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Nicaragua (Nicaraguan Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes


   The Nicaraguan culinary art dates back to the pre-Colombian times. Back then, during colonial times, the peculiar, creative and varied Creole menu was the result of the union of these two races. In this type of food, ranging from soups and meats to a diversity of sweets, interesting ingredients are used. Since its origin, the fundamental basis of Nicaraguan gastronomy has been corn. Thus, its wide usage and derivatives constitutes the culinary inheritance left by indigenous tribes that lived in the area. This fact explains the similarities between the typical Nicaraguan food and those of other countries in the Central American region and Mexico. There are also other ingredients widely used in the Nicaraguan kitchen, mostly local, tropical products. Nevertheless, Nicaraguan culinary creativity is meticulous and open, which enables the utilization of ingredients used all around the world such as tomato, onion, garlic, flour, rice, orange, mustard and mayonnaise, milk and cheese, vanilla and cinnamon, and more. Another interesting aspect of the Nicaragua cuisine is the meat that is being eaten. Some foreigners, especially Europeans, might find the following hard to believe. From the cow, for example, some dishes are prepares using the tale, the udder, the stomach, or the brain; from the bull, the testicles; from the pork, the skin (which is used to make the famous chicharron), hoofs, and the blood (to make morongas). In addition and this is something not appreciated by ecologists Nicaraguans eat turtle eggs, lizards, armadillos, and boas (boas are eaten mainly in the Central and Northern region of Nicaragua).
Oxtail Stew
1/3 cup uncooked white beans
1 tablespoon lard
3 pounds of beef oxtails
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 cups of beef stock
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons ground allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
Few shots of hot sauce
Cooking Instructions:
Soak the beans in cold water overnight OR place beans in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and cover. Bring to a boil and turn of heat. Allow to sit for 1 hour covered with the heat off. In a heavy skillet brown the oxtails in lard. Place them in a large (about 6 quart) stove top casserole or stock pot. Add all the remaining ingredients except the water and beans. Then, add just enough water to cover the contents of the pot, this should be about 2 cups more or less. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Drain the beans and add to the stock pot. Continue cooking covered for an additional 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally and add additional water if necessary, you do not want the pot to dry out. If you like a thick stew, remove the lid during the last half hour of cooking.
Salvadoran Chicken Simmered with Onions (Pollo Encebollado)
Servings: 4-5
Chicken cut into serving pieces
2-3 pounds Oil
3 tablespoons
Onions, sliced thinly
3 each Water or stock
1 cup White wine
1/2 cup Bay leaf
1 each Salt & pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large saut pan or Dutch oven over medium-high flame. Brown the chicken pieces, a few at a time, on all sides. Remove to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the onions to the same pan and saut over medium-heat until translucent and just beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes. Add back the chicken pieces along with the rest of the ingredients. Simmer 25-35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice.
Curry Seafood Stew

1 lb shrimp (I used frozen precooked and cleaned)
1 lb scallops (I used frozen)
2 Tb butter (you can substitute oil if you need to)
1 lb frozen spinach
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
Curry spices to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Cooking Instructions:
In a large pan or good-sized pot, melt butter over medium heat. Don't let it burn. Add the shrimp and scallops and saute. Don't cook them all the way...just coat with butter and stir for about a minute. Add the spinach, coconut milk, and spices and stir until everything is mixed well. Reduce to low heat and cover the pot. Let it simmer (not boil) for about 5 minutes or until the seafood is cooked (don't overcook). Serve in soup bowls. If you wish to add carbs for your non-low-carbing family members or dinner guests, you can serve this dish over rice on a plate.
Egg and Potato Fry

4 medium-large potatoes
1 onion (or substitute radishes or leave out)
1 apple (optional)
5 large eggs
Oil or butter for frying
Cooking Instructions:
Slice potatoes thinly (you can also substitute boiled potatoes--either freshly cooked or leftovers in the fridge--don't slice as thin. This saves time in the morning) and add to hot oil. If you use salt, add it now. If your pan is much smaller than the potatoes laid out, you can fry in batches and set aside to add back later or to serve on the side as extras. Cook potatoes until nicely browned on both sides, or to taste. If you are using an apple, slice in to thin pieces no more than an inch long or wide. Alternatively, you can cut into small chunks. Add about 2-3 minutes before potatoes are done. In a bowl, beat the eggs very well. You can add a tablespoon or so of milk or water if you like, but it's not needed. Turn off the heat but leave the skillet on the burner (if you have an electric stove that loses heat slowly, move to another burner). Add the eggs to the skillet. Mix in with potatoes so they are evenly coated. The heat from the pan and potatoes should be enough to cook the eggs. If you prefer your eggs cooked more, keep the heat on.Salt and pepper to taste. Optional, add some dill weed, or fresh herbs.
Pastel de Tres Leches

