Tag Archives: pork

Latvia…

Sunday, November 10 –

This dinner was good. Really good. I would make it again and my diet would hate me. If you want a rich, filling, delicious meal that most people would like, this is a good option for you. It was just BestestHusbandEver and latviame and I really wish more people could have experienced the plate-licking goodness.

I started by putting the potatoes on to boil. Then I started the cream sauce. We didn’t end up picking up mushrooms for it (which totally broke BestestHusbandEver’s heart *ahem*) so it was an onion cream sauce instead. Once that was done I coated the pork, fried it hot and fast in oil, and set them aside. BestestHusbandEver drained the potatoes and put the rest of the ingredients in the pan so that everything would get coated evenly.

Dinner was served. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and the sour cream and dill on the outside was a wonderful way of preparing them. The pork was juicy and tender and the cream sauce was so good!

Latvia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.saveur.com)

Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Canterelle Cream Sauce) 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 3–4-oz. pork cutlets, pounded to 1/4″-thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cups roughly chopped chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a medium bowl, and whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup water in another medium bowl; set both aside. Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge 3 cutlets in flour. Dip in egg mixture until evenly coated, then place in skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and repeat with remaining cutlets, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Add butter to skillet, then onion; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, pour sauce over cutlets, and sprinkle with parsley.

Kartupeli ar Dillem (Boiled Potatoes With Dill)

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 lb. small Yukon Gold or new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring an 8-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot with sour cream, dill, butter, salt, and pepper. Cover pan with lid and shake until potatoes are well coated. Transfer to large serving bowl, and season with additional salt and pepper.
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Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.


Grenada…

Monday, January 14 –

This dinner definitely won a place in my top ten dinners from this project. BestestFianceEver even agreed with me, which makes it super, extra delicious times two. If you like pork loin, you will love this recipe.photo(12)

I started with the pork roasting part of the recipe by chopping the shallots, dumping them into a mixing bowl, then throwing all of the spices on top. I put the two tenderloins (that came in one 2-3/4 pound package) into the bowl and moved them around to coat with the mixture. Most everything stuck to them without much effort. Then I put the spiced pork onto a roasting rack and put it in the oven at 450*.

Next was the sauce – mince the ginger and throw it all into a pan, let simmer. I let it simmer almost the whole time the pork was baking so that it was nice and gingery.

Finally, the salad. I threw the black beans and frozen corn into a colander and rinsed it all at the same time. Then the corn and black beans were put into a mixing bowl and I added the rest of the recipe, mixing well.

For plate presentation I put a pile of spinach leaves (torn into more bite-sized pieces) in the middle, scooped the salad on top, placed slices of avocado onto the top of the salad, then the sliced pork. It did take longer for the pork to reach 155* in the middle than the recipe said, so it is important to check it before you cut into it. Also, remember to let your cooked meat rest for a few minutes so that the juices all stay inside the meat. Slice, then serve. Drizzled over the top of the whole thing was the orange-ginger sauce. Dinner was served!

The meat was juicy, the sauce was perfectly gingery, the salad was a nice counter flavor – all in all it was amazing. I will be making this dinner and variations of it much more often now. Please, do try this at home!

Grenada
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Roast Pork with Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad

Roast Pork:

  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 3/4-pound pork tenderloins

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Also:

  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced crosswise
  • Minced fresh parsley

Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad:

  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed, drained
  • 1 7 1/2-ounce can hearts of palm, drained, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

METHOD / DIRECTIONS:

For Roast Pork: Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine shallots, bay leaves, salt, allspice and ginger in small bowl. Add generous amount of pepper. Rub mixture into pork. Set on rack in roasting pan, Roast pork until thermometer inserted into centers registers 150°F., about 25 minutes. Cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Bring pork to room temperature before serving.)

For Sauce: Combine first 6 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Season with pepper. Simmer until slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For Salad: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Salad can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Line platter with spinach. Mound black bean salad in center. Slice pork. Alternate pork and avocado slices around salad. Discard bay leaves from sauce and drizzle sauce over pork and avocado. Sprinkle with parsley.


