Papas Relllenas

Papas Rellenas
Papas Rellenas

2 lbs large potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)
1 lb picadillo (seasoned ground beef)
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup dry bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 tsp salt

Add salt to a pot of cold water, and boil the potatoes until they are soft. Drain the potatoes, and then mash them, then set aside to allow them to cool. Separate the egg yolks from the whites in two bowls. Mix the egg yolks into the mashed potato mixture, whisk the egg whites for a minute. Take a 1/4 of a cup of the mashed potatoes, and form it into a ball. Make a dent in the ball, to give it more of a bowl shape. Fill the indentation with a tablespoon of picadillo, and then reseal it. Reshape the potato as a ball again. Dip the ball in the egg whites, then roll the ball around in bread crumbs until it is coated. For a better coating, or for a crunchier texture, you may dip the ball into the egg whites again and coat it with another layer of bread crumbs. Refrigerate the potato balls for at least four hours before frying.To fry, pour enough oil into a skillet or frying pan to cover half of the balls, the oil should be at least 350°. Place several balls into the frying pan and cook on each side until golden brown, usually 2-3 minutes, taking care not to overcook. Drain the stuffed potatoes on paper towels, do not stack them. The other cooking method is to deep fry the papas rellenas at 375° until golden brown, they cook best deep-fried when they are frozen.


To Make the Picadillo:
1 lb ground meat
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
Pimiento stuffed olives
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, onions and garlic. If meat is not too lean, pour out whatever fat you render.turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato sauce and wine. While it simmers, chop up the pimiento stuffed olives and add to meat mixture, it is ok to add a little bit of the brine, if you wish. Adjust the seasonings per taste.


Cardamom Chocolate Mousse

Cardamom Chocolate Mousse
Cardamom Chocolate Mousse

Enjoy my latest invention Chocolate combined with Cointreau, orange zest and Cardamom makes this is an elegant and quirky dessert.The exotic cardamom lends an air of sophistication and gives it a delicate pungency. Top with pistachios, pine nuts or almonds to give a nice texture. A very easy dish to make under 20 minutes.

1 Bag of Chocolate Chips- ( I like Semi-Sweet Ghirardelli)
1 Can of Condensed Milk
2 Tablespoons Cardamom pods
2 Table Spoons to 1/4 Cup of Cointreau or Rum ( optional according to taste buds)
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
1/4 Cup of Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Crushed Pistachios or Almonds


    1.Crush delicately Cardamom in a Mocajete or Mortar and Pestle
    Cardamom in Mocajete
    Cardamom in Mocajete

    2.Melt 1 Bag of Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips in Double Boiler. Do it slowly. Set aside.

    Double Boiler
    Double Boiler

    2.Add 1 Cup of Condensed Milk mix until smooth and creamy
    3.Set aside and Let cool.
    4.When the chocolate mixture is room temperature,Put in Fridge in large 8 x 10 baking dish for 1 hour minimum.
    5. After 1 hour or when Chocolate Mixture has thickened take out of fridge and put Chocolate Mixture in Beautiful Dessert Crystal Glasses or any Fancy Cups
    6. Sprinkle with Pistachios.

    Voila you have an elegant dessert that’s easy to make and will impress your friends!

Gambas al Ajillio

Gambas Al Ajillio
Gambas Al Ajillio

Gambas al Ajillio – Sizzling Garlic Shrimp
A truly classic tapa, Gambas al Ajillio, a splash of brandy or sherry gives it a nice aromatic flavor. Top with crush pepper flakes gives a nice bite at the end. This is a quick and easy dish to make that will have your guests begging for more. What more can you ask for !

