Tag Archives: Comfort Food

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 !

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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.

Tapas: Tortilla Española – Spanish Omelette

Tortilla Espanola
Tortilla Espanola – Spanish Omelette

This is a Classic Spanish Tapas Dish eaten everywhere in Spain, in all the Tapas Bars, plain, cold, with a bit of aioli sauce or ( garlic sauce). Some recipes call for chorizo or red peppers. I like the simple version with just eggs, potatoes and onions. It’s delicious just in it’s simplicity and can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack or in between two baguette slices.

INGREDiENTS:
4-6 eggs
1/ 2 kilo of potatoes
1 brown onion
Olive oil (one glass, 1 / 4 liter)
Salt

Recipe Steps:
Step 1: Mince onions and cook until they are translucent. Take them out of the pan and put aside in bowl.
Step 2: Wash and cut the potatoes into thin slices. Heat the oil, add the potatoes, adding a little salt and fry. When potatoes are golden brown, take them out of the pan, and drain oil a colander, and place potatoes on a plate with paper towels.
Step 2: Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper and once beaten add the potatoes, mixing thoroughly with beaten egg.
Step 3: Put pan back on stove, covering the bottom of the pan with a sheet of oil. Put onions and the egg mixture and potatoes.
Step 4: Shake the Pan a bit as if when you are making an omelet like Julia Child.When you perceive that the egg mixture is like a curd and a bit hard, put a plate on top and turns the tables (it’s easy, just have to do it safely). Cook until both sides are golden brown according to the taste, put a parsley in middle for presentation … And Voila there’s your omelet!

Paso 2 : Se baten los huevos con un poco de sal y una vez batidos se añaden las patatas, mezclándolas bien con el huevo batido. Una vez puesto el aceite a calentar se echan las patatas, añadiendo un poco de sal y se fríen. Truco: Si la tortilla gusta con las patatas más desechas puede ir desaciéndose la patata con la rasera mientras se mueve cuando se vean doradas se apartan y es importante que escurran el aceite en un colador o en un plato con papel absorbente.

Paso 3: Se prepara de nuevo la sartén en el fuego con dos cucharadas pequeñas de aceite que cubran una lamina del fondo de la sartén. Se echa la mezcla del huevo y las patatas. Truco: mover agitando la sartén con habilidad para que no se pegue la tortilla.

Paso 4: Se le puede dar vueltas hasta que quede dorada por ambos lados según el gusto…
Y ya está nuestra tortilla de patatas.

This is delicious with a cup of really thick Spanish hot chocolate and it’s easy to pack in your lunch box.

Nota Bene: Patatas is the Spanish ( from Spain) word for Papas or Potatoes