Ensalada de Repollo (Cabbage Salad)

May 6th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Serves 6-8

Often seen in small Nicaraguan restaurants soaking in big batches at room temperature, it is similar to a sauerkraut with a Latin Style and a citrusy tone.

Ingredients

3 cups shredded green cabbage (about ½ medium head)
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
Juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon salt

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl toss cabbage and tomato with lime juice making sure it is very wet but not excessively dripping, if more lime juice is needed juice one more lime. Season with salt and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

*For a more modern version try adding ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves or use red cabbage.

Gallo Pintos

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons lard or canola oil
1 medium white onion, chopped fine
2 cups cooked black beans, drained but cooking liquid reserved
2 cups long grain rice, cooked
Salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine (optional)

Directions

In a large skillet, heat oil to medium, add onions and sauté until edges start to brown or about 5 minutes. Add the beans and stir well, continuing to sauté beans. Add about ½ cup of the bean liquid and cook down to about half. Add the rice and mix well, making sure to get the beans and rice well mixed and stirring constantly so that the mixture does not stick. Season with salt and fresh cilantro, mix well.

Horracha de Arroz con Mango (Mango Rice Milk)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 drinks

Ingredients

2 cups rice
6 cups water
1 cup mango puree
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated cinnamon
1 fresh vanilla bean

Directions

Soak the rice overnight in the six cups of water. In batches in a blender blend the rice and water mixture until smooth about 2-3 minutes. With a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a large pitcher. Repeat process until all rice mixture is blended and strained. To the pitcher of strained rice milk add the mango puree, sugar, freshly grated cinnamon and the seeds of the inside of the vanilla bean. Mix well and serve over ice.

Nacatamales (Nicaraguan Tamales)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15 tamales (large)

Nacatamales are similar to Mexican tamales but they are quite large and filled with a potato, rice, corn, vegetable and herb mixture and are typically served on holidays and special occasions. This recipe makes ½ size portions of the traditional tamale.

Ingredients

For the tamale dough

2 cups masa harina
2 cups pork stock, reserved from poached pork
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest

For the filling

1 pound pork butt cubed (about 1 inch cubes)
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced thin
2 medium tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh corn, chopped fine
½ cup long grain rice, cooked al dente
3 potatoes, 1-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 3 limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice
Salt
Pepper
Banana leaf squares

Directions

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine the masa harina, lime zest, and 2 cups of the reserved pork liquid. Mix well. In a kitchen aid or with an electric mixer, mix the lard until fluffy or about five minutes. A little at a time mix the lard into the masa harina until fully incorporated. Mix in the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece of the dough floats in a glass of cold water.

For the filling & assembly

In a large mixing bowl combine the filling ingredients and mix well, making sure the rice is well combined. In the center of each banana, place about 4 tablespoons of masa harina mixture. Flatten with a spoon leaving about 1 inch around each border of the banana leaf. Atop that place about 2 tablespoons meat and vegetable mixture. Fold over the banana leaf like you are folding a present. Tie the wrapped package with banana leaf ties or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips from making tamales soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 45-60 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

Nicaraguan Baho (Beef Steak Cooked in Banana Leaves)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound beef brisket, cut into strips
3 cloves garlic
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced thin
1 medium white onion, sliced thin
Juice of 5 limes
1 tablespoon salt
1 ripe plantain, sliced
½ pound yucca, cubed
Banana leaves

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together beef, garlic, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, lime juice and salt. Place in the refrigerator covered and marinate overnight. In a large steamer with about 3 inches of water, cover the bottom of the steamer with banana leaves about two layers, making sure there are no holes exposed from the steamer (all steamer holes should be covered with banana leaves). Place the plantain and the yucca on the bottom over the banana leaves and then add the marinated vegetables and beef, including any juices. Cook on high for about 1 hour or until tender. The Baho is typically served on banana leaves with Ensalada de Repollo (Cabbage Salad).

Platanos Fritos (Fried Plantains)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 medium to large plantains, sliced in 13 inch slices
1 cup canola oil
Salt

Directions

Heat half the oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Fry the plantains until golden brown and then turn and cook on the other side until golden brown as well. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt, immediately after taking out of pan.

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