Archive for the 'Recipes/Recetas' Category

Achiote-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Manchamanteles

  • 12 to 14-pound turkey, preferably fresh and/or organic

For the Achiote Rub:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon achiote seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Makes 12 servings, with leftovers
Make the manchamanteles up to 3 days in advance.

Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. Save them for broth (see Luscious Leftovers). Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water and drain off as much water as possible. Blot the turkey dry inside and out with a wad of paper towels.

Make the achiote rub and season the turkey:
Heat the olive oil and achiote seeds in a small skillet over low heat until the seeds are sizzling and the oil begins to darken. Let the seeds sizzle one minute, then strain the oil into a small heatproof bowl. With a garlic press, press the garlic cloves into the oil. (Adding the garlic to the hot oil mellows it out a little bit and takes out the “sting.”) Stir in the salt and pepper and let the oil cool to room temperature.
Loosen the skin over the breasts and as much of the legs as you can by working your fingers gently in between the meat and skin. Flip the turkey over and do the same to as much of the skin over the back as you can. Using your fingers, work the achiote rub into the meat under all the loosened skin and inside the cavity of the turkey. Truss the turkey legs with kitchen twine and smear any remaining rub over the turkey skin.

Put the turkey breast side down on a rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate uncovered for up to 24 hours (the longer the better). Refrigerating the turkey helps dry the skin, making it crispier after roasting.

Cook and serve the turkey:
Take the turkey out to room temperature about 30 minutes before you plan to cook it. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425 F.

Pour 1 cup water into the roasting pan. Roast the turkey breast side down 45 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 375 F. Continue roasting until an instant reading thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh away from any bones registers 155 F, about 14 minutes per pound (or 3 ¼ hours for a 14 pound turkey) total cooking time. About 30 minutes before the turkey is done, turn it breast side up on the rack. (A pair of oven mitts that you’re willing to toss into the laundry basket afterwards is a good way to turn the turkey. The turkey will continue to cook and the temperature to rise after taking it out of the oven. The final temperature you’re looking for is 165 F. The joint where the wing connects to the breastbone is another good place to check the temp.) Let the turkey stand about 30 minutes before carving.

Luscious Leftovers:
Of course, leftover turkey is half the reason people love Thanksgiving!
Prepare a Latin version of the classic American day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich filled with turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing by piling sliced turkey, leftover manchamanteles, and cornbread stuffing into a split length of soft Italian bread.
Or, substitute sliced turkey for smoked turkey.

Make a delicious broth with the picked over turkey carcass:
Put the carcass along with a few peeled and coarsely chopped carrots, celery stalks, and small onions into a roasting pan. Scatter several garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme over the vegetables. Roast in a 400F oven until the vegetables start to brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer everything from the roasting pan into a pot large enough to hold it comfortably. Pour in enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a few minutes, skimming off the foam and fat as it rises to the surfaces. Adjust the heat so the broth is at a bare simmer and cook for 3 to 4 hours, skimming occasionally. Strain the broth and enrich it with cooked white beans and calabaza plain cooked rice, or tiny pasta shapes. Any of these soups would be better off with a little shredded leftover turkey added to them. The pasta version would be nice with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

Chile-Fruit Mole (Manchamanteles)

  • 2 ripe medium plum tomatoes (about 8 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion (about 1¼ pounds), halved then cut into thin slices (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup ancho chile paste (see Note)
  • 6 cups homemade or store-bought chicken broth, or as needed
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 4 ounces dried apricots, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher or fine sea salt

Makes about 7 cups, enough to serve with the turkey and provide generous (and I mean generous!) leftovers
Make the manchamanteles up to 3 days in advance.
Core the tomatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Heat a small, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the tomatoes skin side down and cook, turning once, until charred on most of both sides, about 8 minutes. Set them aside.

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they just begin to take on some color, about 8 minutes. Add the oregano and continue cooking until the onions are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, then the ancho paste. Keep stirring and cooking until the onions are coated with the chile paste. Stir in 6 cups broth and heat to boiling, then slip in the charred tomatoes. Adjust the heat so the sauce is simmering and cook until the onions are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, blend the sauce base until smooth. To avoid splattering, either cool the sauce to tepid or work in very small batches and/or use a folded-up kitchen towel to clamp the lid to the blender while it’s running.  Rinse out the pot.

