recipes

Yuca ( Cassava)

Yuca or Cassava

Latin American cuisine knows yuca very well! I was thrilled to see that my local supermarket here in Colorado is selling it raw. 

Yuca is a tuber very much like the potato. However yuca is king for me and most of Latin American cuisine. It has a wonderful texture, it’s great for “sancocho” ( Colombian soup filled with multiple meats and cooked slowly for many hours.) To help illustrate, maybe our dear Louisiana gumbo may be a distant cousin of Sancocho.

To enjoy yuca you don’t need to cook a stew like sancocho, since yuca goes well with grilled beef or chicken and it’s perfect with scrambled eggs or omelets. Also, if you can get to some Latin American cheese (Mexican, Peruvian or Colombian) then yuca and cheese is the best snack! 

The recipe for boiled yuca is very simple.

Peel the yuca and wash well. Set enough water to boil but make sure you add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 white onion in big chunks. It will boil for at least 30 minutes but you will know it is done when you take a knife and it goes through easily. Texture should be soft.

Some like to fry yuca after it’s been boiled and serve as a side to a meat ( beef or chicken) , instead of potato fries. 

I hope you may find it and try it sometime. It’s my favorite! 

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Old-Fashioned Home-made Crackers

 

Little “tiendas” (corner home-based food stores) in Cartagena still carry old-fashioned home-made crackers. When I travel back home, I definitely make an effort to get them… Indeed, they bring back wonderful childhood memories!

Four simple, affordable ingredients (at hand in most kitchens), and a straightforward recipe yields anywhere from 32 to 42 crackers, depending on how you decide to cut them out.

I make the dough by hand which works out just fine. If you prefer to use a mixer, that is OK too. You can make them look fancy and tidy, or not. In my case, I let my kids ( and their imagination ) be part of our home baking crew. Fun! That surely means… No fancy home-made crackers for me.  🙂

Recipe

Ingredients: 4 cups of flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 cup butter (or 1.25 sticks of butter), 1-1/2 cups water.

1. Sift the flour with the baking powder.

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2. Add butter cut into slices and mix in with the flour.

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3. Add water.

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4. Mix by hand until a dough is formed.

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5. Transfer the dough to a clean kitchen counter covered with some flour. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Roll out until a thin layer of dough forms. Transfer to an non-greased cookie sheet and prick with a fork. This is my kids’ favorite part! 🙂

Tip: You may also cut the dough into squares (or rectangles) on the counter, before transferring  the pieces to the cookie sheet.

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6. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 F degree oven.

Serve with jelly, chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter or simply by itself!

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My kids love them, especially as after-school snacks. Certainly, these old-fashioned home-made crackers are guaranteed to go fast! 🙂

Gourmet Organic Potato Fingerlings

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This post about gourmet organic potato fingerlings is as simple as the recipe. I decided to stop serving regular potatoes to my family and I tried their taste buds with these miniature delights.  Smaller in size, they’re flavorful and versatile. They’re very convenient as they bake quicker, due to their size. It was uncharted territory for my kids, but not for me. I had tried purple potato fingerlings before. They are fantastic! They come in a bag with purple and yellow miniature potatoes. They can be baked, sautéed, grilled or fried. They’re sweet and a great side for any beef or poultry dish (at least in my opinion.) So here is how I prepared them and we absolutely loved them.

Recipe:

Ingredients: A bag of gourmet organic potato fingerlings; Salt and pepper; Parsley flakes.

1. Cut them in small pieces and saute them on a TSP of canola oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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2. When brown on the edges serve them sprinkling some parsley flakes on top.

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Healthy, low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol free and delicious! What else can I ask for? Simply stated, gourmet organic potato fingerlings are now a favorite at home too. 🙂

Healthy Easy Comfort Food at Home

 

 

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Night fall temperatures are starting to drop this time of year. Yummy comfort food recipes start to make their way back into our dinner menus. What could be best at the end of a long school or work day (and possibly long commute) than a delicious pasta dish?  While most of us are huge fans of pasta, it is normally hard to stay away from the worries of health and calorie counting. This is when I come up with my own recipes, by adding tweaks here and there, to continue enjoying wonderful pasta recipes without the extra calories or “the guilt.” Here is a family favorite. It is vegetarian, healthy, easy and it can be ready in just 15 to 20 minutes.

Boil Campanelle pasta “al dente” following package instructions. You can use other pasta options but this recipe uses Campanelle as it will absorb the sauce very nicely.

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Saute mushrooms and onions with a little bit of canola oil until mushrooms and onion pieces start to turn brown.

 

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Add 1 cup of  (no msg)  100% natural chicken stock, 1/2 can of mushroom cream, and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. Mix and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.

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Once the campanelle pasta is done, strain and add to the sauce pan.

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You may optionally top this pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. (You can also have  black pepper handy at the table, for those craving a spicy but still light finish.)

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Enjoy!

Welcome to My Food Stories!

Welcome and let’s start by saying that we all have food stories to share, and recipes too! I will post a story (with a recipe) starting with a delicious Coconut Rice from Cartagena, my home town, and a story about “Paletas” from my childhood. Stay tuned!