MCCN Host Erika L. Holmes Gets Personal about Latin Foods

MCCN host Erika L. Holmes shares about the foods of Puerto Rico and Panama.  Our host of What’s the Dish? is a proud PanaRican.

See Erika interview celebrities about their favorite foods in the Video Section

Click here for: Pastelillos de Carne Recipe

Pastelillos de Carne Recipe

Pastelillos de carne before cooking reduced

 These Photos are complimentary of MCCN host Erika L. Holmes.  In a previous article she shared about her Panarican(Puerto Rican and Panamanian) roots.  Now, shifting emphasis to the cooking of her Puerto Rican mom, Erika snaps some photos of her mom in action.  The recipe below is from The Valley Table Magazine.  We are working on getting’s Erika’s mom’s recipe.     

  • Ingredients: Filling
    1 pound meat (The pork we use for the pastelillos is usually left over from a roast loin of pork. Dice the meat into small bits, then add to the sauteing sofrito and tomato sauce. If starting from scratch, choose 2 to 3 pounds of lean pork chops and saute on the stove top with sofrito and tomato sauce. When cooked, cut the meat from the bone, chop up into small cubes and return the meat to the sofrito. Some people chose ground beef, or ground poultry meat, for ease of cooking. Pastelillos using pork, or seafood (crab, lobster or shrimp, diced-the fillings used in Puerto Rican coastal towns) are preferred and are more traditional.)
    Sofrito for filling
    1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    4 ounces tomato sauce (1/2 can)
    pinch of oregano
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons of olive oil for saut?ing

Ingredients: Dough
3 cups all-purpose white flour
12 tablespoons softened butter
4 tablespoons water to add to flour
1/2 bottle of vegetable oil for frying
pinch of salt     

Serving: approximately (2) dozen pastelillos

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron). Saute onions, peppers and garlic until soft.
2. Add meat and tomato sauce to the pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. When cooked, remove from heat and let cool.
3. To prepare the dough, cut the flour and softened butter together in a large bowl, then add small amounts of water slowly, working the mixture with your hands to a soft consistency (the flour should be moist, but not wet).
4. Break off fist-sized pieces of the dough; using a well-floured rolling pin on a well-floured surface, roll out each portion into a 1/8-inch-thin circular disk. (Have extra flour on hand to dust the rolling pin and your hands as needed.) Using a small (4-inch) plate as your guide, trim edges.
5. Place about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling onto one side of each disk.
6. Fold the disk in half over filling; press edges down firmly with the tines of a fork so that no filling will leak into the oil. Before frying, lay the pastelillos flat on floured wax paper, a few inches apart, to prevent sticking.
7. Deep-fry each pastelillo in hot (375F) vegetable oil until golden (about 4 to 5 minutes on each side). Remove and drain on paper towel. (Or burn your mouth on a hot one!) Serve with white rice and beans, or a good calderone of arroz con gondures (rice with pigeon peas).     

Pastelillos de carne reduced- Photo by Erika L. Holmes

 Find out about Erika L. Holmes: