Paraguay (South America) 11 October 2020

Paraguay is located in the continent of South America. It has Brazil to the north, northeast, and east, Uruguay to the southeast, Argentina to the southwest, Chie to the west, and Bolivia to the northwest.

The capital is Asuncion

The official languages are Spanish, and Guarani.

The climate is subtropical for the eastern region but has a winter and summer. The heaviest rainfall is from October to April. The staples in Paraguay are meat, vegetables, maize, corn, milk, cheese, fish, cassava and cornmeal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraguayan_cuisine).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Paraguay

BEEF EMPANADA: (http://vitadielisabetta.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-taste-of-paraguay-part-1-beef.html):

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 egg (hard boiled)
  • Cumin to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 Empanadas (available at most Mexican grocery stores, or homemade shells) (GOYA makes them). Or you can make them yourself.  Recipe is below.
  1. Sauté the ground beef with the chopped onions until the beef is cooked through and the onions are translucent.  During the last minute or two, add the garlic.
  2. After the meat is cooked, you may want to drain any extra grease.  It is easiest if you position the skillet on a wooden spoon and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  3. Chop a hard-boiled egg and add it to the beef mixture.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with a generous amount of cumin.
  5. Now the filling is ready to go.
  6. To fill the shells, place a nice scoop of filling in the center of the shell.
  7. Use your fingers to press the edges of the dough together, creating a tight seal (dipping your finger in water and rubbing it around the inside edge of the dough can help if needed).
  8. Use a fork to press around the edge of the empanada.
  9. Repeat until all of your shells are filled, or you run out of meat.
  10. Heat your oil in a pan over medium heat.
  11. When the oil is nice and hot, carefully lower the empanadas into the oil.
  12. Allow them to cook on the first side until golden brown, and then flip over.
  13. Once the empanadas are cooked to perfection, remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
  14. Enjoy with ketchup, or hot sauce. 
  15. Also recommend you eat with a side of rice, green beans and/or Sopa Paraguaya (cheesy cornbread).

To make your own Empanada Shells (http://vitadielisabetta.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-taste-of-paraguay-part-1-beef.html):

  • 5 C Flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ C oil
  • 1-1/8 C ice water
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Mix together to make biscuit-like dough
  2. Divide into egg-sized balls ad roll until ¼” thick.
  3. Do as above from steps 6 ~ 15.
Here are how my Beef Empanada and Sopa Paraguaya turned out. Both very good!!

SOPA PARAGUAYA (https://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/sopa-paraguaya-cheese-and-onion-cornbread/16753/):

  • ¼ C butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3-1/2 oz mild cheese, shredded
  • 1 C cottage cheese
  • 1 C milk
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 C cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line an 8” square baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add onion and saute for 3 – 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese (it will melt), cottage cheese, milk and eggs.
  6. Sprinkle cornmeal, salt and baking powder over the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Scrape batter into the baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

CLASSIC KIVEVE (https://www.tasteatlas.com/kiveve/recipe):

  • 4 C pumpkin
  • 3 C water
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • ¾ C fresh white cheese
  • 2 C cornmeal
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  1. Peel the pumpkin, cut in into smaller pieces and cook in 3 cups of water until it becomes soft (or can use canned pumpkin).
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions.
  3. Put the pumpkin and the water it has been cooked in into a blender, and process into a puree (or use pumpkin puree).
  4. Combine the pumpkin puree with the fried onion. 
  5. Slowly add the milk, sugar, salt and cornmeal.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
  7. In the end, add shredded cheese, remove from heat and serve.
Here is the Classic Kiveve. I was not sure how this would taste, but it was surprisingly good!!
Here is my overall meal. It was very good!!

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