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Posts Tagged ‘dipping sauce’

Tostones, twice fried green plantains or breadfruit (pana) patties, are a staple in caribbean cuisine and often served as a side dish, appetizer or snack.  They are called “patacones” or “tachinos” in some south american countries and can be made fresh or nowadays they also come frozen. Some people season them with plain salt, garlic mojito or mayo-ketchup, but I like to serve with this sauce which I call Mojito Caribeño.  All you need is a sharp knife to finely chop ingredients and a mortar and pestle to bring it all together.  This dipping sauce has a strong aroma and irresistible flavor. Simply spread over tostones and enjoy.  If you want to make it spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a few drops of “pique” (hot sauce).

click here to print recipe

Mojito Caribeño

Ingredients

2 large culantro leaves (recao) finely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp very finely chopped yellow onion

1 tsp very finely chopped cubanel or green pepper

scant 1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

1 tsp vinegar

pinch of ground cumin

pinch of dried oregano

4 tbsp tomato sauce

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Procedure

1.  In a mortar and pestle (pilón) mash garlic with some of the salt.

recao- culantro leaves

2.  Add finely chopped culantro (recao), onions and green pepper.  Mash with the pestle.

3.  Add cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Mash a bit more to create a coarse paste.

4.  Add vinegar, tomato sauce, olive oil and lemon juice and stir with a spoon until all ingredients are incorporated.  Serve with tostones de platano o pana (fried plantains or breadfruit).  Refrigerate if you have any leftovers.

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Guava (guayaba) is a tropical fruit mostly found in Central America, northern South America, South East Asia and the Caribbean.  It has also been naturalized in Hawaii, India and Tropical Africa.  Guava trees give 2 crops a year.  One of the reasons I loved going to Mami Chelo and Papi Bartolo’s (my grandparents on my father side) house as a little girl was because they had a guava tree.  They lived in a two story house with the living areas in the top floor and a garage and a small apartment in the first floor. After my grandparents became “empty nesters”  they decided to rent the apartment  and for many years they had a tenant in the first floor.  Her name was Doña Estefania, a sweet, old, petitte Spanish lady. At the time, I think she was in her late seventies, a widow and lived by herself.  Almost every Sunday, we went to visit my grandparents and the moment Doña Estefanía heard my voice she immediately came out to to say hello and gave me a fruit, most of the time it was a guava fruit from their tree. I loved the smell, the taste and color. The skin was green-yellow, soft when very ripe, a bit bitter at first and the inside dark pink and sweet with hard seeds which I ate too. It is hard to find guavas in the supermarket because they bruise easily and are highly perishable once they reach their ripeness, that’s why not many people have the chance of eating “the real thing”. What most people are used to is guava juice (which I love!) and guava paste which are much sweeter than the actual fruit.

I like to use this sauce as a bbq sauce for baby back ribs, its a nice and sweet contrast as a dipping sauce for the salty gouda cheese balls (see recipe under appetizers) or as a glaze for bbq pork chops. Use your imagination…

Guava and cilantro sauce

Ingredients

10 oz. guava paste (cut into large cubes)

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (cilantrillo)

Procedure

1.  Put all ingredients together in a sauce pan and stir constantly over medium-hi heat.

2. Stop stirring once guava paste is melted and incorporated with the liquids.

Enjoy!

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This is a popular dipping sauce in Puerto Rico.  In other places it is called “Salsa Rosa” or Pink Sauce. You may use it to accompany “tostones” or fried green plantains, which my kids love.  Also, it is used to dip “sorullitos de maiz” or corn fritters. In some restaurants, I have seen that they use this sauce to accompany the shrimp and avocado salad or to dip boiled prawns. It is easy to make and versatile. The possibilities are endless.

Mayo-Ketchup dipping sauce

Ingredients

1 part ketchup

3 parts mayonnaise

Procedure

1.  Blend ingredients with a spoon until all mayonnaise lumps are gone. Place in a small bowl and serve as dipping sauce or over cold cooked shrimp. To give it a little kick,  you may add mashed garlic and finely chopped fresh “culantro” (recao). Or if you wish, you may add “pique” (hot sauce).  Refrigerate leftovers.

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