In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month this year, celebrated annually in the U.S. from September 15 to October 15, we thought it would be fun to share a few of the employee recipes we’ve collected for Gas South’s new employee recipe book: Cooking With Culture. The goal is to collect recipes in separate volumes that celebrate the different cultures and heritages tied to certain months and days throughout the year. This first volume pays tribute to some of the favorite foods of Hispanic and Latin American culture. And in this week’s blog, we give you a sampling of some of those recipes. Buen Provecho!
Submitted By: Dennis C.
Region/Country: Dominican Republic
Background: Casabe, a type of bread, was originally produced by the Native Americans, Arawaks, Tainos and Caribs throughout the Caribbean basin, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. It’s made from the tubers of the cassava (yucca) plant—common throughout these countries—and made up an important part of the traditional diets of the people who lived there.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Ingredients:1 kg (2.2 pounds) of cassava; ¼ teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon mild-flavored oil
- Peel and wash the cassava (yucca) well. Then cut it in half and remove the center.
- Grate it with the help of a guayo (grater), using the finest grating side.
- Once grated, add the salt, and place it on a clean cotton cloth. Then, wrap it and squeeze to extract all the liquid and form it into a cassava dough.
- Next, place the dough a flat tray and take it to the refrigerator for 4 hours, kneading every hour.
- After 4 hours, it should be slightly moist and ready to cook.
- Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the oil, spreading it over the entire surface of the pan so the dough doesn’t stick.
- Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the dough to the pan, flattening it with a spoon to create a thin cake of cassava dough.
- Cook for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown—any remaining moisture will evaporate, and the dough should break easily. Your cassava should be crunchy. If it’s still a little flexible, it needs a little more cooking time.
- Serve your casaba when done or store it in a dry place to preserve its crunchy texture.
Submitted By: Ernesto C.
Region/Country: Dominican Republic/Caribbean
Background: No. 1 traditional breakfast in the Dominican Republic
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 1 green plantain; 4 eggs; 6-8 breakfast sausage patties (Dominican salami/salchichon); 1/2 red onion; 1 avocado; salt to taste; pepper; 1/4 cup of white vinegar; 1tbsp butter; 1/2 - 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- Peel and cut plantain into small pieces.
- Place plantain in a pot of water and bring to boil.
- Allow plantains to boil for about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from water and set aside.
- Heat a pan to medium heat.
- Cook the sausage (Dominican salami/salchichon) in pan for about 1 minute on each side or until browned. (Sausage will release fat. No need for butter or oil.)
- After sausage is done, cook eggs to your preference—traditionally fired eggs are the way to go, so you may need butter or a bit of vegetable oil
- In a different pan, heat to medium heat and add 1/2 of vegetable oil.
- Slice red onions into thin round slices and add to pan with vegetable oil.
- Allow onions to lightly fry for about 5 minutes, then add 1/4 cup of white vinegar (or less if wanting a weaker vinegar taste).
- After onions are done ,go back to the pot with the plantain and pour out most of the water—leave a bit of the water.
- Add butter, salt, pepper and a bit of the vinegar from the onions into the pot with the plantains and mash them all together.
- Plate the mashed plantain (mangu) with the onions on top and with the eggs, sausage and avocado on the side. You can also have fried cheese with this dish.
Cheese and Guava Flan
Submitted By: Enrique V.
Country/Region: Puerto Rico
Background: This version of flan puts a Puerto Rican spin on a popular desert of Spain and Latin America.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes in the oven
Ingredients: 1 can (12oz) of evaporated milk; 1 can (14oz) of condensed milk; 1 pack (8oz) of Cream cheese; ½ a pack (7oz) of Guava paste; 5 eggs; 1 cup of sugar; ¼ cup of water
- Add sugar in a saucepan with water in medium heat for 15 minutes to create a caramel. Check regularly and stir as needed to ensure all sugar is being cooked. (Optional: Add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice.)
- In a blender, add:
- Condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Cream cheese.
- Turn on blender to medium until guava is liquified/broken down and mixed with other ingredients.
- Add eggs to the blender. (Optional: Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.)
- When caramel is ready (golden), pour onto baking mold and distribute evenly. Add mix from blender.
- Place the baking mold in a bigger baking dish and add some boiling water to create a water bath that the mold sits in—this will help the flan cook evenly.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.