Humintas a la Olla

Humintas a la Olla

 

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Humintas are so additives once you start eating one you can stop it. It has the most basic ingredients; cheese and corn flavored with annis seeds,salt, sugar and a shortening.

My job as a little girl was to make the string out of husk and pair the 2 larger husk together that we were going to use to put in the corn mix and cheese. the bigger the corn leaves the bigger the humintas and yes they are humintas the size of my hands.

Making humintas in USA has not been easy for me,because of the corn. The corn we use in Bolivia has big starchy white kernel and they are nor sweet and they are not as juicy as the ones in the USA. So I wait and try different recipes and also start using white corn flour to add more body to the mix but somehow the humintas were to runny after cooked they were not right . Finally this past Easter I found the most horrible looking corn in the supermarket, and this bad looking corn made the most delicious so close to the Bolivian version that i know.

So here it is for you to try

Ingredients:

Yields 15 humintas

12 ear of corn (the one the husk is already yellow and the kernel inside look dehidrated)

1/4 cup crisco

1/2 cup white corn flour ( maseca works great )

12 slices of queso fresco or cotija

4 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp annis

2 tablespoon partially hidrated raisin (optional)

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Cut one end of the ear corn the one that is attached to the stem. Just cut enought to get close to the kernells and is easy to rool the husk out.

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Select 30 husk leaves ans paired them according to size.

With the remaining husk make the 15 husk strings. brake a 1 inch thick husk and tied a know at the thinner end. Then from the thicker end separate them and you have your string.

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With a knife grade the kernells and divide in halfs. Put on half in a food processor and grind it until is a paste but you can still see pieces of corn you dont want it to look like a pure.

 

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Transfer to a bowl and do the same with the other half. Add the sugar,anise and raisin.Add the 1/2 cup of white corn flour.

Heat the shortenning until is hot and close to boiling. Poured into the dough and mix as you poured with a wooden spoon. Be carefull with the hot oil dont want to burn the dough. Mix really well. The dough should be in the drier side.

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To make the huminta

Depending of the size of the husk put 1 or 2 tbsp of the corn mix in the husk add the cheese and cover it with another tbsp of the corn mix.

 

Fold the bottom and then the top

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Then rooled the sizes and tied with the husk string.

 

 

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In a large pot use the to put in the bottom of the pot and put the humintas with the middle opening up

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Put enough water to cover half way trough the huminta. Do not cover the huminta completely with water.

 

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Cooked for about 1 1/2 hours in medium high heat, add water as needed if it evaporates. You will notice the change in color of the husk.

I love mine the next day when i reheat them on the grill.

Enjoy it!

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Empanada Picantita (Queso,Cilantro, Locoto)

Empanada Picantita  (Queso,Cilantro,Locoto)

IMG_2879So I love-love locoto and since I moved to Maine I have been trying to grow them here without success. Jalapeno does a good job as a replacement but it’s not as great as locoto. You can cut out the spicy pepper from the recipe and the empanada is still going to taste amazing!

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table  and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portion and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

1 cup diced red onion (small)

1 cup finely chopped cilantro

3 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco used that)

3 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos without seeds ( In Bolivia I would  use a locoto)

2 eggs

Preparation

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Mixed all the chopped ingredients together with the cheese. Cover and reserve

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Just before preparing the empanadas add one egg and mixed.

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let it rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

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Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

For decoration: Put on top of each empanada a cilantro leaf.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce.

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Empanada Con Relleno De Quinoa

Empanada Con Relleno De Quinoa

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My husband inspired me to make this empanada. He prefers not to eat meat and he really likes quinoa, so I made this for him. I like them with  chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce on it. The quinoa grains on top add a crispiness to the empanadas.

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk ( or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table  and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portion and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

1 1/2  cup cooked quinoa

1 cup diced onion (small)

1 cup chopped green onion

2 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco used that)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp garlic

1/4  tsp cayenne pepper (optional if you like a little bit spicy)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup broth or water

Preparation

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Heat the olive oil on a pan. Add the onion and garlic. Cook them for 5 min.

Add the paprika, cumin, salt and oregano. Cook  for another 3 min.

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Add the broth and cook until onions are soft. Let it cool.

Add the cooked quinoa green onions and the cheese. Set aside

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let it rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

For decoration:Sprinkle some quinoa grains on top of each empanada.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce.

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Empanada de Carne con Chimichurri

Empanada De Carne Con Chimichurri

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Empanadas are so easy to make. You can use any filling that you want and freeze them for when you need them. Making empanadas with my mom was a whole day process but we made 100 of them at once and we would give them away to our neighbors and family. When others made empanadas, they would bring some to us. It was a great way to share food and interact with family and friends and exchange recipes.