Return the sauce base to the pot. Stir in the pineapple with its juice, the mango, apricot, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and black pepper. Season lightly with salt and bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the sauce is simmering. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and takes on a nice shine, about 20 minutes. The sauce may be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

Ancho chile paste is traditionally made by toasting dried ancho chiles until softened, seeding them and pureeing the chile until very smooth. After pureeing, the paste is pushed through a fine sieve to remove all traces of skin and any stray seeds. The new tradition in my kitchen is to order ancho paste online. An excellent ancho paste (and pastes made from other chiles) is available online from Purcell Mountain Farms through their website ( ). Alternatively, substitute dried ancho chiles for the paste: Lightly toast 6 to 8 dried ancho chiles in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat just until they change color and smell wonderful, about 1 minute per side. Pull out the stems and tap out the seeds. Put the toasted chiles in a large bowl and pour in enough hot water to cover them. Weight them with a plate to keep them submerged and soak them until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain them thoroughly, tear them into large pieces, and put them in a blender jar. Blend, adding just enough fresh water to make a very coarse puree. Any seeds and skins you may have missed will be strained out of the sauce before adding the fruit.

Luscious Leftovers:

Pick over the turkey and remove all the meat from the bones—even the nooks and crannies. Pick over the meat to remove pieces of fat, skin, or gristle and shred the meat coarsely. Put the meat in a saucepan and spoon in enough of the leftover manchamanteles to coat the turkey generously. Warm over low heat until heated through. Serve with rice or use as a filling for soft tacos, crisp corn tacos or enchiladas. For any of the above, whip up a quick batch of Quick-Pickled Onions and pass a dish of them separately. Just about any kind of seafood—shrimp comes first to mind—off the grill would be a little happier with a splash of manchamanteles to keep it company.

Napa Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 head Napa cabbage (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper (preferably white) to taste
  • 1 jalapeño (or other chile of choice, finely chopped) optional

Makes about 14 cups (12 servings)
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 1 hour to sit)

Trim any wilted or discolored leaves from the cabbage. Cut it crosswise into thin strips. (Cut the head in half lengthwise and remove the core first if that will make slicing easier.) There will be about 20 cups. Toss the shredded cabbage and cilantro in a large serving bowl. The cabbage and cilantro may be prepped up to a day in advance, but don’t dress the salad until an hour before serving.

In a separate bowl, beat 1/2 cup of the sesame oil, the lemon and lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, and chile, if using, until the salt is dissolved. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss to coat. Refrigerate for up to an hour, tossing occasionally. Serve cold.

Peruvian Style Chow Fun (Chaufa)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 smoked pork chop, boned and cut into ½ inch dice (see Note)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ½ inch dice (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (about 40), peeled and deveined
  • 4 cups cooked white rice (leftover is perfect; if not, cook the rice long enough in advance for it to cool completely)
  • ½ cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • Chopped cilantro for garnishing

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Heat a small non-stick skillet over high heat and spray with oil spray. Pour enough of the beaten eggs into the pan to coat the bottom, swirling to set the egg. Take the skillet off the heat and flip the egg “tortilla” over. Cook just until fully set, about a minute. Remove and repeat until all of the egg is used. Roll each of the “tortillas” into a cylinder, and slice into ¼-inch rings. Set aside.

Heat the sesame oil in a larger skillet over high heat. Add the pork chop, onion, and shrimp and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is just opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the pork and shrimp are mixed throughout. Drizzle the soy sauce and sherry into the rice mixture and toss well to season the rice evenly. Check for seasoning, turn the rice out into a serving bowl and top with the chopped cilantro.

Note: Smoked pork chops are available in some supermarkets and butcher shops. If you can’t find them, substitute 2 cups of cubed smoked ham steak.