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons dry sherry or lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Heat olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and the garlic has turned golden brown, increase heat to high and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry or lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped parsley

Mayan Spice Truffles


1 Bag of Chocolate Chips
1 Can of Condensed Milk
2 Tablespoons of Mayan Spice Blend*
( See Recipe for Details)

Condiments for Coating:
Use 1 cup of Cocoa Powder, and Nuts
Nuts can be anything Sesame Seeds to Almonds, Pistachios


1.Melt 1 Bag of Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips over Bain Marie ( Water Bath)
2.Add 1 Cup of Condensed Milk mix until smooth and creamy
3.Set aside and Let cool.
4.When the chocolate mixture is room temperature,Put in Fridge in large 8 x 10 baking dish for 1 hour minimum.
5.Take out fridge and with gloves, roll Chocolate into Mini Balls the size of a small ball
6.Set aside
7.Get Large Plate and spread with nut mixture
8. Get Chocolate Balls and swirl in mixture
9.put on Clean Plate
10.Put in Gift Boxes or store in fridge with a lid. They should keep for up to 1 week.

Your Truffles are ready now and make excellent gifts or treats to keep in fridge and pop in your mouth.
You can make all kinds of Truffles and get really creative. More later on this in Sabrina’s Latin Kitchen.

Cuban Flan ( Classic Caramel Custard)

Classic Flan
Classic Flan

Cuban Flan (Cuban style custard)

Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan):
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1 8z cream cheese
6 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
¼ tsp salt

1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp water
(All directions follow at the end)

Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan):

(To make Coconut Flan: Use same above list of ingredients, except for the cream cheese. Instead, add about ½ (half of) 8oz can of shredded coconut- in heavy syrup- .Use a spoon to add the coconut into the mixture in order to avoid pouring too much of the liquid. Follow same cooking directions as follows below)

Flan de Caramelo (Caramel Flan):

(To make Caramel Flan: Use same above list of ingredients, except for the cream cheese, and add 7 eggs instead of 6. Follow same directions as follows below)

Pumpkin Flan:
Use same above list, just add Pumpkin Spice Mixture, and a Can of Pumpkin Puree, Mix well.

Rum Flan:
Use same list above, just add 1/4 Cup – 1/3 Cup Rum.

Espresso Flan:
Use Same list above, just add 1/4 Cup of Espresso. Top with Espresso Beans

Chocolate Flan:
Use Same List above, just add 1/4 Cup MELTED Chocolate Chips. Top with Cocoa Beans.

Cardamom Flan:
Use Same List above, just add 2 Tablespoons finely chopped Cardamom or Cardamom Extract. Top with Pistachios.

Orange Flan:
Use Same list above, just add 2 Tablespoons Cointreau or any kind of flavor Orange Liquer, Orange Zest


First, prepare the caramel: In a sauce pan, and over medium heat, add 1 cup of sugar and sprinkle with about 1 tbsp of water; mix well just to have the sugar lightly moistened. Melt the sugar in the pan, stirring to avoid lumps or burning. Once the sugar is completely dissolved (caramelized), and it has a golden brown color, immediately, pour caramel into a baking dish and tilt around to cover all sides and have the caramel spread evenly around the bottom and sides of the dish. Set aside.

Next, Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F. In a big bowl, and using a spatula, place the cream cheese (cream cheese can be placed in a microwave oven for a few seconds to soften) and mix with the eggs. Add the evaporated milk, condensed milk and mix. Add vanilla and salt and mix thoroughly using a whisk.

Mix the ingredients

Pour the flan mixture into the baking dish where you poured the caramel. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place that baking dish into a roasting pan and fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach about ½ way the size of the baking dish. Then, place that roasting pan into the oven rag and this rag should be in the center of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour.

After an hour, insert a toothpick into the middle of the flan to see if it comes out clean. Once the flan is done, let it cool at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes and turn upside down into a serving dish. Cover the serving dish with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Variations when cooking: (For this variation, please, don’t leave it unattended). If you don’t have or don’t want to use an oven, you can use a pressure cooker to make the flan.

You will need the following utensils:

1 Flanera pan (size 1.5 Qt). You can buy a flanera at a Latin grocery store or online (it has a lid and 3 special closures to ensure the flanera pan closes well and tight and no liquid is spilled during pressure cooking).