1 cup of flour
1 cup of white granulated sugar (you may want to use less if you are also making the
frosting, this is the traditional amount but may yield a cake that is too sweet for some
2 tsp baking powder
7 eggs (yes seven, that is not a typo)
½ tsp of cream of tartar
1 tbsp of vanilla
3/4 cup of whole milk
1 small/regular can of evaporated milk
1 small/regular can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of milk (whipping) cream
Cooking Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form and set aside. In another bowl mix the egg yolks. Add the sugar and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and whole milk. Mix well. Add the egg whites and mix lightly, just enough to incorporate the mixture. Pour mixture into a greased and floured (or use non stick baking spray) and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool completely and cut into three layers. Mix the evaporated milk, the condensed milk, and the whipping cream. Arrange the first cake layer on a serving dish, preferably one that is not completely flat, since there may be some
run off in the next step.
   Pour one third of the milk mixture over the first cake layer. Put the second layer of cake on top of the milk mixture and once again pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over it. Arrange the final cake layer and pour the remaining milk mixture over it. Cover the entire cake with the frosting recipe that follows. Refrigerate until serving.

4 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 ½ tbsp of corn starch
4 egg yolks
Cooking Instructions:
Dissolve the corn starch in a small amount of water. Mix the milk, sugar, cinnamon stick and corn starch mixture. Heat until it boils then remove from heat. Let cool. Remove the cinnamon stick. Place the mixture in a baking dish or individual baking cups; like the smell ones used for custards. Place the dish(s) in a water bath and bake at 350F until golden brown.
Servings: 8-10
2 cups crumbled cheese, mixture of feta and chevre
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups (1 lb.) ricotta or pot cheese
1-2 boxes frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
5 eggs
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt, pepper
1 lb. frozen filo dough, defrosted according to package directions
1/2 lb. melted butter (2 sticks)
Sesame seeds, optional
Cooking Instructions:
Saute onions in butter until browned and soft. Combine with spinach, eggs, cheeses, flour, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Using a pastry brush, butter a 9x13 inch baking pan with melted butter. Place a filo leaf on bottom, brush with melted butter, and repeat process until you have a pile of 8 leaves. Spread with half the filling. Top with another pile of 8 filo leaves, spreading each one with melted butter (if you run out of melted butter, melt more). Top with remaining filling. Top with remaining filo sheets, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle top layer with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake uncovered in preheated 375 oven until golden, about 45 minutes.
Chicken Tamales