Peruvian Roast Chicken

  • Two 3-pound chickens, washed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons dry adobo, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup malta (see Note)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus up to a day for marinating)
Cook Time: 90 minutes

Rinse the chickens and pat them dry inside out out. Stir the adobo, pepper, oregano, and lime juice together in a small bowl. Loosen the skin over the breasts and as much of the legs as you can by working your fingers gently in between the meat and skin. Flip the chicken over and do the same to as much of the skin over the back as you can. With the aid of a teaspoon, work the adobo mixture under the skin all over the chicken and inside the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine and rub any remaining marinade over the skin of the chicken.

Stir the soy sauce, malta, garlic, and ginger together in a small bowl. Divide between two gallon-size sealable plastic bags. Put one chicken in each bag and squish the liquid around so it coats the chicken evenlys. Refrigerate for no less than four hours or, preferably, overnight. Turn and squish the chickens occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Drain the chicken thoroughly. Roast the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan until the juices run clear (not pink) when you pierce the meat between the thigh and the leg, about 1 hour. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes. Cut into 4 to 8 pieces before serving.

Malta is a malt-based non-alcoholic beverage that is found all over Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. It is purported to boost iron leveles in the blood (especially when mixed with raw eggs, as I have often seen!) You can find malta in every bodega in every borough of New York City (literally) and in any market that serves even a smallish Latin population. If you cannot find malta, beat 2 tablespoons molasses and 3 to 4 tablespoons water together and use that instead.

The traditional way to cook Peruvian chicken is a la brasa, or over an open flame, using either coal or wood as fuel and on a rotating spit. While most of us don’t even have the luxury of an electric rotisserie (late night television impulse purchase, anyone?), I found that when I tried the recipe on the rotisserie on my gas grill, and added a chunk or two of charcoal, it really brought the finished bird to another level. The version of my recipe, while not strictly a la brasa, is a tasty, juicy, easier version that is sure to become a staple in your repertoire.

Summer recipes with Daisy Martinez

Sparkling Mexican Limeade


Whether on the high plains of central Mexico in summer or in your own backyard, nothing beats this spritzy, tart, lightly sweet drink for flat-out, thirst-quenching goodness.

Makes about 2 quarts (eight 8-ounce servings)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 7 limes)

1 cup superfine sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Three 750 ml bottles or two 1-quart bottles sparkling mineral water or seltzer, chilled

Lime slices, optional

1.  Stir the lime juice, sugar, vanilla and ½ cup water together in a large pitcher until the sugar is dissolved. Chill thoroughly. The syrup may be made up to several hours before serving.

2.  Just before serving, pour the sparkling water into the syrup and serve, with ice and a lime slice tucked into each glass if you like.

Basic Yellow Rice (and Variations)

  • 1/2 cup Achiote Oil
  • 1 cup Sofrito
  • ¼ cup alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher or fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups long grain rice
  • 5 cups, or as needed, chicken broth, homemade or store-bought

Makes about 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes (with ready-made sofrito and achiote oil; 20 minutes without)
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Heat the achiote oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy 4 to 5-quart pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat. Stir in the sofrito and alcaparrado and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the sofrito is sizzling. Season with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Toss in the bay leaves.

Raise the heat to high and add the rice. Cook, stirring, until the rice is coated with the achiote oil-sofrito and the grains begin to turn “chalky,” about 3 minutes. Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the rice by one inch. Bring to a boil and boil until the level of the broth meets the level of the rice. Lower the heat to very low, stir the rice thoroughly but only once, and cover. Cook until the rice is tender but with a little bite and all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Do not uncover the pot or stir the rice while it cooks. Fluff with a fork before serving.


Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages : Add two 5-ounce cans of drained Vienna sausages to the rice just before adding the chicken broth

Yellow Rice With Crab: Substitute bottled clam juice for the chicken stock. Add 2 cups (about 10 ounces) lump crabmeat and either a large (about 15-ounce) can of corn niblets, drained, or 2 cups frozen corn niblets to the rice just before adding clam juice

Three Bean Paella: Drain and rinse one 15.5-ounce can of each: chick peas, pink beans,  and black-eyed peas. Add the beans along with 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika after the rice is tossed in the oil-sofrito mixture. Proceed as above. If you or someone you love is vegetarian, substitute veg stock for the chicken and make a meal of it. Mexican rice: Add 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced, one 8-ounce can (or 1 cup) corn niblets, drained, one 8-ounce can Spanish style tomato sauce, and 1 cup pitted small black olives along with the sofrito.