1 Pressure Cooker (size: 4 to 6 Qt).


Make the caramel in the same flanera, where the flan is going to be cooked. Follow same directions for caramel as described above. Once the caramel is done, tilt around the sides of the pan or flanera to cover the bottom and all sides well, as on the picture below.

How to Make Caramel:

Add the flan mixture into the flanera and close it tightly.

Pouring the mixture

Place flanera inside the pressure cooker and fill the pressure cooker with tap running water to reach about ½ way of the size of the flanera pan. Close pressure cooker and, before placing it on the stove, make sure the stove is already heated on high.

Place the pressure cooker on the stove and when the top valve begins to rock, reduce heat to medium until the valve rocks at a steady, soft pace. If valves starts rocking too rapidly a few minutes later, reduce heat again, slowly, until it reaches a steady, soft pace. You might need to reduce heat a couple of times, so don’t leave the pressure cooker unattended. (If your pressure cooker doesn’t have a rocking valve, follow manufacturer’s instruction, reduce temperature to medium–low once you see the first vapors coming out, and set the timer the same as below).

From the moment in which the valve starts to rock, set timer for about 35-40 minutes, after which, you should remove pressure cooker from heat (If you notice that after 30 minutes, the valve stops rocking by itself, and no more vapor comes out, remove pressure cooker from heat. It means there’s no more liquid inside the cooker. Remove from heat immediately).

Wait until all vapor has come out of the cooker and all pressure is released. Open lid, wait a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle, and carefully remove the flanera. Let it cool at room temperature (about 10-15 minutes), and open up the flanera.

Flan still in the pan
Using a knife, carefully scrape around the edges to ensure the flan is well separated from the sides of the pan.
Scrape around the edges. Flip it over into a serving dish. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for about 2+ hours before serving.

This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo

Paella Valenciana Recipe

Paella Valenciana
Paella Valenciana


Serving: 4-6 People ; Time: 2 hrs and 3o minutes
· 4 Cups of Bomba Rice. Calasparra or Short Grain Rice

· 1 pounds of Medium Frozen Shrimps
· 1 Dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
· 1 Dozen mussels, scrubbed

· 1- 3 pound Frying Chicken – cut into pieces or 4- 8 Combination Chicken Thighs & Drumsticks
· 2 Spanish Chorizos, casings removed.

· ½ cups frozen peas
· ½ pound French Green Beans; trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
· 1 onion, chopped
· 4 Garlic Cloves- crushed
· 2 large tomatoes- 1- (150z) Can of Whole tomatoes, drained and crushed.
· 1/2 Jar of Piquillio Peppers or 1 Red Peppers julienned

· 1 tablespoons saffron or generous pinch
· 3 tablespoons of pimentón paprika (Smoked Paprika)
· 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
· ½ Teaspoon Rosemary
· 1 Teaspoon Thyme
· Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1 sprig of Fresh Parsley

· ¼ cup olive oil
· * Bomba Rice NEEDS MORE STOCK- 12 cups ( 3 Quarts) of homemade or store-bought chicken stock
· * If using Short Grain Rice = 8 Cups ( 2 Quarts ) of homemade or store bought chicken stock.
· ¼ cup white wine
· 1 lemon – cut in wedges

