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Latin American Cuisine: Roasted Ripe Plantains with Cream and Sugar

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 6 comments

Four ingredients—a ripe plantain, heavy cream, sugar, and cinnamon—get roasted together until the sugar is lightly caramelized and the cream has soaked into the plantain, turning its texture rich and custard-like, almost like a plantain pudding. It takes all of three minutes to throw together (five if you're really terrible at peeling plantains), plus a short stay in the oven, and you've got a crave-worthy dessert hot and ready to go. More

Roasted Sweet Plantains with Cream and Cinnamon

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

My aunt-in-law introduced me to this ultra-simple dessert of roasted sweet plantains enriched with a touch of cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. As it roasts, it turns custardy soft, taking on an almost pudding-like texture. More

Latin American Cuisine: Colombian-style Cottage Pie

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

I want to say right off the bat that I had very little to do with this week's recipe other than eating it, loving it, and curating it. It was sitting there, hot on the table after a particularly long day at work. My wife doesn't always cook, but when she does, she does it right. My first thoughts when I saw it were oooh, shepherd's pie. There's not enough shepherd's pie in my life. I was wrong on several counts. First off, it's not shepherd's pie, as there's no sheep in it. Cattleman's pie is perhaps more like it. Secondly—and this only became clear after I started eating—That stuff that looks like potato on top? It ain't potato. More

Colombian-style Cottage Pie

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 1 comment

This Colombian take on a cottage pie is flavored with tomatoes and onions and topped with creamy mashed yuca. More

Latin American Cuisine: Sopa de Platano (Colombian Plantain Soup)

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt Post a comment

It happens on occasion that I'll come home to a hot meal cooked by my wife, and it's usually something incredibly delicious and simple that I'd never think to make on my own. Last week it was sopa de platano—Colombian plantain soup.

If you don't count salt and oil, the recipe's only got four ingredients. My wife sometimes even leaves out the onions. As the starchy plantains simmer away, they break down, thickening the soup into a rich, rib-sticking, nearly porridge-like consistency, but without the heaviness of a grain or meat-based stew. It's good stuff for a chilly November night.

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Colombian Plantain Soup (Sopa de Platano)

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

A rich and hearty four ingredient Colombian soup made with fried plantains flavored with onions and cilantro. More

Latin American Cuisine: Papas Chorreadas (Colombian Potatoes with Cheese and Tomato Sauce)

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 1 comment

Papas chorreadas start with potatoes simply boiled in salted water, but then get doused in a sauce made with hogao thickened with heavy cream and curds of just-starting-to-melt cheese. Carbs smothered in cheese and tomatoes? Think of it as a strange Colombian cousin to pizza or pasta in pink sauce. More

Papas Chorreadas (Colombian Potatoes with Cheese and Tomato Sauce)

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

A traditional dish from the mountainous region near Bogotá, boiled potatoes are covered in a creamy, cheesy, tomato and onion-based hogao. More

Latin American Cuisine: How To Make Fried Yuca

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 8 comments

The crispier, creamier cousin to french fried potatoes, yuca frita is a side dish and snack food found all over Latin America. In Cuba, it's served with a garlicky mojo sauce (or if you're at a Cuban restaurant in New York, more likely a cilantro sauce, originating from Victor's Cafe). In Colombia, you'll find them with a loose guacamole-like ají de aguacate, or in the snack aisle next to the potato chips. Head over to Peru, and it's a creamy cheese and chili sauce. More

Fried Yuca with Spicy Mayo

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

Fried yuca is like the crispier, creamier version of french fries. Ours is served with a sweet, hot, and tangy mayo for dipping. More

Latin American Cuisine: Colombian-style Barbecue Ribs

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 5 comments

You know those bits of fatty, crispy meat that you have to gnaw off the bones when you've just finished off a nice ribeye steak? Those bits that your dogs just go nuts over? Well here's a secret: You don't have to eat the steak first. Any true-blooded Texan will know this, of course. Beef ribs are a staple on Texas-style barbecue menus, and in many ways, it's very similar to the Colombian-style barbecued beef ribs. Both are seasoned with nothing more than a simple salt and pepper rub. Both are cooked over hardwood embers. Both are served neat with perhaps a tiny bit of sauce on the side if you really insist. Both are incredibly delicious. More

