Bistec a la Criolla (Colombian Steak in Sauce)

This is marinated skirt steak that is cooked in sauce.  In Colombia this is eaten by many families every week (my husband had it every Wednesday).  Serve it with white rice and beans, avocado, and an arepa or corn cake.  The recipe makes more hogao than is needed.  Just drop the leftovers into your beans!

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Hallacas Guajiras de Pollo (Chicken Tamales)

This is a recipe for Venezuelan or Colombian style chicken tamales. These are unlike Mexican tamales since they are wrapped in banana leaves rather than corn husks. If you absolutely cannot find banana leaves (I buy them frozen sometimes and always find them in a Latino market) you can just use aluminum foil to make the packets. That would be a pity, though, because the banana leaves impart their flavor to these in a most appealing way. These are really easy, but a little tedious to make. The tendency is to make them too big, so curb your enthusiasm! Pun intended.

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Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

marinated grilled skirt steak

This is served in Colombian restaurants as part of their “Mountain Platter” or Bandeja Paisa. It is served with rice and beans, fried pork rinds (chicharone), fried sweet plantains, a slice of avocado, corn cake and a fried egg on top.  Gotta be every Colombian’s favorite. Continue reading

Lomo Saltado (Pork and Potato Stir Fry)

Peruvian cuisine is poised to be the new “it” ethnic food.  Or so I have heard.  That would not surprise me since Peruvian food is not only South American, but it also been influence by immigrants from China.  And we love our Chinese food, don’t we?  When I got this in a restaurant, it was like stir-fried meat and French fries, all served with rice and a salad.  Don’t do that.  Who wants French fries and rice?  Or a soggy salad. Continue reading

Alinos (Seasoning Paste)

Alinos is a sort of sofrito or hogao, but without cilantro or tomatoes. At least this version has no cilantro or tomatoes in it. It is very easy to make in a food processor or blender. It keeps for one week in the refrigerator (as long as you remember to use a clean spoon each time you dip in). You will find many uses for this seasoning paste. It can be used to season masa, rice, stews, or soups. This flavor combination complements many different cooking styles and tastes. For longer storage, try spooning it into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen, just pop them out and store in a plastic freezer bag.          Continue reading

Peruvian Ceviche with Pickled Red Onions

This recipe comes from Ciudad in downtown Los Angeles. The onions need to pickle for a day, so plan ahead before making this.  This recipe calls for halibut, but you can use any firm white fish.  It also uses aji amarillo chilies, but jalapeno peppers can be substituted if need be. Continue reading