Central America: The Poinsettia, A Christmas Plant

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For those who celebrate Christmas in frostier places of the
world, our most used plant of the season is the Poinsettia.  You see the image on tablecloths, table runners and so forth.  And if done well, conside putting them on your Christmas table.

Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as ‘Taxco del Alarcon’ where they flower during the winter.

The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.

poinsettia

Belizean “BBQ’d” Fish Recipe

Belizean BBQ Fish
Belize is located in North America on the northern edge of the Central America isthmus – a somewhat narrow strip of land that connects North andSouth America. While it is hard to pin down any truly distinctive Belizean cuisine, what you will find in Belize is a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, African, Spanish, and Mayan culinary influences. Seafood is a staple of Belize. Barracuda and Snapper are among some of the prominent fish of the waters.
  • 2 large white-fish type fillets (like cod or orange roughy)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 Texas 1015 (or other sweet) onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 banana peppers (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • Greek Seasoning *
  • Garlic Powder
  • Grate carrots and set aside. Dice onions into 1/4″
  • cubes and set aside. Dice bell pepper in 1/4″ cubes.

If using jalapeno, dice very fine. If using banana peppers, slice very thinly. Mix all peppers (bell and others) and set aside. Tear off a large (12″) piece of aluminum foil. Spread 1/4 of the grated carrots out on foil and sprinkle 1/4 of the onion on top of the carrot. Sprinkle one side of the fillet with seasonings and place the fillet on top of the carrots and onions, seasoning side down. Sprinkle more seasonings on top of fillet. Cover fillet with 1/2 of pepper mixture, 1/4 onions, 1/4 carrots. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over fish and veggies.

Fold tin foil so it covers fish and veggies well and seal. Repeat for other fillet. Place on grill at medium temperature 10 minutes on each side. Serve with pepper side up. If you can’t find Greek Seasoning, a substitute would be to use salt, pepper, a little more garlic powder, and a touch of oregano

Ayote en Miel Recipe

I was at an international missions dinner by Iglesia Bautista Renacer in Los Angeles with an emphasis on foods from Central and South America.  They have the fundraiser annually.  I was not going to miss an opportunity to support missions and get a taste of Central America and South America.  I tried chao mein of Guatemala, pastellitos of Honduras and for my dessert, had ayote en miel a favorite of Central America made by Salvadoreno cooks.  While I was in Nicaragua a few years ago, I watched women make a cake with ayote.  If you are wondering this recipe taste like then I would compare to candy yams but better.    See Recipe