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Latin-American Cuisine

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby ZeroCook » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:34 pm

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The cochinita pibil marinade is fantastic for fajitas and tacos. I've been using it to briefly marinate and sizzle that sort of thing recently. I've become a huge achiote fan.

The pickled onion salsa is so good, too. I use ripe jalapenos- can't handle habanero heat.

BM - poblanos really worth the effort IMO - they're the size and fleshiness of sweet green peppers but hugely more flavoursome with a very mild heat, mostly.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby Stokey Sue » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:08 pm

karadekoolaid wrote:On my first visit to Mexico, after almost 20 years, my son picked me up from the airport and took me straight to a place called "La Montejo" - a cantina/restaurant specialising in Yucatan dishes. First on the list: tacos with cochinita pibil. Exactly like the above recipe!! I had 3 of them, with the traditional "salsa" (also described above) of redi onion, habanero and lime juice.
It´s stretching it to cook it in banana leaves, interred in the back garden ( guaranteed to ruin the lawn), but as long as you can make sure it´s cooked long and slow, in a well sealed pyrex, or Dutch Oven, it´ll work.

Sounds from the instructions as if it would adapt well to a slow cooker? As long as it were big enough to take the parcel of marinated meat

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:30 am

I´ve never used a slow cooker, Sue, but I´d agree with you. This pork cooks long and slow, so woukld probably work.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby Badger's Mate » Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:02 am

BM - poblanos really worth the effort IMO - they're the size and fleshiness of sweet green peppers but hugely more flavoursome with a very mild heat, mostly.


I've cooked and eaten them on a number of occasions. The ones I've had were grown in Bedfordshire under glass. I would say they weren't as fleshy as sweet peppers but did have a distinctly mild heat to them.

I currently grow some sweet peppers from self-saved seed which seem to come true (unknown variety and therefore didn't know if it was F1) and usually grow two or three chilli varieties. This year I've got 'Trifetti', 'Tangerine Dream' & 'Numex Suave'. The last of these is a habanero bred with low capsaicin but the usual amount of fruitiness. They've all been in the propagator under lights for several weeks now.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:35 am

Here´s the recipe for "Polvorosa de Pollo" ( Chicken Crumble) that I offered to ZeroCook yesterday. This recipe is a labour of love, so I´m going to give you the whole nine yards. However, I can already see a load of shortcuts; use them if you see fit.
You may be a little perplexed at the idea of a chicken dish with a slightly sweet pastry crust; believe me, it works beautifully.
4 large chicken breasts
2 lts water
2 large onions
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
4 sweet chiles ( if you can´t find them, leave them out)
1 leek
2 cloves garlic
4 minced cloves of garlic
parsley at will
1/4 cup raisins
2 Tbsps capers
2 Tbsps Lea & P
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 Tbsps dark brown sugar
6 Tbsps melted butter
1 1/2 cups rich chicken stock
1 cup Moscatel wine ( you could sub Madeira or Marsala)
Pinch chile powder
S&P to taste
For the pastry:
125 gms butter
175 gms veg shortening
3/4 cup caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp salt
500 gms flour

For the Stock/Chicken:
Fry half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a tbsp of butter. When soft, add the water the green part of the leek,a bay leaf or two, a tsp of salt and the chicken. Cook gently until the chicken is just done. Remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock and reserve.
For the Sauce:
Chop all the vegetables finely and fry gently in the remaining butter. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the stock, the chicken, the L&P, the mustard, the brown sugar, the chile, salt & pepper and the Moscatel. Cook for about 25 minutes, then remove the chicken. Add the raisins and capers and reduce the sauce .
Chop the chicken into small pieces and add to the sauce. Cook until almost dry, but still moist (if you catch my meaning!)
For the Pastry:
Sift the flour into a bowl. Mix the fat with the sugar, then beat in the yolks. Now add the salt and flour and mix together until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half and line a pyrex with it. Bake blind for 15 minutes then remove
For the final dish:
Spoon the chcken mixture into the pyrex, then cover with the other half of the pastry. Bake at 350° for about 40-50 minutes, until browned.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby scullion » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:05 pm

interesting that it's a little similar to the bastilla in sabrina ghayour's 'persiana' both the sweetened, spiced meat filling and the sweetened pastry.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:12 pm

Yes, I suppose it is a bit similar. I just wonder whether the curious mixture of sweet and savoury is -influenced by Spain or the earlier Moorish invaders.
If the truth be told, there are several dishes over here with that unique mix. The traditional Xmas tamale (called an "hallaca") has raisins and olives, as does the classic "Pan de jamón" ( Ham bread) which is painted with a brown sugar glaze.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby ZeroCook » Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:31 pm

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We had big snow yesterday and no (sat) internet most of the day.