French Polynesia…

Saturday, November 3 –

This dinner was much less orchestrated, much less planned, and workout out just fine anyway. We decided to combine BigMan’s birthday with this dinner so everyone could get together, and in the chaos of our Halloween party I told A LOT of people about it. But I had no idea who would really show up. So I just picked one dish and let the rest happen by itself.

The people who showed up were: BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (birthday cake, plates, ice, rum, and sodas), BigMan, MissingMan, WingWoman (squash coconut soup),  LightsOn, ChinUp (Tahiti-style Mahi Mahi), MyBuddy (Coconut Vanilla Prawns), and I cooked Polynesian pork ribs and rice and provided some wine.

These ribs were the easiest thing in the world to make. I bought four pounds of pork ribs (the meaty kind), cut them apart to fit better then added two chopped onions, six minced garlic cloves, and a whole can of crushed pineapple. I set it to cook on low in my crock pot for eight hours. By the time I came back to it, the meat had fallen completely off the bones and it smelled heavenly. So I drained the liquid into a bowl, thinking I might need it, then pulled all the loose bones out, and put it back into the pot. It looked like chunky pulled-pork.

Into a small bowl went one and a half cups of ketchup, six tablespoons brown sugar, six tablespoons of hoisin sauce, and a chopped up length of ginger that was about the size of my thumb, just a little thicker. I left the chop pretty course so that we would get little sparks of ginger along the way. (My mouth is drooling right now thinking about it…) I dumped this mix on top, mixed it altogether, turned it on high for about 45 minutes, came back and it was sticky, lumpy, and delicious.

The mahi mahi was pretty good, but it would have been better if we could have served it right away. We had to wait for everyone to show up so it had dried out a little. The coconut vanilla prawns were soupy and sweet – not the way I prefer my seafood. I want my seafood to be savory or spicy. So it was ok, but I personally didn’t like them much. The squash coconut soup was bland at first. Then we added more salt, pepper, chili powder, and, of course, bacon. Because all squash soups (in my humble opinion, anyway) deserve a little smoky, salty bacon to round off the flavor.

All in all it was a successful, friend-, rum-, and wine-filled evening. Thanks to everyone who showed up for BigMan’s birthday!

Next up – G countries!

Polynesian Pork Ribs

  • 2 lbs boneless country-style ribs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated

Cooking Instructions:  Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place pork ribs, garlic and onion in slow cooker. Spoon about half of the pineapple with some of the juice over ribs. Reserve remaining pineapple and juice. Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. About 35 minutes before serving, drain and discard cooking juices from slow cooker; wipe edge of cooker clean. In small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger root and remaining pineapple with juice; mix well. Spoon or pour evenly over ribs. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until ribs are glazed. Servings: 6


Estonia…

Sunday, September 23 –

Little known fact (at least that’s what I tell myself) – curd cheese and cheese curds are NOT the same thing. Damn it. So I only made two of the four recipes, but they all sound good so I’m listing them below anyway.

I started with the pork, cutting it into bite sizes. I chopped the onion pretty small and dumped it in with the pork pieces (one onion and one pound of pork shoulder) and the rest of the ingredients. I mixed it together for a minute or two (no, I didn’t massage it for 15 minutes, I was too burned out from my hectic week), covered it, and put it in the fridge to marinate together.

Once I was ready to start cooking I cut the yellow potatoes into wedges and lined them up on the foil-covered pan. I drizzled them with oil, sprinkled them with caraway seeds and sea salt, and put them into a 400* oven. I flipped them once after about 15 minutes and took them out after 35 minutes.

While the potatoes were in the oven I dumped the pork and onion mixture into a hot pan and cooked it until it was done but still tender.

I served the two dishes with a tomato/cucumber side and sour cream for dipping the potatoes. BestestFianceEver and I had a quiet tv show-watching evening together and enjoyed this dinner. It was good, but nothing to write home about. I really liked the crunchy sea salt on the potatoes, but other than that it was all pretty normal. I do wish I could have made the curd patties, but maybe it was better for my diet that I didn’t.