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portions and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

1 cup diced onion (small)

1 lb ground beef

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup green onion chopped

1/2 cup frozen petite peas

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp garlic

1  tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup broth or water

5 hard boiled eggs

5 large green marinated olives ( 2 extra for decoration)

1 egg to paint the empanada

Preparation

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Heat the olive oil in a pan add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 min.

Add the paprika, cumin, salt and oregano. Cook for another 3 min.

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Add the meat and cook them for 5 min.

Add the broth and cook until it starts boiling.

Add the peas and green onions and turn off the stove. You want the filling slightly dry but not too much. Let it chill for 1/2 hour.

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let them rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling in the rolled dough. 1/2 tbsp of the beef filling and add the egg and olive and cover with another 1/2 tbsp of filling.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

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Whisk the egg and use a brush to paint each of them with the whisked egg. Cover the entire empanada.

For decoration: Slice the olives very thin and place on top. If you have fresh oregano add a leaf of oregano on top.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

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Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano (just the leaves)

4 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 large clove minced (like a paste)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

5 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp finely chopped scallions

1/4 tsp salt.

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the sauce in the morning and use it by the afternoon,so the flavor will have time to mixed and marinated. Use the same day.

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Empanada de Queso

Empanada de Queso

IMG_4573 Yes, it’s Empanada time!

The dough for this empanada de queso has baking powder and butter in it. In Bolivia, I would eat this with coffee or hot cocoa in the morning for breakfast.

Enjoy!

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup butter

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

3 egg yolks

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

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Add the butter and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the eggs yolks and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portions and wrap them in plastic and set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

4 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco use that)

3 egg whites

1 egg

Preparation

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Whisk the egg whites until they are hard.

Add the cheese to this mix just before you are making the empanadas, otherwise the egg whites will lose their foamy consistency.

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let them rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm.

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Empanadas Tucumanas

Empanadas Tucumanas (Fried Bolivian Empanadas)

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When I was in college I discovered these amazing empanadas. I attended the University Mayor de San Simon (UMSS) and on the corner of Sucre and Oquendo every morning between 9 and 10 am, you would see 20 to 30 students constantly piling around this street cart food that sold tucumanas calientes with unless 6 different sauces to go with them. As a students I was hungry all the time and having this lunch-sized meal early in the morning gave me the energy to continue with my long day of classes. They were delicious and they were so cheap, costing only 2Bs ($.35 cents). The first time I tried them, I was surprised by the size the empanada, the combination of flavors, and the big piece of chicken inside. I couldn’t imagine how they could fit so many delicious things in a hand-sized empanada. You eat tucumanas by biting open the top and adding any sauces that you want so each bite has a different taste with a different sauce. I miss my college time and I miss this amazing street food. Enjoy!

Serves 16

Ingredients:

Filling

2 large russet potatoes

1 large carrot

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 big red onion cut it in small squares

1/2 lb short cut steak chopped into small squares

1/2 red pepper cut in thin small slices

2 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

2 tbsp canola oil

4 hard boiled eggs

Kalamata olives without seed (optional)

2 cups canola oil

Dough:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup hot water (not boiling)

Preparation:

Filling

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Peel and cut the potatoes into small squares.

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Peel and cut the carrots in small squares the same size as the potatoes. The carrots, peas and potatoes should all be the same size. Put them in a pot with water and salt. After it boils for 2 min take them out and drain them. We don’t want to overcook the carrots or potatoes, they need to be firm. Set aside.

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Peel and dice the onion in small squares. Clean the  extra fat or nerve cells from the meat and cut it in small square pieces. It is very important to cut the meat by hand (cannot use ground beef), it keep the juices better when cooked.

Cut 1/2 of the red pepper in small thin strips.

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Cook the onion in 2 tbsp of oil for about 3 min or until onions are clear add the meat and pepper and cook for 3 min, add the parsley, cumin and oregano. Mix. Add the salt, sugar and cayenne pepper and cook until meat is tender for about 5 min, we don’t want it to be dried. Let it cool and set aside.

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Mix the potatoes, carrots, peas and meat mix in a large bowl. Cover and reserve while we do the dough.

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Hard boil the eggs. Peel and cut them in four pieces.

Dough

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the hot water and mix with a spoon.  Add the oil and mix with your hands until you have a easily manageable dough. The dough doesn’t have to be sticky, don’t over-kneed the dough. Cover with seran wrap and let it sit for 15 min.

Cut the dough in half and keep the other half covered. Cut the half in 8 pieces.

Roll each piece one at the time until they are slightly larger the  size of your hand, not too thin.

Heat 2 cups of canola oil

Prepare one empanada at the time.

Put the dough in your hand add one slice of egg and 3 tbsp of the meat mix. Carefully close the two endings of the dough with your hand, making sure the filling doensn’t come out.

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Cook in the hot oil until brown or golden color. Put it to on top of paper towel.

