September ’10 – Week 4 – Thursday Dinner/Dessert
Dulce de Naranja, literally sweetness of oranges, has roots all over the Latin community, but this particular recipe is Cuban. This dessert is what happens when you make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. This is a great way to use up orange rinds from oranges that have been juiced that day! Taking peeled orange halves after the insides have been eaten and the membranes removed, boil them in sugar water until candied and eat on toast, crackers, or with a delicious salty cheese. You could even dice them and use them in holiday baking in place of other candied fruits. If you like the dry sweetness and delicately bitter tang of marmalade, you’ll love these. Because they take up to 4 hours to make, I have adapted this recipe for the slow cooker.
10-12 Fresh oranges, peeled of JUST the orange part, leaving white pith behind, halved, with pulp and juice removed
A few peels, reserved
4 C Sugar
Place oranges and sugar, along with a few of the peels, in the slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover orange halves. Allow to cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, or until oranges are yellowy-orange and translucent.
Slice and serve any way you like, save aside cooking syrup for use in cooking, drizzle over ice cream or sweeten tea with it.
Note that this can be done with any citrus fruit!
September ’10 – Week 4 – Wednesday Dinner/Entree (to be served with storebought yellow rice.)
Stuffed cabbage can be found in so many cultures. My personal favorite are the galumpkis of Polish cuisine, but I’m going to introduce you to a Dominican version of stuffed cabbage with a funny little name. Niño Envuelto literally means wrapped-up child, and you can definitely see where these little bundles of joy resemble a baby swaddled in bunting! These probably taste a little bit better than all that cotton and baby powder, though!
3 C Cooked Rice
1 large Cabbage
1 / 2 lb Ground Beef
1 T Tomato Paste
1 small Red Onion, diced
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 t Tabasco
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
2 T Olive Oil
4 Tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 clove Garlic, crushed
1 / 2 t Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Pinch of Sugar
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Chop the root end off of the head of cabbage and remove outer leaves. Peel off 12-16 nice leaves and cook in the water until softened. Set aside.
While doing the above, begin the sauce by sauteing all the sauce ingredients together until the tomatoes are soft. Add a cup of water and let reduce until there is about a cup of sauce. Set aside.
In a skillet, brown the beef with the peppers, onions, a pinch of oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Add 2T water, and tomato paste. Cook until sauce is thick.
To prepare each roll, put equal amounts of rice and beef inside the leaf, then roll up tightly, being sure to tuck in the sides as you do. Place rolls in a baking dish, then smother in the set-aside sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350° until hot through.
September ’10 – Week 2 – Friday Dinner/Entree
Pescado con Coco, or fish in coconut sauce, is a warm and elegant dish. Its brilliant orange color is attributed to the use of powdered achiote seeds, which are the source of the common conventional colorant annatto. That’s what makes Goldfish crackers and Cheddar cheese orange! This interesting bit of trivia might excite kids into trying some!
4 Fish Fillets (Snapper, Grouper, or any other whitefish of choice.)
2 Red Peppers, cut into strips
1 Onion, cut into strips
1 t crushed Garlic
1 t Powdered Annatto
4 C Coconut Milk
2 T Cilantro, finely chopped
4 T Oil
Make diagonal cuts on the fish spaced about an inch and a half apart.
Mix the garlic, annatto and salt. Rub it all over the fish, being sure to fill in the cutmarks with the mixture.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Sautee fish on one side until browned, flip and cook other side. Add the vegetables and saute for a 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and cilantro. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid reduces halfway. Continue to turn fish, cooking evenly. When the liquid has reduced, salt to taste and serve immediately.
September ’10 – Week 2 – Friday Dinner/Dessert
Jalao de Coco is a traditional Dominican dulcito. It’s not pretty, but the taste will change your mind! It has two ingredients (although I have seen recipes that also add finely ground ginger to the mix.) And it comes together quickly.
1 C dried Shredded Coconut
1/2 C Honey
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stirring regularly, allow to boil for 3 minutes, until it turns into a thick paste. Allow mixture to come to room temperature before forming small balls with your hands. Serve immediately!
September ’10 – Week 2 – Wednesday Dinner/Entree
Being part of the KidsFunPlaza team has introduced me to several amazing Latina women who have been sharing their food memories with me! I cook from many cultural palates, but I had never been introduced to Dominican food until I joined the magazine. Now I’m having the opportunity to explore those flavors as so many of their traditional dishes are being added to the KidsFunKitchen menu!
Locrio de Pollo is simply chicken with rice, but it’s stewed over the stove until everything is tender and comes together in a perfect marriage of flavors. It’s said to be the Dominican descendant of the traditional Spanish dish Paella.
4 lbs Chicken, washed and rubbed with lemon
4 C Rice
7 C Water
1 t Sugar
4 T Tomato Paste
1/4 C Green Peppers, chopped
1/8 C Olives, pitted and chopped
1 15oz can Red Beans (such as Kidney)
1 pinch Oregano
1 pinch Black Pepper
1 t Garlic, crushed
1 t Parsley, finely chopped
1 t Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 t Thyme leaves
Marinate chicken for 15 minutes in a large bowl with the green peppers, oregano, garlic, black pepper, olives, celery, parsley, coriander, and thyme.
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, heat a few tablespoons of oil. Add sugar to oil and stir quickly. When sugar turns dark brown, add the chicken (without the rest of the marinade.) Stir, cover and let simmer, adding water regularly to prevent burning. Add the remainder of the marinade. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add remaining water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste.
Add the rice and stir often to avoid excessive thickening. Once all the water has cooked in, cover and simmer over very low heat. Wait 15 minutes, uncover and stir, before adding 2 additional tablespoons of oil. Cover and wait another 5 minutes. Taste rice for doneness. If necessary, cover and leave another 5 minutes over very low heat. Add canned beans last, stirring in and leaving until heated through before serving.