Sopa de Pan

Sopa de Pan

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My dad and mom used to talk how my grandmother Esperanza (my dad’s mom) would make this amazing sopa de pan for Semana Santa. My mom was always sad that she never learned how to make it from Esperanza. So I asked my dad’s sister, Rosa to teach us how to make this dish. I thought that this was a real soup made with bread, I didn’t have any idea that sopa de pan is more similar to a pizza than a soup. So my aunt Rosa told us how to make it. I guess each family has their own way to do it and the main ingredient is  Pan de Arani. This bread has a particular flavor and consistency. You can substitute the pan de arani for a bagguete or a rustica bread. You can bake it or cook it in a pot on the stove but the final product is so delicious that you will end up eating more than one piece, especially if you love pizza. Enjoy!

9 inch baking dish.

Ingredients:

2 red onions medium size

2 peeled tomatoes

1 large green pepper

3 tbsp vegetable oil

salt and pepper

24 slices Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese

1 cup of milk

2 baguette

Preparation:

Slice the onion tomatoes and pepper in long strip (corte juliana). Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the onion  for 3 min add tomatoes and pepper and cook for 10 min. Add salt and pepper and taste, the onion should be soft and the pepper should still be crispy.

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Slice the cheese and bread. The bread should not be too thin.

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Preheat the oven to 400F

Butter and flour the baking dish.

Soak each piece of bread at a time in milk and accommodate in a layer on the baking dish. Then add a layer of the vegetable mix and a layer of cheese.

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Start a second row with the soaked bread in milk, add a layer of vegetables and finally a layer of cheese.

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Add the rest of the milk. Bake it until the cheese starts to become golden about 25 min.

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The cheese that we use in Bolivia doesn’t melt. You can use mozzarella if you want but I love Monterrey Jack or even Cheddar would work great. Cut slices, serve hot. Enjoy!

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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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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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