 4 servings as a first course, or about 6-8 servings as a tapa.
Clean the mussels with a stiff brush, removing any debris on outside. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Put all the mussels into a large pot with about 1-inch of water in the bottom. Cover and place over high heat and cook until the shells open. Remove from stove and place mussels in a colander. Rinse under cold water. Set aside and allow to cool.

While mussels are cooling, peel and chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot enough, sauté the onion and garlic until golden in color. Remove pan from heat and add salt, paprika, white wine and vinegar. Stir all ingredients until salt and paprika are dissolved.

Return frying pan to burner with onion and wine mixture and turn heat on low. Add mussels to pan and stir. Simmer on low to medium-low for 3-4 minutes, then allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with toothpicks and slices of French-style bread.

Although these mussels are tasty as soon as they are cooked, they are more flavorful when refrigerated and eaten the next day.

Champiñones al Ajillo- Mushrooms in Garlic

Champiñones al Ajillo
Champiniones al Ajillio

Few tapas taste more Spanish than Champiñones al Ajillo, dripping with olive oil, garlic and dry Spanish Sherry. To make this tapa even more authentic, be sure to serve the mushrooms with plenty of fresh, crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.

Serves 4- 10 minutes preparation + 12 minutes cooking
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients
•1/4 cup (2 fl. oz) olive oil
•4 cups (8 oz) mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
•6 cloves garlic, minced
•3 tablespoons dry sherry
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•1/2 teaspoon dried red chile, seeded and crumbled
•1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
•Salt and pepper, to taste
•2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preparation
Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, sherry, lemon juice, dried chile, paprika, and salt and pepper.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic and mushrooms have softened.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve on small earthenware platters.

Chimichurri Sauce

ChimchurriSauce

I came back from Buenos Aires this summer and all I can think about is Cafe Con Leche, Medialunas, Chimichurri Sauce, Torta de Calabaza and of course, Dulce de Leche. Here is an easy recipe for Chimmichurri from Sabrina’s Latin Kitchen that you can make under 15 minutes. Store it in nice Mason Jars in the fridge and voila you have a nice tasty sauce that’s ready to go all week long. This is my go to condiment and I put in on everything chicken, carne asada, vegetables, eggs, rice, ice cream, no just kidding, but I do love it  on just about everything.  Great on Tapas on your Tortilla Espanola or Pollo Al Ajillio.

Not to mention, with all the nice chlorophyll your getting from the parsley and cilantro it’s a healthy sauce that you can’t over dose on. Enjoy ! Buen Provecho !

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves

  • 1 cup packed Cilantro

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh Oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper (to taste) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1 minute total.

  2. With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, stir and season as needed. The Chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.