A friend from Trinidad introduced me to my first taste of coconut sweet bread around the holidays. Before bringing me a slice, she described it as “a cake with fruit in it”, and said that her mother possessed a ‘sweet hand’, meaning only certain Caribbean folks had the special ability to turn out a perfect
Arroz con gandules, or rice with peas is a staple in most Puerto Rican and Caribbean households. It’s one of my favorite dishes to order in Spanish restaurants and I finally decided to try making it on my own. It came out so good I ate it as a main dish instead of a side!
This green, herbaceous cooking base is one of the most essential ingredients in Puerto Rican cuisine. It is basically sofrito without the tomato sauce and so is an excellent substitute for any recipe calling for sofrito. They are so similar that some Puerto Ricans use the words as synonyms (see Sofrito Eggs). Recaíto contains culantro
This recipe does not actually contain (tomato-based) sofrito, but instead calls for recaíto (Puerto Rican cilantro-based sofrito). Perhaps, I should have named it Recaíto Eggs, but I learned this recipe from my husband and his family and this is what they call it, so it’s fine by me too. This dish is cooked quickly, almost
The counterpart to adobo seco, sazón is another Puerto Rican seasoned salt – the difference being that while adobo is primarily used to flavor meat, sazón is primarily used to flavor vegetables. Traditionally, sazón contains ground annatto (achiote molido) for color, but I can only find whole annatto seeds in my area. I’ve learned the
Adobo seco is a Puerto Rican seasoned salt. Sprinkle generously on meat before cooking, to add a distinctive Latin flavor to your meal. Most basic recipes also include onion powder, but I modeled mine after a certain beloved store brand, which omits onion entirely, so now I prefer it that way. I’ve also added a
I grew up in a diverse neighborhood in New York City, and as it happens, many of my friends and relatives are of full or partial Puerto Rican descent. As a result, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some really delicious Puerto Rican dishes. I’m still learning but I’ve been able to get a few of them down pat.