Tag Archives: Snacks and Appetizers

Flash Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

I purchased a basket of assorted cherry tomatoes on a trip to the warehouse club last week.  It included every color under the sun, from striped brownish red, red, orange and yellow, to green.  I made a point of using every tomato during the week – except the green ones.  At the time I wasn’t sure to which dish I would be adding them to, but their destiny was clear.  I was going to flash fry those green cherries.   The last time I got my fried green tomato fix was back in November in DC. Seven months is a long time! Read More…

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Granola Energy Bars

granola energy bars

Fig and Pecan Granola Energy Bars

I’ve liked granola bars for as long as I can remember.  Could it be the candy-like wrappers?  The combination of sweet and salty?  Their magic hunger killing powers when enjoyed with coffee, tea, water, soda?  They are so convenient I always have a box or two at home and at work.  Although I have made ‘loose’ granola at home before, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Granola Energy Bars, was my first time baking and slicing it into bars.  It won’t be the last.  No brand that I know of has come up with apricot macadamia or fig and pecan varieties.  And those are just the flavors I thought up with this week!

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Puerto Rican Christmas Recipe Roundup

Puerto Rico

I think I have quizzed you on this important fact.  What country celebrates the longest holiday season?

If you answered anything other than a rousing “Puerto Rico!”, click here for my original tutorial on Puerto Rican Christmas.  One sentence summary?  Puerto Rican Christmas stretches from the day after Thanksgiving to mid January.  That gives you plenty of time to enjoy the delicacies of the season, cleanse your palate from the overdose of lechón, arroz con gandules, and coconut sweets, and then do it all over again before it is time for la Calle San Sebastián.

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French Fridays with Dorie: Tartine de Coppa

Tartine de Coppa

French Fridays for Les Paresseux

Right after you return from a trip, you want things to go easy… to run smoothly so you can hold on to that vacation glow.  I won’t say my happy vacation glow is gone, but it has faded.  Much like a tan that starts as a red sunburn and mellows into a lightly bronzed look, I’ve been catching up with routines and a flurry of activity at the office while basking in the memories of our days in Washington DC and Cambridge.  This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, the Tartine de Viande des Grison was the perfect recipe to come back home to.    A tartine is a French open-faced sandwich, or as our fellow Dorista Trevor likes to remind us, stuff on toast.  The Viande des Grison – also known as Bündnerfleisch – is an air-dried beef cold cut of Swiss origin.   What a good recipe to “rest with” after the Thanksgiving kitchen acrobatics many of us did during the holiday weekend! Read More…

Plantain Spiders – Arañitas de Platano

plantain spiders arañitas de platano

Food is a feast for the senses.  The first point of attraction is the way a dish looks and how it is presented.  Smell wafts through the nose.  Fingers and mouth take on texture and temperature.  Before the taste buds can have their way, it all explodes with a deafening CRUNCH.

I love plantain spiders – aka. arañitas de platano.  They are bites that truly engage all five senses.  Eating them is a loud experience.  That crunch, the hit of salt, the unmistakable smell of fried plantain. Read More…

Green Pigeon Pea Escabeche (Gandules en Escabeche)

green pigeon pea escabeche

A Holiday Tradition

Gandules – also known in the rest of the Caribbean as guandules or just peas – are the traditional Puerto Rican legume of the holiday season.  I dare you to go to a Christmas party in Puerto Rico without arroz con gandules.  These days, I might even extend that dare to Thanksgiving meals in the island.  The minute you taste the sofrito laced rice and peas, you know it’s Christmas or you are reminded of the season.

Green pigeon peas can be found either canned or frozen, with fresh peas being a little harder to come by.  I was extremely lucky a few years ago.  I had a co-worker that grew them on her backyard.  When the holiday season was around the corner, she would start taking orders for her cosecha, the harvest.  Although there are few things better dishes than arroz con gandules made with fresh peas,  the convenience of canned gandules cannot be denied, especially for recipes like this one. Read More…

Salmon Rillettes with Cream Cheese and Scallions

The rain in Humacao stays mainly in the beach.  Do not be fooled by the bright blue sky!

When July arrives, Puerto Ricans flee the bustle of city life and make their way to one of the many strips of beach in our 100 x 35 mile island.   Salty air clears away the noise and staleness of the mundane. Be carefree, darned it – it almost screams at us.  It has been quite the breezy – if hot – weekend here at the Humacao beach where we try to spend most long weekends. The wind has cleared up many rain showers fairly fast, lulled us to nap, and given us a soundtrack to relax to. I will definitely miss it once we are back to daily grind.