Thanks for that kdka - wow. Enough left for a small pie which was what I was going to do - it was a biiig chicken - so this is perfect for the last leftover dish. . I will have to leave out the sugar in the pastry as OH will not go for that - even in dessert pies :? Will report back.

No aji dulce. Could grow some if I can get some seeds

It does look related to bastilla. Given Spanish Moorish/North African history, perhaps a possible connection tho not a common type of thing you'd find in Andalusia these days. Perhaps very early Spanish New World export not too long after the Reconquest and prohibition of all things Moorish in Spain but could have made it across. On the other hand, there's the local tropics sugar cane/sugar production connection.


Re cochinita pibil -
A slow cooker works fine, Stokey. Mine have adjustable temperature settings so not strictly slow cookers as they cook high/fast as well. You want a little edge charring/caramelising over the cooking time - not a lot, but it adds to the flavour from the long bake.


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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:47 pm

I´ve tasted loads of versions over here; it´s an iconic Venezuelan dish and folks go to all sorts of over-meticulous extremes to make theirs the best. However, I see the recipe as a sort of lush chicken pot pie...
the chicken filling needs to be "sweet", with the raisins, leeks and onions. For the pastry, however, the important part is that the top is crumbly, as close to shortbread as possible.
If you can´t find the ají dulce, don´t worry. I´d probably add an anaheim pepper or maybe a poblano.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby ZeroCook » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:12 pm

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Right. So I made the iconic colonial dish. After a fashion. I made half quantities, so no longer a true leftovers dish as I threw in two additional chicken breasts for good measure. I did the filling pretty much as per, subbed a good half teaspoon of mild New Mexico chile molido for the aji dulce, I used white wine, and I left out the sugar in the pastry. I also couldn't work out how you would join the pastry top to a blind baked bottom so I thought nah, just bake all in one, which worked fine btw. I do quite a bit of pastry making but uncooked to cooked just sounds really problematic :?

I underestimated the amount of filling and cut out the pastry bottom smaller than it should have been rather than to fit the whole dish depth. Note to self for next time. The very stiff pastry was a &^#*%&*% to roll out and I left it until the next day as the whole prep was loooong and I began to lose patience. I couldn't get the pastry to stick together as described and had to add a few tbs of water. Not shortbread.

I used egg wash to seal the pastry and decided to brush the pie with it which, having done a search around for posts etc doesn't seem to have been the autentico thing to do and it ended up looking like a slightly raised English game pie including a decoration to cover a crack which was pointless as the whole top was full of them as it baked but hey ho. :lol: :lol: Amazingly it didn't leak.

Verdict: Really enjoyed it. Good filling. Not sweet. The first steps for the stock are fantastic - what amazing stock. Will def use again. The sugar and raisins worked as a flavouring and je ne sais quoi rather than sweeteners. Pastry was thick but good - I used almost all of it. Possibly should have been a tad thinner had it it been easier to roll out. It also rises a bit, which lightens it. The baked texture was good tho, almost a little like pork pie pastry (don't!) and did have that sort of sandy texture. It was very good. So ... OH liked it a lot. He usually won't eat any sort of fruit or sweetness in savoury dishes tho I actually made a point of not disclosing to him that it had either. 8-)

So thank you Clive. Really interesting and fun to make and very good.

Image




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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:17 pm

Wow - I´m impressed, ZC.! Well done; truly a labour of love!

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby jeral » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:27 pm

ZeroCook, the pastry recipe and result looks interesting (egg heavy, which I think you say, or I infer, is what gives lift to this one) and appealing - the water crust analogy got me, even allowing you meant a visual similarity. Did you adjust any other measure of dry items to compensate for omitting sugar? Edit, belated PS: looks like a jolly good proper pie to me :)

karadekoolaid, I haven't forgotten it was your posted recipe, just following the "journey" to see if I could make a veggie version with spud or butternut squash whatever "meat" and some etceteras. Have you tried a veggie one?

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby jeral » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:27 pm

Re joining raw pastry lid to a par-baked blind base. Blind bake: prick bottom and sides, beans to the top, oven for 10+ish mins, then empty and 2-3 more mins to dry the surface.

There are two options, both assume the pie tin has a lip, or flat edge to join onto, so in either case leave an overhang to allow for shrinkage and to ensure a lip is still there. Cut or scissor off any excess overhang after par baking.

The first way is just to lay the pastry over and crimp the edge onto the lip.

The second is to carefully lift the lip (use offset spatula; the base should be loose after blind baking), then tuck the raw top under it (= triple layer) and crimp edge as wished.

The first way does work, but not if you didn't chiil the pastry before baking so that the base lip disappears :lol:

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby ZeroCook » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:55 pm

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KDKA - sis ssked if it was an empanada which is what they call savoury meat pies/tarts in Spain. I gave her the low down and she said it sounded very middle eastern and Moorish/North African and perhaps travelled across with the conquistadors.

