Aji de habas secas ( Spice dried fava beans)

Aji de habas secas ( Spiced dried fava beans)

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Every time I went to visit my Dad’s side family in Colomi, I was shocked by the beauty and simplicity of everything. They grow potatoes and fava beans and we would go to visit them at harvest time. The smell of freshly dug potatoes and the crunchiness and tenderness of a fresh raw fava beans made those trips the best experiences of my childhood. They would dry some of the best fava beans and potatoes for seed and the other ones would be cooked. This is a recipe with dried fava beans, it goes so well with tiny little potatoes. Enjoy it.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups dry fava beans

5 medium yellow  potatoes (10 small yellow potatoes)

1/2 lb round steak

2 cups chicken broth

1 onion

1 tomato

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp paste of red spicy pepper

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cumin

1 garlic clove

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 small bunch of scallion

Preparation:

A night before measure the dry fava beans into a pot. Add boiling water and cook for a minute and drain the water. Cover with cold water and let it rest overnight.

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They will double the size and the skin should be easy to peel. Peel coverings and set aside

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Put the ingredients together for the sauce

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Cut the meat by hand in thin small sliced pieces.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in 3 pieces or keep them in a piece if they are the small.

Peel and dice the onion and dice the tomatoes into small pieces.

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Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the red spicy paste, garlic and cumin. Cook for 2 min and add the onion, cook for 5 min until onion is clear.

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Add the meat and mix. Cook for another min and add the tomatoes

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Cook for about 3 min until meat is tender, add the oregano, salt, sugar, pepper and parsley.

Mix and add the fava beans.

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Add the chicken broth and the potatoes and mix. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are cooked. It’s so much better if you use small potatoes, they will cook faster and they are going to be bite sized.

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If it dries during this process, add more chicken broth or hot water.

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Serve warm with rice or just by itself. Top with scallions or green onion that are cut and washed. Enjoy!

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Pollo a la Chorrellana

Pollo a la Chorrellana

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March 19 is Father’s Day in Bolivia. My dad  is an excellent cook but he did not have to much chance to cook since my mom loves her kitchen and it’s her space. The only times my dad would cook for us was when my mom was away. He had great recipes like this Chorrellana but sometimes he would try something new and we would end up eating engrudo de macarron (he was trying to make a macaroni soup). I loved watching him cook this dish because of the colors and the flavor and how easy is to make it. Para mi papa!

Serves 5

Ingredients:

5 chicken legs

2 tbs dijon mustard

2 tbs ketchup

2 tomatoes

1 red onion

1 green pepper

1 red jalapeno pepper (with the seeds if you want it spicy)( In Bolivia we use Locoto)

1 lb elbow macaroni

1/2 white onion diced in small pieces

1 peeled small tomato without the seeds.

3 eggs

salt

pepper

2 tbs vegetable oil

Chicken preparation:

Rub the ketchup and the mustard into the chicken. Cover and let it sit for 30 min.

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Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 F. When the oven is ready, put the chicken in a baking dish without covering for 25 to 30 min and bake until meat is tender and is slightly golden on the outside (doradito!).

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Pasta Preparation:

While the chicken is cooking, put pasta on a baking sheet spread evenly and bake on the top shelf of the oven until it’s golden (about 5 min). (My mom does this process by dry frying the pasta in oil before boiling, but I prefer this method using the oven and no oil).

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Remove from oven. Boil water and add the pasta and a little bit of salt. Cook as a regular pasta.  Drain and set aside.

Dice the half onion and half tomato. Cook with 2 tbs of oil and add the 3 eggs and a little bit of salt.  Mix and cook until eggs are ready. You can skip this part if you only want to pasta, we Quechua people call this type of mix ‘puti de macaron.

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Add the egg mix to the pasta and it’s ready to serve.

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Chorrellana Preparation:

Put the next ingredients together: 2 tomatoes, red onion, green pepper and hot pepper. Peel the onion and slice into thin round slices. Peel the tomato and slice it into round shapes. Take the seeds out of the pepper and slice them into thin round pieces too.

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Heat around 2 tbs of oil in a frying pan and add the onion and green peppers. Let it cooked for 3 min and then add the tomatoes and hot pepper. Cook for 5 more min, add salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook for another 5 min until tomatoes are cooked.

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I love this Chorrellana dish because you can serve with chicken, steak, fish or eggs and combines will with french fries, macaroni or rice.

Enjoy !

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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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Charquekan

Charquekan

My family used to travel a lot in Bolivia when I was little and the first time that I tried charquekan was when I was 8 and we went on a school excursion to the Lake Titicaca. All the kids were from the countryside and they all had their food in aguayos (a traditional blanket) and I remember when we all sat together to eat lunch the teacher asked us to sit in a circle and share our food. When I saw my friends’ lunch that still was warm with some steam coming out of the aguayo, I couldn’t resist the smell of the purple potatoes with cheese and dried llama meet on top. That was my first Charquekan made of llama- the best that I’ve tried so far. That charque did not compare at all with the cold chicken on my plate that my mom put together for my lunch. Enjoy this wonderful traditional dish!

 

 

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

12 large purple potatoes.

6 hard boiled eggs

6 slices of fresh cheese you can replace with thin slices of monterrey jack (1 slice per person)

1 cup dry corn

8 oz of charque (Dry beef)

1/4 cup oil to fry

1/2 cup of Llajua (see Llajua recipe)

Boil the dry charque for about 1/2 hour. This will allow it to lose some of its salt. Rinse in cold water and, using a meat softener/tenderizer, punch really hard until meat is soft enough that white strips appear.

Boil the potatoes with their skins on. If you do not have the purple potatoes you can use red potatoes. I love the purple ones for their flavor and color. This type of potato’s skin turns a dark purple  after cooking.

While the potatoes are being cooked, we can cook the dry corn. This corn is big and has the skin on it. You need to soak them the night before and cook them for about an hour.

Cook the meat in a pan with vegetable oil. The oil needs to be hot, the meat cooks really fast, so you only need a few seconds per side.

Take them out of the pan and put them on a paper towel.

Place the plate with the potato and corn on the bottom and the meat on top with a piece of cheese on the side. This  goes really well with Llajua.

My sister helped with the pictures today. She is happy to help me but not to be in the pictures!