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Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. These tucumanas should ideally be eaten the same day, but they can be refrigerated and reheated at 160 for 10 mins.

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Biscocho de Semana Santa

Biscocho de Semana Santa

IMG_1934I have so many memories of Semana Santa. My mom and aunts would get together for Sunday and cook 12 dishes all day and they would fast until noon. We used to try to cheat because we were very hungry kids and running around takes a lot of energy :-). So one of us would go with our big eyes and convince one of our moms to give us some biscocho. Because there were so many of us, we would send the little ones first to beg our moms for a  piece of sweet biscocho. But the first try never worked and we kept trying until they would get tired and send a big biscocho for all of us. These biscochos were so big that they were the size of your head. I miss my family and these big gatherings. You can make this bread in small sizes too. My Mom’s friend shared this recipe with me, thank you Doña Alieta. Enjoy!

Serves 10 large portions or 20 small portions.

You can cut this recipe in half.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup sugar
12 eggs
2 tsp salt
4 cups margarine or crisco
3/4 cups water
5 tbsp yeast
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp lemon peeled
4 tbsp oil + 1 tbs to brush
16 cups flour
1 cups raisins soaked in water
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup evaporated milk

Preparation:

Melt the margarine or Crisco. Set aside.

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Set aside.

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With an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar.

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Add the melted margarine and the yeast mix.

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Add the cinnamon, lemon zest, orange zest, and salt. Mix.

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Add the flour slowly and mix with your hands until all the flour is well blended. Add the 4 tbs oil at the last minute and blend well.

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Pass the dough trough a kneader (sobadora) machine 3 times.  Add the raisins and walnuts. Let it rise, about 1/2 hour.

If you don’t have a kneader let the dough rise three times and push it down after each time that it rises. In the last rise add raisins and walnuts. About 2 hours.

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Divide the dough in balls the size of your hand or bigger. Make balls and let it sit to rise. Brush with the oil so the surface doesn’t dry.

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They are ready when you poke them with your finger and they pop back.

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Flatten each ball to about 10 mm thick. And make 2 narrow cuts along the top surface of the bread. Brush them with the evaporated  milk and place them on a baking tray let it rise for a last time.

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Bake for 30 min at 275F. It takes time to cook and let it rise slowly in the oven once the bottoms are cooked. Turn the broiler on and toast the tops of the bread for 1 min until golden.

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To have those nice bright shiny bread, brush the surface of the hot bread with the milk and if you like coconut you can sprinkled with shredded coconut.

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Pukacapas

Pukacapas

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The name of this empanada is Spanish-Quechua. Puka in Quechua means red and Capa in Spanish has two meanings: layer, cape. I think the name evolved because you have a nice round red layer that is the shape of a cape that covers the empanada, so it makes sense to called them Pukacapas.

We love our mid afternoon snacks and I love this pukacapa recipe because of the filling.  I used to eat it with an helado de canela (cinnamon gelato) or a good juice made of dry peaches called Mokhochinchi.

 

 

Makes 15 units of Pukacapas

I will describe the process step by step on give the ingredients for each step
Filling
1 medium red onion shredded ( ⅓ cup shredded red onion)
8 oz Fresh cheese or Monterrey Jack

2 tbsp shredded hot pepper
1 tbsp chopped quilquiña or cilantro
1 egg
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and put aside.

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Red dough wash
2 Tbsp paprika
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp water
Mix all ingredients and set aside.  It has to be well mixed.

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Dough
2 Cups flower
5 Tbsp Crisco
2 eggs yolks
3 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tsp salt
1 1/2 Tsp dry yeast
¼ Cups water

Sift the flower in a mixing bowl. Shape the flower in volcano shape. Heat the crisco close to boil. Add this hot oil to the flour, you will see how the flower effervesces. Mix with a wooden spoon.

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Disolve the yeast in the water.

Add this mix to the flour  along with the eggs yolks , salt and sugar. Mix until all the ingredients are well mixed in the dough. It’s very important to knead the dough forcefully on the table the dough for at least 5 min. (My Mom slams the dough down on the table, throwing it from up high for about 3 minutes). Make a nice ball and divide in 30 pieces.

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Shape each piece in small balls and with a roller pin, flatten each piece until it’s the size of the cup,. If the dough is a little bit too sticky, add some flour to your surface working area.

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After all of them are flat, add 1 tbs of the filling mix in the center of the 15 discs, making sure ther is a nice pile with no filling on the edges of the disc. Use another disc to cover and press well to seal the edges. After sealed, do a nice braid twist around the edges of the dough. If you don’t know out to braid the dough, you can use a fork to press the edges down.

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Preheat the oven to 350F

Put the pukacapas on a baking sheet and using a brush, cover with the paprika and yolk mix.

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Bake them for 15 min the bottoms look golden.