Jeral - should have made a lip and thanks for the raw to baked pastry info. Crimping raw to baked seemed to suggest the impossible and I think I would have crushed the baked shell!

No compensation at all for completely omitting the sugar from the pastry. I calculate 1 cup sugar at 8oz/225g, so 75% = 6oz/168g so half that. Even without the sugar the flour to fat to egg yolks just wouldn't cohere - possibly the flour, as some absorb less or more water in given amounts and my bread flour always needs more liquid - so I added water the usual way in small increments. I think I could have added even more or more yolk for a slightly easier to roll pastry. And my pork pie comparison was the texture and consistency - strangely very similar to hot water pastry which I love. Similar sort of granular crispness. Half the recipe still made a lot of pastry. The egg lifted it beautifully even though it's very short a very buttery pastry. Reminded me a bit of French shortcrust type pastry doughs that use egg yolk to combine. Would work really well for any pie imo. It baked at my usual pie temp of 180-190°c for a good hour.

KDKA - have you made this pastry exactly as writ?

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:17 pm

Jeral: If I were to make a veggie version, butternut squash could be an option, but I´d also think peeled aubergine and/or mushrooms, as long as they were fairly dry when putting them in the shell.
ZC: without the sugar, the pastry is a different animal. The combination of sweet, as in sugar, and savoury is repeated in quite a few Venezuelan recipes. The polvoroso, the "cachapa" ( a sweetcorn pancake filled with white cheese), a simple dessert of Guava shells filled with cream cheese, and the outrageous "Pastel de Chucho", which is made with Manta ray wings, a savoury mirepoix, sliced plantains or bananas and a bechamel sauce. I just took a look at 6 different recipes from 6 top chefs in Venezuela, and they ALL make the pastry the same way. They also agree that it´s a pretty tricky thing to do, but that the crumbliness is essential.
And yes, maybe it is smilar to an empanada Gallega, although the pastry is different.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby jeral » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:54 am

Many thanks both and for the better understanding of it all :) Plus I have a lot of eggs at the moment ;)

I'm intrigued to try the corn cachapa pancakes, which I gather from Googling can be made by blitzing tinned sweetcorn and thickening with cornflour if/as needed. I like to restrict my intake of ubiquitous wheat flour generally so they're handy to know about.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby ZeroCook » Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:29 am

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Thanks for that KDKA. Crit noted and duly taken on board.

I looked around a little before I made it tho obviously many were in Spanish so had to do quite a bit of google translating. All the photos I saw looked like a 'normal' pie pastry texture. But... I think - no, I know - that I mismade the pastry, actually. In fact, I see now that I did. I didn't read carefully enough and mix the fat sugar and eggs in that order (are they beaten or creamed together?) so didn't get the butter soft and creamy. My bad. I should do a do over for the pastry. I'd like to see how it works exactly done per recipe. The guava dessert sounds good. I have seen them around occasionally. Is there a dessert repertoire for the polvorosa?

Jeral - if can you get hold of masa harina or atole (I'm completely ignorant about masarepa) it's great as a base for all sorts of things and quite pliable and rollable when mixed with hot water as a dough as is done for corn tortillas and tamales and Salvadorean papusas for e.g. It can ordered online btw. Unless they're out of stock which is happening quite a lot at the moment.

Pupusas
https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pupusas

Corn Tortillas
https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Corn-Tortillas/

You don't need a press. Roll out between plastic and cut out as wished. I use boiling water to mix to a stiffish but pliable dough. Makes a better, stronger dough that holds together more than using warm water imo.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:53 pm

Jeral - if can you get hold of masa harina or atole (I'm completely ignorant about masarepa


This has probably been discussed before, but I´d just like to point out that there is a huge difference between masa harina and masa arepa (also known as Harina PAN). Masa harina (which is what you use to make tortillas) is "nixtmalizado" - in other words, the (white) corn is treated with slaked lime , which essentially breaks down the tough skin. Harina PAN is simply ground white corn, used principally to make arepas. Atole is white cornmeal and basically used to make a drink - called atole.
A tortillas is thin and flexible, rather like a crepe, a pancake or a chapatti. An arepa (or pupusa) is much thicker, and often stuffed with pulled pork, chicken, meat, cheese or fish.

I just googled both masa harina and harina PAN - it seems they´re readily available, even in Tesco!

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby Pampy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:00 pm

karadekoolaid wrote:
I just googled both masa harina and harina PAN - it seems they´re readily available, even in Tesco!

Was that Tesco in the UK? I've just looked both on Tesco's site (without being logged in so search wasn't restricted to my local branch) and googled but can't see any mention of Tesco.

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Re: Latin-American Cuisine

Postby karadekoolaid » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:47 pm


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