30 corn husks or 20 pieces of aluminum foil cut into 10-inch squares
4 cups (1 pound) flour
2 cups skim milk
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (remove fat)
½ cup mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 20 strips, ½-inch by 2 inches
2 medium potatoes, peeled, and thinly sliced (20 slices)
40 raisins
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced (20 slices)
1 onion, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced (20 slices)
2 fresh green chilies, thinly sliced (20 slices)
20 fresh mint sprigs
Cooking Instructions:
To make the dough. In a large saucepan, stir the dough ingredients with a wooden spoon. Cook the dough over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm but still moist. Cool to room temperature and wrap in plastic until needed. The dough may be made one day in advance and refrigerated.
To make the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Stir in the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. To assemble and cook.
   If you are using packaged corn husks, separate them, put in large bowl, cover with water and set aside for several hours or overnight. Divide the dough into 20 pieces. Form each piece into a cylinder about 3 inches long and place it in the center of a husk or foil. Press into the dough a piece of chicken, 2 raisins, and a slice of potato. On top of the dough place a slice of tomato, some onion slices, and slice each of chile and pepper. Top with a sprig of mint. Fold the ends of each foil or husk wrapper over the filling and garnishes, and then fold the sides of the wrapper tightly. To tie them into waterproof packages, use thin strips torn from several husks or use 5-inch pieces of string. If you are using foil instead of husks, tying is not necessary. Fill the bottom half of a large steamer with water. Stand all the tamales upright in the top of the steamer and cover them with corn husks. Cover the pot tightly, bring the water to a boil, adjust heat to maintain a simmer, and let the tamales cook for about 1½ hours. To check for doneness, open a tamale; the dough should come away solidly from the husk or foil. As the tamales cook, check the water level occasionally and replenish if necessary. Unwrap and serve immediately.
Carnes Desmenuzadas
Servings: 6
2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1-inch pieces
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sour orange juice
Cooking Instructions:
Cook the beef in the water with the salt over moderate heat for 1 hour. Remove the beef, cool and pull meat into shreds. Heat oil in skillet and fry the onions, tomato, and bell pepper for 2 minutes. Add beef shreds and pepper and continue to fry for 3 minutes more. Add sour orange juice and mix well. Fry for 2 minutes more. Serve with tortillas.
Nicaraguan-Style Steak
Servings: 4
1 x beef tenderloin - (abt 1 1/2 lbs), preferably center cut
1 lrg bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsle stemmed (abt 2 cups leaves)
4 x garlic cloves peeled
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or more to taste
3 tbl water
1 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
1 tsp finely-ground black pepper or more to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Place the piece of tenderloin lengthwise on the cutting board. Holding the knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the meat into 4 flat, even horizontal strips. Place each strip between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the side of a cleaver or with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Arrange the steaks in a nonreactive baking dish. Prepare the chimichurri. Combine the parsley and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and process to make a thick sauce. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, or vinegar as necessary; the mixture should be highly seasoned. Place half the chimichurri in a bowl or crock for serving; pour the remainder over the meat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator, 30 minutes, turning several times. Preheat the grill to high. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Drain the beef and place it on the hot grate. Grill, turning with tongs, until cooked to taste, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve with the remaining chimichurri sauce.
Peg's Broccoli Casserole
Servings: 4
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. flour
1/2 cup water
8 oz. Velveeta cheese ( I know, but it really works...
and if you can't stand the thought, regular cheese might be all right ),
cut into small chunks
2 10-oz. packages frozen, chopped broccoli
3 eggs, beaten
13 Ritz crackers, crushed
Cooking Instructions:
Thaw broccoli; squeeze to remove water. Then, fry onion in butter; add flour and water. When thick, add cheese. Combine
sauce with broccoli. Add eggs. Mix well and pour into greased casserole. Top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until set and firm.
Carmelized Onion Pizza

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 jumbo onions, sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. basil
Garlic powder
Seasoned salt
6-8 ounces grated cheese (Gruyere, Swiss, or Mozzarella)
1 large or 2 small Boboli (0r other) pizza shells
Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, salt, and sugar, and cook until onions are soft and golden, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil, garlic powder, and seasoned salt to taste. Place bread shell(s) on cookie sheet, heap onion mixture on top, and top with cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.
Layered Bean Dip Casserole
Servings: 8-10
2 cans vegetarian refried beans
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained, optional
1 envelope (1 1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
garlic powder
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 can sliced black olives
4 scallions, washed and sliced
Tortilla chips
Cooking Instructions:
Mix refried beans, chilies, and taco seasoning mix. Spread in bottom of large casserole dish. Mash avocados, and mix with
lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. salsa, cumin, and garlic to taste. Spread on top of refried beans. Spread remainder of salsa on top of
avocado mixture. Spread sour cream on top of salsa. Top with shredded lettuce ( optional, or may be placed on bottom if
preferred ), grated cheese, olives, and scallions. Serve with tortilla chips.
Rice With Milk Pudding (Aroz De Leche)

1 cup of white rice
2-3 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp of grated lemon, lime, OR orange peel
Pinch of salt
4 cups of milk
1 cup of water
½ cup of raisins
1 tbsp vanilla
Powdered cinnamon
Cooking Instructions:
Combine the rice, water, cinnamon stick, grated peel and salt in pot that has a lid. Bring to a boil uncovered. Once it stars boiling immediately reduce to a simmer and cover. Continue cooking until all the water has been absorbed. Cooking time depends on what type of rice you are using. Use your regular cooking method as a guide to determine how much water to use and how long to cook. I was originally going to provide specific instructions, but the opportunity for variation is just to great. So just do what you normally do. Continue simmering. Stir the mixture constantly until it starts to thicken. Add the raisins and vanilla and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool about half an hour. Pace in individual serving dishes and refrigerate. One big Tupperware container works too. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

World Cuisine Recipes


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