Colombian-style Barbecued Beef Ribs

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 1 comment

The best part of the steak is always the fatty, crispy bits near the bones. Here's a secret: You don't have to eat the steak first. This recipe for Colombian-style beef rib barbecue delivers the goods. Fat will render. Connective tissue will soften. Bark will be formed. Dinner will be had. More

Latin American Cuisine: Colombian Style Beans and Rice (With the Works!)

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 6 comments

Colombians take their beans as seriously as they do their potatoes and arepas, which means they rank somewhere up there between family and religion. The fat red beans common to the Colombian Andes are not merely a side dish, they are the focal point of a gigantic meal. More

Colombian-style Beans and Rice

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

At its core, a meal of frijoles needs nothing more than cooked seasoned red beans and rice, but from there it can grow in many directions. The greatest bean dinner is a fast-worthy plate called the bandeja paisa, and it reminds me of a full British breakfast in its makeup and extensive application of fried foods. Beans, rice, arepas, fried green or black plantains, avocado, a thin slice of grilled steak, deep fried pork rinds (known as chicharrones), a chorizo or two, a side of ají to sauce everything up, and a fried egg to top it off. More

Latin American Cuisine: Fried Papas Criollas (Colombian-Style Fried Potatoes)

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

The king of the potatoes, when you ask a Colombian, is the small, yellow, creamy papa criolla, a particular cultivar that's really difficult to track down outside of Colombia. They can be cooked any number of ways—steamed, boiled, baked in salt, cooked into soup—but the simplest (and tastiest) is to fry them whole, skin and all. More

Fried Papas Criollas (Colombian-style Creamy Fried Potatoes)

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt Post a comment

Fried creamy yellow potatoes with a fresh and hot ají are one of my wife's favorite appetizers, and incredibly simple to make. More

Latin American Cuisine: Ají (Colombian-style Salsa)

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 3 comments

To say that this is the ají recipe would be ludicrous. Like Mexican salsas, there are countless variations of this Colombian sauce: some made with hot chilies, some with avocados, some with pumpkin seeds, even some made with hard boiled eggs. But, as with Mexican salsa, there is one that immediately comes to most people's minds when they hear the word. In this case, it's the tomato and onion-based version I first tried at my aunt-in-law's house just outside of Bogotá. More

Ají (Colombian-Style Tomato and Onion Salsa)

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 1 comment

Like Mexican salsas, there are countless variations of this Colombian sauce: some made with hot chilies, some with avocados, some with pumpkin seeds, even some made with hard boiled eggs. But, as with Mexican salsa, there is one that immediately comes to most people's minds when they hear the word. In this case, it's the tomato and onion-based ají. More

Latin American Cuisine: Arroz Con Coco (Colombian Coconut Rice)

Latin Cuisine J. Kenji López-Alt 9 comments

At its core, arroz con coco is a pilaf—rice grains toasted in oil before being steamed, but in this case the oil comes directly from coconut milk. You start by dumping a can of coconut milk in a pot, and slowly boiling it off until all of the water content is removed, the coconut oil breaks out, and the solids begin to brown. From there, it's a slow process of stirring and toasting until they are a deep, crunchy golden brown before finally adding sugar, salt, and rice. More

Arroz Con Coco (Colombian Coconut Rice)

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

At its core, arroz con coco is a pilaf—rice grains toasted in oil before being steamed, but in this case the oil comes directly from coconut milk. You start by dumping a can of coconut milk in a pot, and slowly boiling it off until all of the water content is removed, the coconut oil breaks out, and the solids begin to brown. From there, it's a slow process of stirring and toasting until they are a deep, crunchy golden brown before finally adding sugar, salt, and rice. More

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