Almost to the end of the E countries and I’m definitely looking forward to this Fall and the F’s and G’s.

Estonia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: nami-nami.blogspot.com)

Oven-baked potato wedges with caraway seeds

Take your favorite roasting potato (I use a local variety, Laura, which has a thin pink skin and dark yellow flesh – Estonians like their potatoes to be yellow, not white inside), scrub very clean and cut lengthwise into wedges (four is plenty). Place into an oven tray, preferably large enough to snugly fit the potatoes in one layer. Drizzle generously with oil (and give them a good stir, so they’d be covered with oil), season with sea salt and caraway seeds.

Bake for 35-45 minutes (the timing really depends on the size and variety of your chosen potato) at 200 C/400 F, until the potato wedges are soft inside and crisp & brown outside and a lovely smell of caraway seeds has filled your kitchen. Sprinkle with some extra sea salt, if necessary.

Serve as a side dish with some meat, or simply dip them into some nice sour cream. Mmmmmm….

Estonian Shashlik Recipe  (Traditsiooniline šašlõkk)

  • 1 kg pork shoulder
  • 4 large onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (30% proof)
  • 2 tsp finely ground salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

Cut the pork shoulder into thick slices (about 1,5-2 cm), then into small chunks, sized about 4×4 cm. Place into a large bowl.

Peel the onions and cut into thin slices. Add to the bowl with crushed garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Sprinkle the vinegar on top.

Now – wearing a pair of kitchen gloves – massage the meat and onion rings for about 10-15 minutes, so the onion juices are released and the seasonings are firmly massaged into the meat chunks. Instead of dark red (as above), the meat should look much paler now. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for 24 hours.

Pierce the meat chunks into a skewer and cook over hot coals until fully cooked and dark brown outside. (Sorry, I cannot give more accurate timings here – it all depends on your cooking vehicle).

Traditional side dishes would include freshly boiled new potatoes, a cucumber and tomato salad with some sour cream (but a coleslaw would work as well) and some ketchup. Serves 4 to 6, depending on the amount of side dishes.

Syrniki aka curd cheese patties  (Sõrnikud)

  • 500 g curd cheese
  • 2 egg yolks (or 1 egg, if you wish)
  • 60 g plain flour (100 ml), or slightly more, if necessary
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (for sweet syrniki)
  • flour for breading
  • oil for frying

Combine curd cheese, egg yolks, salt and sugar, if using.

Sprinkle some flour on the work surface and on your hands. Form small patties from the curd cheese mixture (add a spoonful or two of flour, if the mixture is too loose), flatten them slightly. The curd cheese patties should be about 1 cm thick.

(You could put them into the fridge for about and hour – it helps them to stay in shape).

Heat some oil on a frying pan over moderate heat. Fry the syrniki on both sides for 3-5 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Serve when still warm.  Serves 4.

Redcurrant Meringue Pie (Beseekattega punasesõstrakook)

Pastry:

  • 130 g plain/all-purpose flour (250 ml/1 cup)
  • 30 g oats (100 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 125 cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp cold water

Filling:

  • 250 g sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp caster sugar
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • 150 g redcurrants, cleaned (1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp potato starch or cornflour

Meringue topping:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 85 g caster sugar (100 ml)

Pastry: mix the dry ingredients, add cubed butter and pulse couple of times, until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Add the water, pulse again briefly. Press the mixture into a dough, then use your fingers and press the dough into a 26 cm pie dish.

Place to rest in a fridge for 30 minutes, then blind bake at 200 C for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 175 Celsius. Mix sour cream, sugar and grated lemon zest, spread on pre-baked pie base.

Gently mix potato starch/cornflour with the cleaned redcurrants and sprinkle on top of the cream layer.

Whisk egg whites and sugar until thick and white, then spread over the filling (or, for an even prettier effect, use a piping bag).

Bake at 175 C oven for about 15 minutes, until the meringue is light golden brown.


El Salvador…

Wednesday, August 22 –

Slow. Cooked. Pork. Need I say more? Yum.

