Puerto Rico (North America) 29 November 2020

Puerto Rico is located in the continent of North America. It has the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east, Venezuela to the far south, the Caribbean Sea to the south and southwest, and the Dominican Republic to the west and northwest.

The capital is San Juan.

The official languages are Spanish and English.

The climate is tropical with very little seasonal variation. Hurricane season is generally June and November. The staples are mango, papaya, guava, plantains, shrimp, bacon, pigeon peas, rice, red snapper, passion fruit, taro root, and cassava (https://web.ku.edu/~aihd/foods/FoodsofPuertoRico.html).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Puerto-Rico

BISTEC ENCEBOLLADO (https://www.delishdlites.com/recipe-index/beef-recipes/bistec-encebollado-puerto-rican-steak-and-onions/):

  • 3 lbs cube steak, cut into strips
  • 2 TBSP olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp Sazon seasoning (with cilantro y achiote) 1 packet
  • 1 tsp Adobo all purpose seasoning
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 TBSP vinegar (whatever type you have is fine)
  • ¼ C sofrito
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 C water
  • 1 tsp powdered chicken bouillon or 1 cube
  1. Cut the cube steaks into strips and place them into a bowl or ziplock bag.  Add 1 tsp of olive oil, the vinegar, sazon, adobo and oregano.  Toss to coat, and marinate for 1 – 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven or caldero over medium heat. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil, the sofrito, and the marinated beef. Stir for 3 – 4 minutes to begin browning the meat.
  3. Add the onions, tomato sauce, water and chicken bouillon. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the bistec encebollado to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Serve with white rice and fried plantains.

WHITE RICE WITH FRIED PLANTAINS (https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/white-rice-with-fried-plantains-recipe-2103384):

  • 3 ripe plantains
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 6 C hot cooked white rice
  1. Peel the plantains and cut into ¼” slices on the diagonal.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Saute the plantains until golden brown and soft, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Heap the rice on a platter and top with the browned plantains.
  5. Serve hot.
Here is my Bistec Encebollado along with the White Rice and fried Plantains. I was not sure how this was going to taste, but I was very happy with the flavors!!

EASY SPANISH CHURROS (https://www.thespruceeats.com/easy-spanish-churros-recipe-3082995):

  • Oil for frying
  • 1 C water
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1/ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 C white flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Sugar or honey to taste (optional)
  1. Pour enough oil into a large heavy-bottomed frying pan to reach 2 inches. (there should be enough oil so that the churros float freely while frying).  Set the pan over medium-high heat (350 to 375 degrees with a fryer).
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine water, vegetable oil, salt and sugar.
  3. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Add the flour and baking powder to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Once the water mixture reaches a boil, slowly pour it into the flour mixture while stirring.
  6. Stir constantly with a fork until it is a smooth dough without lumps.
  7. Immediately spoon the dough into a churrera (a large cookie press) or a pastry bag.
  8. Once the oil reaches 350 to 375, carefully squeeze the dough into the hot oil.
  9. Fry until golden brown.
  10. Remove with a slotted spatula or long-handled fork.
  11. Place on a paper towel to drain.
  12. Cut the churros into manageable lengths.
  13. Sprinkle with sugar, or drizzle with honey to taste.
  14. Serve immediately and enjoy.

TIPS:

  • The churros batter can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before frying.
  • Although churros are best served right after frying, they can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
My Spanish churros were really small, but their flavor was good. I will have to do these again later on.

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