Receta para Arroz Con Dulce (Recipe)

MCCN’s Erika Holmes shared with us as a  Puerto Rican you can expect to find Arroz Con Dulce on the Christmas Table Spread. We found this recipe on the great web site El Boricua, which should be on list for all things Puerto Rican.

(Serves 12)

  • 1½ cups rice
  • 4¼ cups coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 ounces ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg-optional
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (reserve to use at the end)


Wash rice and soak in water to cover, generously, for 2 hours. The rice will soak up the water so use plenty.About twenty minutes before rice is finished soaking combine the 4½ cups of coconut milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg in a medium size caldero.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to moderate, cover and boil for 15 minutes.Drain rice thoroughly and add to caldero. Mix and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook unitl rice is completely dry, without stirring.Add the sugar and raisins, stir, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes, without stirring.
Add reserved 3/4 cup coconut milk and stir. Turn heat to moderate and boil for about 30 minutes, or until rice dries again. In this cooking period, turn rice over occasionally and scrape bottom of caldero.

Remove spices. Spoon rice into a flat serving platter. Allow to cool at room temperature.

This is served cold.


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

Puerto Rico: Pernil Recipe

The cuisine of Puerto Rico has its roots in the cooking traditions and practices of Europe


Image from

(Spain), Africa and the Amerindian Taínos. In the latter part of the 19th century the cuisine of Puerto Rico was greatly influenced by the United States in the ingredients used in its preparation. Puerto Rican cuisine has transcended the boundaries of the island and can be found in several countries outside the archipelago.- MCCN found the following recipe from the Casual Kitchen blog.  We suggest taking a peek at the beautiful photos they have to accompany this recipe and the tips. (Click Here)


(adapted from Daisy Cooks)

A 4lb to 4.5lb pork shoulder, with skin on
Wet Spice Rub

Wet spice rub recipe:

  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar

Up to three days ahead of the date you serve the roast, do steps 1 and 2. On the day you cook the roast you’ll do steps 3 through 5.

1) To make the wet spice rub, grind the garlic and salt into a paste using a mortar and pestle (you can save yourself buying the extra kitchen items; we used the back of a heavy spoon in a smallish Tupperware bowl and it worked just fine). Add pepper and oregano, grinding and mashing to incorporate the spices into the paste. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar, mix well.
2) Once you’ve made the rub, use a very sharp paring knife to cut several slits in the pork shoulder, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Make the cuts as deep as you can, through the skin and well into the shoulder meat. Wiggle a finger into the slits to widen them, and then fill each cut with wet rub, using a small spoon. Do this on all sides of the pork shoulder. If you have any leftover wet rub, just smear it all over the outside of the roast. Refrigerate the roast, covered, for at least one full day (but preferably two to three days) before cooking.

To cook the roast:
3) Preheat the oven to 450F.
4) Set the roast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, turn the heat down to 400F, and then cook the roast for another one and a half hours, or until a meat thermometer reads the meat in the center of the roast at 160F.
5) Let the roast “rest” for 15-20 minutes after you’ve taken it out of the oven. Then, pull off the skin (it should come off fairly easily in big pieces) and then carve the meat parallel to the bone with a large and very sharp knife. Pile the meat on a platter and enjoy!

Serves 5-6.


Pozole/Posole Recipe

Pozole (Nahuatl: potzolli, which means “foamy”; variant spellings: pozolé, pozolli, posole) is a ritually significant, traditional pre-Columbian pozolesoup or stew from Mexico. Pozole was mentioned in Fray Bernardino de Sahagún’s “General History of the Things of New Spain” circa 1500 CE. It is made from nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, with meat, usually pork, chicken, turkey, pork rinds, chili peppers, and other seasonings and garnish.[3] Vegetarian and vegan versions also exist.

Ingredients for Posole

12 dried long red chile
10 lbs. Boned pork roast cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 head of garlic peeled and chopped
A large pinch of Mexican oregano
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
Large can hominy


Break open the chiles and remove the seeds and veins. Put the chiles to cook in a medium sized pot. Cover with fresh water and gently boil until chiles are very soft. Let the mixture cool and using a favorite method, blend the chile and the water to make a paste and strain.

Meanwhile, put the cubed pork, oregano, garlic, onion and salt into a large heavy pot and cover with water. Boil meat gently for 30 minutes. When the meat is soft, add the chile and hominy and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is boiling nicely.

To serve, ladle the posole into heavy bowls and serve with thinly sliced cabbage and radishes, quartered limes, oregano, chopped onion, and fresh corn tortillas. Besides these side dishes, posole is usually served with sodas or cervesas.

Recipe from

Chef Marta’s Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe

Ropa Vieja is a dish that can be prepared a day or two in advance, which will enhancethe flavor and leave you time to Ropa Viejaenjoy the guests at your table. In Cuba this dish is served with Congri (black beans and rice), yucca with mojo and sweet plantains. Serves 4 to 6 people.  This recipe comes from Chef Marta Quintana from the Havana Road Cafe in Towson, MD, right outside of Baltimore.