Rice with Pigeon Peas: Add 1 ½ pounds smoked pork neck bones into the sofrito mixture before adding the rice and stir until coated. Just before adding the broth, stir one 13-ounce bag frozen pigeon peas or one 15-ounce can pigeon peas, drained, into the rice. Proceed as above.

TIP: If you’re using store-bought broth for this or any rice that calls for sofrito, up the amount of sofrito by about ¼ cup or so to make up for any flavor missing from the broth.

Sparkling Mexican Limeade (Limonada)

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 7 limes)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Three 750 ml bottles or two 1-quart bottles sparkling mineral water or seltzer, chilled
  • Lime slices, optional

Makes about 2 quarts (eight 8-ounce servings)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Stir the lime juice, sugar, vanilla and ½ cup water together in a large pitcher until the sugar is dissolved. Chill thoroughly. The syrup may be made up to several hours before serving.
Just before serving, pour the sparkling water into the syrup and serve, with ice and a lime slice tucked into each glass if you like.

Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

    It’s not everyday that a girl has four fabulous boys prepare her an unbelievably delicious, multi-course  dinner, but last night, I was the very lucky recipient of that exact phenomenon! Most of my friends say they feel intimidated to invite me over for dinner ( as if I’d ever turn down home cooking!!), but last night my good buddy Jimmy rounded a few friends together, andalong with Rafael, Ritchie and Tim, prepared an enchanting meal which we shared amidst much fun and laughter.


    I was met at he door with a traditional Pisco Sour topped with a fluffy, creamy merengue drizzled with a splash of Angostura Bitters. I’ve had Pisco Sours before, but this one differed in that the head of the cocktail was a true merengue prepared by our head Chef for the evening, Rafael. Tart and tangy, the drink was the perfect counterbalance to a quick and easy, but intensely flavorful dip Rafael put out with cheese, crackers and nuts to hold the hungry crowd over while he put the finishing touches on our dinner. The dip consisted of a seasoning called Mapuche seasoning, a  pre-Columbian condiment  made from salt, ground black pepper, ground coriander seed,  and ground Cacho de Cabra chile, which is then smoked. The flavor is incredible, and when stirred into  1/4 cup of olive oil, makes a perfect casual  dip for crackers, cheese or even grilled chicken or fish. In addition, it can be used as a dry rub for roasts, producing a flavorful crust which is superb!

Cheese Board with Mapuche seasoning Dip

Continue reading ‘Let’s Hear it for the Boys!’

Mussels a la Chalaca

  • 2 ears of corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3 pounds mussels (see Note)
  • 2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and cut into small dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small red onion, cut into tiny dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Serrano pepper, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Shuck the corn and remove as much of the corn silk as possible. Trim off the ends of the stalks so the ear can stand steadily on a cutting board. Stand the ear up and cut off the kernels. (Carefully, they have a tendency to fly all over the kitchen.)

Put the corn kernels, mussels, and ½ cup water in a wide deep skillet or Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam just until the mussels open up, 3 to 5 minutes.

While the mussels are steaming, toss the tomato, red onion, yellow pepper, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, chile, and lime juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

With a skimmer or wire spider, scoop the mussels and corn out of the skillet onto a large platter. Pour the tomato mixture over the mussels and toss gently to mix. Serve hot or room temperature.

Note: There are a few things to keep in mind when buying mussels. They should have shiny black shells which are tightly closed. (Or, if they’re open, should close and stay closed when the shell it tapped on a counter) Mussels should smell sweet and briny. Whether they are “cultivated” or wild-caught, mussels may have a little wiry growth, called the beard, which sticks out of the flat edge of the shell. Tug on the beards firmly to get rid of them before cooking the mussels.

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