This dinner we had BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (salad and wine), Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (wine, mead, and tortillas), BabyBear, and LightsOn (wine). It was still nice enough to eat outside, but not so imagehot that it was miserable to cook dinner. Win all around.

I started with pork early in the morning. I put 3.6 pounds of pork shoulder (the only good pork cut I could find at the late-night hour I was out shopping at the night before) into the crock pot and poured on top one can of pureed tomato sauce. Then I sprinkled the salt and pepper and the teaspoon of cumin. Set on 6 hours on low, I left for work and let it simmer all day. When I got home I shredded the pork and left it to simmer on warm.

Next I made the flan, which was something that I had never made before. I made it exactly as it’s written – and ended up baking it for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. I tried testing it with a knife like it says, but custard sticks to a knife anyway, so I switched to the toothpick test and had much better luck.

While that was baking I made the salsa, which simmer on the stove for a while and then I blended it with an immersion blender. I set that aside while I finished the rest. I put the rice in the rice cooker without anything fancy in it. I made the veggie and bean mix in a separate pot and then mixed it altogether in the rice cooker to serve.

We plated the salad and dressing on the side, then piled the pork, rice and beans, and salsa into fresh-made tortillas from the store. The pork was absolutely heavenly. Theimage mix together as a burrito was pretty delicious, and overall the food disappeared quickly. The flan was good, the texture was good, but it wasn’t everyone’s favorite dessert. Apparently flan is “no cheesecake!”

Successful dinner and I’m happy everyone could join us!

 

El Salvador
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.catholicreview.orgsouthamericanfood.about.com, and www.whats4eats.com)

Salvadorian-style Chicharrón – Chicharrón Salvadoreño

  • 3-5 pound pork butt
  • 1-2 cups salsa
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon saltimage
  • Black pepper
  • tortillas to serve

Preparation:  Cut the pork into several large pieces and place the meat in the slow cooker with 1 cup salsa, the cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or 4 hours on high) or until pork is fork tender. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving liquid, and shred finely with fork or using a food processor (fitted with the plastic blade). Place shredded pork and reserved liquid in a large skillet and saute until liquid evaporates and pork starts to brown slightly. Stir in remaining salsa until desired consistency. For making pupusas, add pork and salsa back to food processor, fitted with metal blade, and process with short pulses until finely ground.

Casamiento

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions:  Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for two to three minutes, until tender. Stir in the drained beans, some of the bean liquid, and salt and pepper. Cook at medium-low until heated through. Add rice and stir until cooked through. Adjust seasoning and add a little more bean liquid if necessary. Serve hot.

Salsa Roja

  •     Olive oil — 3 tablespoons
  •     Onion, chopped — 1/4 cup
  •     Garlic, chopped — 1 clove
  •     Serrano or jalapeño chile pepper, chopped — 1
  •     Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped — 2 cups
  •     Dried oregano — 2 teaspoons
  •     Salt and pepper — to taste
  •     Cilantro (optional), chopped — 1/4 cup

Method:
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion, garlic and chile and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool a bit.
Puree the tomato sauce in a blender until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in cilantro if using and serve.

Flan de Leche (Latin caramel custard)

  • Sugar — 1 cup
  • Water — 1/4 cup
  • Eggs, beaten — 4
  • Sweetened, condensed milk — 1 (14-ounce) can
  • Whole milk or water — 2 cups
  • Vanilla — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar — 1/2 cup

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the 1 cup sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place over medium heat and boil the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to turn a honey brown, around 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar from heat and pour into a 9-inch cake pan or in equal amounts into each of 6 individual ramekins, swirling to coat the bottom. You may not need all the sugar. Place the cake pan or ramekins in a baking pan large enough to hold them without touching.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, condensed milk, whole milk or water, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Pour into the cake pan or into each of the ramekins.
  • Fill the baking pan with enough warm water to come about 2/3 of the way up sides of the containers. Place in the oven and cook until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean, anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour. Do not overcook your flan or it may curdle.
  • Remove the custard(s) from the water bath and chill well. Run a knife around the edges of the custard, invert over a serving dish and serve.