1. Place cut up chicken chunks in a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with Paprika, Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme and 1 teaspoon salt; turn chicken to coat. Cover chicken and let marinate, refrigerated, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
2. Pour Chicken Broth in a bowl, crush saffron between your fingers and add to broth. Doing this allows the broth to be infused with the saffron giving the paella a very fragrant flavor.
3. Place a 20-inch paella pan with 3-inch sides over desired heat source. Once the oil is hot sear the chorizo . Remove and Reserve.
4. Sear Chicken until well caramelized, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.
5. Take out the Chicken and Chorizo and place aside, leaving the frond of the Chicken and chorizo in the pan.
6. In the same pan, leaving the frond of the chicken and chorizo, sauté the sofrito. Making a sofrito- Spanish mire poix ( onions, tomato and garlic) , add onions sauté until they are translucent, then, add half of the garlic and then the tomatoes sweat until they are caramelized. Sweat the sofrito for 5- 10 minutes, until the flavors meld together in a jelly like consistency.
7. Add the rice making a cross in the Paella pan, fold in the rice with the sofrito making sure that the sofrito coats the rice and the flavors of the sofrito meld together.
8. Add the stock along with the white wine to rice mixture. Turn up the heat until it boils, rotating the pan for even cooking, without stirring, as the stock begins to simmer and the rice begins to absorb the stock. Continue cooking, rotating the pan often, as the rice swells and absorbs the stock. Cook until the rice is almost tender. Do not mix the rice too much. *If using Bomba rice or Short Grain Rice add the stock to the mixture gradually as you would if you were making a risotto.
9. Add haricort verts or French Green Beans cut in half
10. Give the Paella a good shake, do not stir rice. When you see that the rice is cooked al dente, put the chicken and chorizo back in the pan, tucking the chicken pieces and chorizo neatly inside the rice, give it a bit of swirl with a spoon, but not too much.
11. When the rice starts to fill up the pan, Add the clams and Mussels. Fold into Paella. Arrange mussels around outside edge of pan, pointing up. Mussels are done with they open. If they don’t open discard.
12. Add the shrimps, fold into the Paella, they will cook in 8 minutes, they are done when they are pink.
13. Add the frozen peas for about 5 minutes more fold in as Garnish. Scatter peas on top of paella. (If the liquid evaporates before the rice is tender, add more hot stock.) Cook without stirring, allowing rice to absorb all of the liquid
14. Remove pan from fire and let it sit. Put aluminum foil or tea towels on the Paella, let it sit for 5 minutes.
15. Unfold aluminum; add piquillo peppers as a garnish. If you can’t find piquillio peppers, use julienne strips of red pepper is a nice substitute. Smoke red peppers on a grill with a high flame, when they have black on them they are smoky, take them off put them on a plate or directly put onto Paella like a wheel.
16. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Voila you have yourself a wonderful Paella that will taste better the next day !

Bueno Provecho !

Chefs Note:

Turn up the flame for the last 15 minutes to have a nice socarrat, a nice crustiness on the bottom of the paella. Try not to stir rice too much, because it will get funky.
You can find Bomba Rice or Piquillo peppers at Spanish stores or specialty cooking Shops. Bomba rice is best, but if you can’t find it, use short grain rice. It’s best to use Bomba as it absorbs the stock the best, making a flavorful rice. Also, it expands to three times the size.
PLEASE NOTE – IF YOU USE BOMBA RICE, You will need 3 times the liquid.
You can also use artichoke hearts and white beans.
Optional: you may de-seed tomatoes by grating them and then straining them, but it’s not necessary. Being careful not to burn the garlic. You may add green peppers to your sofrito.

Special equipment:
You’ll need a 26″ paella pan and a long spoon. If you can’t find a paella pan, a large skillet will do.
Ingredient info: Spanish chorizo, pimentón, and calasparra, Valencia, or bomba rice can be ordered from La Tienda or at the Grove at Little Spain

Recipe Created by Chef Sabrina Rongstad de Bravo

Spicy Turkey Paella

Spicy Turkey Paella

12 ounces spicy smoked sausage (such as linguiça, andouille, or hot links), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup garlic-flavored olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups long-grain white rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 large plum tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups cooked leftover turkey, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup frozen peas
View Step-by-Step Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Heat olive oil in 6 1/2-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add bell pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in rice and saffron, then next 5 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 15 minutes. Add sausage, turkey, and peas to rice mixture. Bake paella 10 minutes and serve.
Test-kitchen tip: If you can’t find garlic-flavored olive oil, simply add a clove of minced garlic when you stir in the rice.