The Meat

  •  2 qts water or enough to cover the brisket
  •   3 lbs flat/first cut brisket, trimmed of excess fat
  •  1 tspwhole black peppercorns
  •  3 ea dried bay leaves
  •  1 tsp sea salt
  •   4 cloves garlic, peeled
  •   1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

 The Sauce

  •   ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 C green pepper, finely diced – approximately 1 medium green pepper
  •   1C yellow onion, finely diced –approximate 1 large yellow onion
  •   1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
  •  1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  •   ½ C dry white wine
  •   1 tsp ground black pepper
  •  1 tsp sweet paprika
  •   1 tsp ground cumin
  •   1 Tbsp onion powder
  •   1 Tbsp garlic powder
  •  1 tsp dried oregano
  •   1 tsp dried basil
  •   ¾ C tomato paste
  •   ½ C+ dry white wine
  •  1 C tomato sauce


2 C+ strained beef boiling liquid

2 ea limes juiced


The Meat

1. Use a Dutch oven or roasting pan with a tight fitting lid. You want your brisket to just fit in the bottom with not a lot of space around it. Start with 2 quarts of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the brisket. The water should just cover the brisket. If there is too much liquid just ladle it out or add enough to cover.

2. Add the whole peppercorns, bay leaves, sea salt, whole garlic cloves and teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

3.Reduce to a rapid simmer and cover. Watch the water, you don’t want it to boil over but you want it to be active. Check from time to time to make sure the liquid hasn’t evaporated too much. In the end it might reduce itself by half.

4. Cook the brisket for two to two and a half hours until it is fork tender.

5. While the brisket cooks you can start to cook your sauce.

The Sauce

1. Heat a large saucepan, 4 or 5 quart, on medium high heat. Add the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, the diced onions, the diced green peppers, the minced garlic and the 1 tablespoons of Kosher salt. Stir for about two minutes and then add the ½ cup of dry white wine. Let that cook until the onions become translucent.

2.Once the onions are translucent add the ground black pepper, sweet paprika, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir.

3. Take the dried oregano and basil and rub them in the palms of your hands to enhance their flavor and add to the pot. Stir for about two minutes. Add the tomato paste and ½ cup of dry white wine. Stir constantly to blend the vegetables, herbs, wine and paste. Stir and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until well blended and cooked. 4. Add the cup of tomato sauce, stir to blend and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. It will be fairly thick but if you think it needs a bit of thinning, just add a ¼ cup more of white wine. Turn off the heat when done. Assembly 1. Once the brisket is deemed fork tender. Turn off the heat under the pot, take off the lid and let it sit in the liquid for 30 minutes.

2. Put the brisket on a cutting board. Take the beef boiling liquid which is now a beef broth and strain the solids reserving the beef broth. Throw away the solids. Take the sauce and put it in the now empty Dutch oven or roasting pan you cooked the brisket. Add two cups of the strained beef broth to the sauce and the juice of the two limes. Stir. Reserve the remaining beef broth if you need to or wish to thin the sauce. Any leftover broth can be frozen and used in a soup.

3.While the brisket is hot with two forks, start to shred the meat in long strings, which is with the grain of the meat. Once all the meat is shredded add to the sauce. Stir to blend and let simmer on a low heat for approximate 20 to 30 minutes. If the sauce seems too thick at the end of simmer time thin it with some of the remaining beef broth from the brisket.

Cuban Picadillo recipe – Beef Hash of Cuba

courtesy of Cocina Cubana Club (please join) / Pascual Perez and chef Sonia Martinez

The following can be added to white rice or used as filling in the “pastelitos” recipe in the dessert section to make small meat pies. For picadillo you can use ground lean beef or turkey.


  • 1 lb ground meat
  •  1 large onion, chopped
  •  2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  •  1 small can tomato sauce
  •  1/4 cup dry white wine
  •  Pimiento stuffed olives
  • Raisins
  •  Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, onions and garlic. If meat is not too lean, pour out whatever fat you render. turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato sauce and wine. While it simmers, chop up the pimiento stuffed olives and add to meat mixture, it is ok to add a little bit of the brine, if you wish. Add the raisins and adjust the seasonings. I like my picadillo almost dry, not too soupy. Serve over fluffy, white rice. If you like it soupier, just add more tomato sauce and/or wine, if you wish. For the pastelitos, let the sauce simmer almost to dry, so you will not have a runny mess on your hands. There is also a Cuban grocery website that sells Cuban-style picadillo in their fish & meat section if you want to try the version with potatoes (different from the meat-only one)

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Cuban Fufú (Turkey Dressing)

In the Caribbean and the nations with populations of West African origin, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico, plantains or yams are mashed and then other ingredients are added. In Cuba, the dish retains its original African name, or is also known as fufú de platano.


4 sweet plantains

1/4 pound of pork meat with fat or bacon, cut into 1/4 inch squares

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, mashed

1 lemon, juiced

3 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut ends off plantains and discard.
  • Slice each plantain into two-inch chunks.
  • Make a light cut into skin with knife along one edge. DO NOT PEEL.
  • In large pot, add plantains to chicken stock.
  • Bring to boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer until tender.
  • For meat, you need pork with plenty of fat — either well marbled or with a fat layer or both. We’ve had good luck with de-boned pork ribs. Or have the butcher cut something to order.
  • Slice meat into small pieces about one inch.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Place in large sauce pan and add water to just barely cover.
  • Bring to boil and simmer, uncovered until all  water has boiled away.
  • Fry pork pieces in rendered fat just until brown, but NOT crispy! The meat should be tender and stringy.
  • Remove meat .
  • Sauté garlic and onion in rendered fat over medium heat, three to five minutes.
  • During  last minute add lemon juice.
  • Remove fully cooked plantains from  broth (do not discard broth) and peel.
  • Mash  plantains with a little broth — just enough to make a soft, thick paste – like mashed potatoes.
  • Mash together with garlic and lemon and fried pork. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot.

NOTE: Some cooks use green plantains, some use very ripe plantains for this dish. We like to use something in between. We use medium ripe plantains — not black, but a little softer texture.