Variations

  • Flan de Café (Coffee flan): add 3-4 teaspoons of instant coffee granules to the milk-egg mixture.
  • Flan de Coco (Coconut flan): substitute 2 cups of coconut milk for the sweetened condensed milk. Or simply stir 1/2 cup shredded coconut into the milk and egg mixture.
  • Flan de Piña (Pineapple flan): Makes 4 servings. Caramelize the sugar and pour into containers as above. For the liquid, boil one cup of pineapple juice with 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Allow the the juice to cool, then beat in 4 eggs until smooth. Pour into individual ramekins and proceed with the recipe. Popular in Puerto Rico.
  • Pumpkin Flan: increase to 5 eggs and add 1 cup pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • The basic ratio for a custard is 1 egg to 1 cup liquid with sugar added to taste. The liquid used in most recipes varies widely and can be heavy cream, half-and-half, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk. Mixing these liquids in different amounts is also common. Experiment to find the flavor and richness you like best.
  • For a richer, thicker flan, substitute one of the eggs with two egg yolks.
  • In Argentina, flan is often accompanied by dulce de leche.

Dominican Republic…

Saturday, August 4 –

I’m back to playing catch-up again. Please forgive the length between posts. Summer is crazy for us right now and I’m trying the best I can to keep these caught up.

This dinner was another potluck. We had: ChinUp and MyBuddy bring coleslaw and a coconut pudding, SlotMachine helped provide chips and guacamole, Bestie Extraordinaire made a pork roast with lamb sausage and veggie dish, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought a red bean and veggie stew type dish and mojitos, BestestEverFiance made a sweet corn rice dish, and I made two different roast chicken dishes and more mojitos. Last minute we also had DangerD and SecondMomma show up to join us for the party. NoPoots also brought her kids with her this time, and while they didn’t try the food, they still hung out with us and had a great time, so I feel like they should get complimentary blog names: MiniSass and MiniSweets.

While researching these recipes I noticed that jerk chicken and lemon/garlic chicken were both very common flavors – so I decided to do both. I took 10 chicken legs and divided them into two bowls. I poured on a store-bought jerk sauce on one and a lemon/garlic sauce on the other. I happened to use the Safeway brand, and it worked really well. I didn’t add any of the other stuff to the sauce, I just simply poured it straight from the bottles and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.

Into the two baking dishes went the sweet potatoes, pineapples, and carrots. Then I set the chicken legs over the top, poured the sauce over the whole thing, and put them both into the oven (uncovered). I roasted them for the 30 minutes the recipe suggests and they weren’t quite done. So I put them back in for probably another 10 minutes and they measured correctly on a thermometer and looked cooked when I cut into them.

The jerk chicken was only slightly spicy but had good flavor. The lemon/garlic chicken was good, but fairly ordinary. The veggies that roasted under them were absolutely divine, and I will make chicken again this way just so I can indulge in the sweet potatoes and pineapple that were cooked this way. The carrot and cabbage coleslaw was a perfect, crisp cut to the sauces. I really, really liked the mix of the coleslaw with the bites of other food. The red bean and veggie dish was dangerously good. I could have settled down with a dish of that in front of a fire on a rainy night and been very satisfied. The corn and rice dish was perfect to scoop up all the sauces with. And the pork/lamb dish was heavy but good. On top of everything were plenty of mojitos, which is always a good plan for me!

Dominican Republic
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.dominicancooking.com)

Chicken with Lemon and Garlic Sauce

  • 6 chicken legs, skinned, cleaned of fat and divided into halves
  • 1 1/2 cup of world harlbors lemon pepper and garlic sauce
  • 6 cups of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions:  Mix the World Harlbors Lemon Pepper and Garlic Sauce, olive oil, half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of freshly-ground pepper. Shake well. Place the chicken legs in a zippy bag and add the sauce mix, moving around until the meat is coated with the sauce. Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. Heat the oven to 350*C. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, and pineapple in a baking pan. Put the chicken legs on top of them and drizzle everything with the sauce in which the chicken was marinaded. Roast for 30 minutes or the chicken is golden brown. Serve with green salad.