Batido de Banana y Fresa (Strawberry Banana Shake)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3-4 milkshakes

Basically a milkshake, although a much looser version, often served over more ice cubes to keep very cold and fresh. Batidos showcase the fruits often associated with Central America and their rich and sweet flavors that are the very essence of their desserts.

Ingredients

1 cup fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped
1 banana, ripe and cut into chunks
2 cups milk
1 cup ice
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. The Central American versions of milkshakes are often much looser than other milkshakes and often served over more ice.

Empanadas de Guayaba (Guava Pie Pockets)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15-20 empanadas

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
¾ cup water (ice cold)
Guava Jam (recipe follows)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly with crumbles about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and water. Add the liquid a little bit at a time to the flour-butter mixture; mix it up with your hands or a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, a few more tablespoons of ice cold water may be needed. Form the dough into a flat disc shape about the size of a small salad plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Divide the dough in two and on a lightly floured surface roll out each piece of dough to a rectangular shape. Cut the dough in about 8-10 three inch squares. Place a tablespoon of the jam on the center of each square. Fold over the dough around the filling, and moisten borders with wet finger tips. Roll the edges of the border from one side of the empanada to the other in a crescent, making sure just to roll the very outer edge of the border. Place each empanada on a greased baking sheet. Poke one or two holes, using the tip of a knife, in each empanada to aerate them. Bake empanadas for about 15 minutes, take out of the oven, and brush with a little butter. Bake again for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat, allow to cool a few minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

Guava Jam

Ingredients

2 cups guavas, chopped fine (skins, seeds and all) (about 10 guavas)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked down. Turn up heat to medium and boil for another 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or flour sifter making sure the seeds are caught, push as much as you can through the mesh. Place the mixture in a metal bowl and place in the refrigerator to solidity; Guavas natural pectin will create a more dense and thick jam.

Flan de Leche (Caramel Custard)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
4 eggs, beaten
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of whole milk
1 fresh vanilla bean, cut open and scraped out
½ cup sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 6-8 ramekins.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring to a moderately high heat until all sugar dissolves. Continuing to boil the sugar without stirring, allowing it to begin to turn a light honey brown, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place a spoonful or more of sugar on the bottom of each greased ramekin, swirling it and coating the bottom of the ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet with a rimmed edge. In the meantime in a large bowl combine the eggs, condensed milk, scraped vanilla and the sugar and mix until smooth. Pour the batter evenly between the ramekins. Pour a bit of water in the pan that the ramekins are placed in. Place in the pre heated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Chill the flans well before removing from the ramekins. Run a knife around the edges and loosen the sides and invert onto a serving plate. Garnish with more caramel or fresh fruit.

Guava Jam

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 cups guavas, chopped fine (skins, seeds and all) (about 10 guavas)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked down. Turn up heat to medium and boil for another 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or flour sifter making sure the seeds are caught, push as much as you can through the mesh. Place the mixture in a metal bowl and place in the refrigerator to solidity; Guavas natural pectin will create a more dense and thick jam.

Pasteles de Tres Leches con Mango (Three Milk & Mango Cake)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (insides reserved)
2 cups mango, ripe and chopped small
½ cup vanilla brown sugar syrup (¼ cup water, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 vanilla bean scraped and cut)
1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-12 four ounce ramekins. In a medium mixing bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside. In another larger bowl cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Mix in the scraped parts of the vanilla bean and mix until incorporated well. Slowly combine and mix the dry mix into the wet mix a little at a time until all is incorporated and a creamy batter is created. Pour the batter evenly between the ramekins. Bake the ramekins for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool. In a mixing bowl combine the mango, the brown sugar syrup, the coconut milk, the condensed milk and mix well. Carefully take the cake out of the ramekins and place down on a large baking tray or Pyrex baking dish with raised sides. Make sure the little cakes do not touch each other. Poke holes in the cakes using a wooden skewer (about 10 holes per cake), making sure the hole goes to the bottom. Pour your mango batter over the cakes and place in the refrigerator to soak up the sauce for about an hour.

Pineapple Preserves

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple, chopped small to fine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (scraped parts reserved)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat and cook slowly stirring often for about 20 minutes.

Raspados de Frutas Tropical (Tropical Fruit Snow Cones)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes quite a few snow cones

Most of us don’t have ice scrapers in our kitchen for snow cones so this raspado recipe is modified to utilize the tools we all typically have in our kitchen while still being able to enjoy the authentic taste of a snow cone!

Ingredients

For a mango raspado

2 mangoes, ripe, peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 cup water
½ cup sugar or honey
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of one lime

For a pineapple raspado

3 cups fresh pineapple
1 cup water
½ cup sugar or honey

For a coconut lime raspado

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shaved raw coconut
1 cup water
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 2 limes
½ cup sugar

Directions

In a blender blend up all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a low metal dish with sides and place in the freezer to freeze, scraping with a fork every few minutes in order to get a ice consistency. Once frozen serve by scraping up with a fork and placing in a bowl.

Semita de Piña (Pineapple Tart)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 tarts

Semita is the most popular pastry in El Salvador and its basically a bread dough filled with jam. The most popular filling is pineapple utilizing El Salvador’s sweet pineapples!

Ingredients

1 cup milk
½ cup butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
13 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
5 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups pineapple preserves (recipe follows)
(egg and water for glaze)
Turbinado sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan heat the butter, sugar and milk until all the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to a lukewarm temperature. In a small bowl whisk together water and yeast and set aside for about 3-4 minutes until yeast is frothy. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Mix together the milk mixture and the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour bowl mixing as you add forming a bread dough. Once a bread dough is formed and all the ingredients are mixed well, transfer to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled metal or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide into two sections and place again on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle sheet the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet (save the trimmings of dough if you have). Spread the pineapple preserves all over the dough evenly leaving a border around the edges for sealing the top layer. Roll out the second section of dough and place over the top of the jam. Making sure to seal the edges (by pressing together tightly). Roll out the strips of dough into long strips and make criss-cross pattern over the tart. Take some beaten egg and water and brush the tops of the tart and sprinkle with the turbanado sugar. Poke many holes in the tart to prevent it from puffing ad let the tart rest for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven to bake. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough (on the side) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pineapple Preserves

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple, chopped small to fine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (scraped parts reserved)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat and cook slowly stirring often for about 20 minutes.

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