Beach weekends call for meals that are easy to pull off, often prepared before heading to our destination.  The snacks concocted for taking to the beach or entertaining need to be simple enough to be prepared with basic kitchen equipment.  On previous visits to the Humacao apartment, I’ve hauled over my stick blender/mini food processor combo, and this time considered tossing in a microplane grater in my bag this time around.  I’m glad I didn’t.  Faux-grating lemon zest was not the arduous task that gadget marketers make it out to be. Read More…

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa is a Tunisian pepper paste or condiment that is used to season meats and vegetables or to bump up the flavor in soups and stews.    Although it is traditionally found and can be made at home in paste form, dry blends have been popping up in specialty grocery stress.  The dry blend I have on hand has paprika, caraway, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, and peppermint.  The jar suggests mixing it with oil to create a paste closer to the traditional preparation.  I’ve been using it lately as as substitute for Cajun seasoning, especially for blackening fish.  The fresher herbs give such a nice contrast to the fiery peppers.  Harissa is often combined with lemon, another essential ingredient in North African cuisine. Read More…

Saborea Puerto Rico Liveblog – Sunday April 6th

Saborea Puerto Rico Liveblog

We’re live blogging from Saborea Puerto Rico today!  You will know what we are tasting, who are we watching and talking to as it happens.  For more real-time Saborea updates, follow the Twitter and Instagram hashtags #saboreapr and #saboreando. Read More…

Whole Wheat Rolls for Montaditos

Whole Wheat Rolls for Montaditos

One of my in-laws favorite spots to out and enjoy a fun meal in Miami is 100 Montaditos.  100 Montaditos is a chain hailing from Spain that sells small, inexpensive and tasty sandwiches filled with pretty much any combination of meat, cheeses, veggies and even tortilla española.  Their Wednesday specials are notorious – all sandwiches are priced at a dollar, and cañas  (small draft beers) sell for two.   The montaditos main draw is the tiny, crusty baguette they are served in.  These sandwiches can be finished in a couple of bites, allowing you to taste many different combinations in one sitting.  Their menu literally contains a hundred options. Read More…

Gougères (de Queso del País)

Gougeres de queso del pais

Feliz día de Reyes!  Happy Epiphany Day!

One of my New Year’s blogging resolutions is to continue incorporating Puerto Rican ingredients into my posts.  While some times these flavors will be shown in their traditional preparations, it’s also fun to integrate them into dishes from other cuisines.  Today’s recipe, gougères, is a traditional French cream puff that can be enjoyed as as sweet treat or as a savory snack or appetizer.  Instead of using Gruyére or Cheddar cheese, I made these with queso del país – Puerto Rican white cheese. Read More…

GF360° Top 5 Posts of 2013

GF360° Top 5 Posts of 2013

I am a statistics nerd… putting together this recap of the most viewed posts of 2013 was fun and eye-opening.  Puerto Rican flavors, both and and out of my kitchen, keep bringing friends, family and the curious into Great Food 360°!  Without further ado, here are GF360­° Top 5 Posts of 2013.

Gracias, gracias, gracias!

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French Fridays with Dorie: Muenster Cheese Soufflés

If you would like to order the soufflé, please notify your server forty five minutes in advance.

Muenster Cheese Soufflé

Forty five minutes?  This restaurant maxim and looking at many golden Muenster cheese soufflés at the crack of dawn inspired me to step away from the computer and head to the kitchen at 6am.   Turns out I had a real French Friday in me today after all.   The forty-five minute estimate, however, only applies to restaurant kitchens with all their ingredients already set up and ready to go.  It took me about ten more to make the soufflé start to finish.  Today’s breakfast was a big departure from the cereal/coffee routine.
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French Fridays with Dorie: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Tuna fish sandwiches are the ultimate resuelve (literally, problem solver) meal.  Tuna-packed piquillo peppers have turned now into the ultimate resuelve lunch, snack, appetizer.  Pantry friendly ingredients? Check.  Sweet, salty, briny flavors?  Yes please!  A quickly assembled tuna salad with shallots, capers, olives and herbs is the perfect contrast to the sweet little peppers.  Move over, jalapeño poppers!
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Catching Up with Dorie: Summer Vegetables

Palomino Island

Palomino Island, off the coast of Fajardo, Puerto Rico

And I present you my version of floating islands for this weekend!  ¡Hola Palomino!
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