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Cuñapé

Cuñapé

IMG_4661Traveling around Bolivia in a bus can be very exciting when you are a kid,  especially when the bus stops at a checkpoint and tons of ladies start offering different street food to the bus passengers. I used to have a favorite food in every city because every city has different dishes. In Santa Cruz my favorite snack that the ladies would sell outside the buses was Cuñapés, sometimes they would even be hot out of the oven. The nice Crispy outside with the melted soft cheese inside makes this little roll a good source of energy for the long travel ahead. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Makes 10 small portions

Cooking and preparation  time 30 min

Ingredients:

1 cup tapioca flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 cups  shredded monterrey jack (or preferably Queso Fresco)

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1-2 tbs milk

Assemble the ingredients and preheat the oven to 450F.

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Mix the tapioca flour and the baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the cheese and mix well until cheese is covered in the flour.

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Add the egg to the mix of cheese and flour, and mix. If the dough starts sticking together, you don’t need to add milk if it keeps separating add 1 tbs of milk at that time.

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In this case I added one tbs of milk and made a nice ball of dough. Divide the dough in 10 pieces of the same size and shape them into balls. Put a thumbprint in the bottom of each ball (to help with even puffing in the oven).

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Place finger print side down on a cooking sheet. You can use a parchment paper. Bake for 15 min at 450F, you want them to be nicely golden and dry.

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This is why I love cooking, you get rewarded at the end with delicious food and some recipes don’t take that long to Cook. Best served warm.

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Pan de Arroz (Baked in banana leaves)

Pan de Arroz horneado en hojas de platano

IMG_3300One of my favorite treats from time to time that my mom would buy for was Pan de Arroz. She bought these in a special Santa Cruz-style pastry shop called “La Pascana.”  She never baked these because she thought she would offend the people from Santa Cruz for just trying. I love this delicious bread and I was always curios about how to prepare them, so when I was in college, one of my best friends was from Santa cruz and she taught me the “secrets” for this recipe. I taught my mom how to make them but she is still afraid of trying and she loves having an excuse to go to La Pascana and enjoy a real  pan de arroz from Santa Cruz.

Makes 12 large pastries or 24 small pastries

Total time 3 hours

Preparation time 1 hour

Ingredients

3 pounds yuca root, about 4 large roots

1 lb. rice flour (Bob’s Redmill)

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup milk (more or less)

1 cup hot melted Crisco (you can substitute for butter)

1 lb. queso fresco or Monterrey Jack

1-2 banana leaves

Mix the following dry ingredients: Rice, flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside.

Shred the cheese and reserve 1/2 cup. Set aside the rest

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Preparing the Yuca

Cut the yuca roots into 3 segments. Wedge a pairing knife between the skin and the flesh, and pry the bark-like skin away from the flesh (as opposed to peeling it). It pops off in chunks easily.

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Rinse the white pieces in water, put in a pot of water to boil like potatoes.

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When you can insert a fork or knife easily through a few, they’re done, it takes about fifteen minutes. Also, you’ll notice the edges starting to crack. Drain and set aside until cool to the touch.

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Going through the center of the each whole root is a fibrous string. Pull this out of your chunks with your fingers or a pairing knife. Mash the remaining yuca, piece by piece, in a bowl with a potato masher. For this dough, you only want to use the fresh, soft white parts. Discard  any hard, waxy or yellow pieces.

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Preparing the Dough

Into the bowl of mashed yuca, add the rice, flour, salt, and sugar. Knead until you mix the ingredients all together. Add milk a little bit at a time.

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Add milk until the dough starts to hold together. Press down with your hands since it’s very thick. You’ll use about a cup of milk. The dough shouldn’t get outright sticky, but it should barely stick to your hands. Add the melted Crisco and mix really well. It’ll sound squishy. Add the cheese (except a half cup) and knead some more. The final dough should be thick, slightly sticking on hands. Add more milk if needed to get this consistency. Let the dough sit covered in the fridge for 2 hours so that the yuca can  suck in the fat.

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Making the pastries one at the time!

While the dough is resting:

Preheat the oven to 375F

Cut  out 12 or 24 rectangles of the banana leaf. You want them to be about the size of your hand.

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Then you take enough dough to make a small ball in your hand. Flatten the ball into a little cake and place in the middle of a banana leaf. Fold two corners into the center and press into the middle of the cake. Repeat until you run out of dough.

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Don’t worry if the banana leaves don’t stick perfectly.

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Put them on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 25 minutes – until the cakes just start to turn a little golden and the banana leaves start turning yellow.

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If you don’t have banana leaves: Roll a piece of dough the size of your hand and put it directly on top of a baking sheet and flatten them, add a litle bit of the cheese that you reserved. Cook at 375 for 20 min or until golden.

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Pan de Arroz is best enjoyed with a nice cup of coffee or tea at breakfast or afternoon tea time!