Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mango Fish

Just made mango "chicken" again, but with fish instead of chicken. And I added some pickled ginger. Yum!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Julie's Brownies

I finally brought some of my favorite long-time recipes to Costa Rica. I did this even knowing that some ingredients are difficult (and sometimes downright impossible) to find. However! I am getting used to modifying old favorites for the Costa Rican markets. And I am finally *very* happy with the Brownie recipe I ended up with :-D.


125 grams Semi-sweet chocolate (5 pieces of "Torras" "sin azúcar," with splenda, or 14 pieces of "La Chocolatería")
3/4 cup (1 1/2 bars) of butter
1/2 cup powdered cocoa, unsweetened ("La Chocolatería" or Hersheys)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 for glass)
2) In a big bowl, heat the chocolate and butter in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes (only until the butter is melted; the chocolate should not be completely melted)
3) stir until the chocolate is completely melted
4) add the sugar and the cocoa powder, and stir well
5) add the eggs and vanilla, and stir well
6) stir in the flour and pecans
7) pour into a foil-lined and greased pan (I use a 12 inch x 8 inch; you can use 13x9, but adjust the baking time down)
8) bake 40-45 min (but test after 30 min). Do not overbake! (this is very important) Test with a toothpick in the center - when done, it should come out with some liquid and fudgy crumbs
9) cool in the pan, then cut into squares

- you can use only one bowl, but I prefer to use one big bowl for mixing, and a small bowl for stirring the eggs before adding them to the mix
- it is easier to cut the brownies if you first put them in the fridge for several hours. Also, wetting the knife helps.

Spanish - modified thanks to feedback from Eleonora :-)

125 g de chocolate semi-dulce (5 piezas de "Torras" sin azúcar, con splenda, o 14 piezas de "La Chocolatería")
3/4 taza (1 + 1/2 barras) mantequilla pura
1/2 taza cocoa pura, sin azúcar, en polvo
1 + 1/2 taza azúcar
3 huevos
1 cucharadita de vainilla
1 taza harina (blanco, trigo)
1/2 o 1 taza pecanas, no muy picadas (opcional)

1) Precalentar el horno a 350 grados F (325 por pyrex)
2) En el microondas, poner un plato grande y hondo para calentar el chocolate y la mantequilla por 1 ó 2 minutos máximo (el chocolate no va a derretirse mucho, solo hasta que la mantequilla se derrita y se pongo bien líquida).
3) Revolver hasta el chocolate esté completamente líquido
4) Agregar el azúcar y la cocoa. Revolver bien
5) Agregar los huevos, la vainilla, y mezclarlos bien
6) Agregar la harina, las pecanas y revolver
7) Poner en una cacerola (forrada con papel de aluminio, y engrasado) (tengo 12x8 pulgadas; se puede usar 13x9, pero ajusta el tiempo - menos)
8) Hornear 40-45 minutos (pero probar después 30 min). No hornear demasiado (esto es muy importante). Probar con un palillo en el centro - cuando viene líquido y con unas migas, significa que está listo.
9) Enfríe en la cacerola, luego parta

Puede únicamente utilizar un plato hondo, pero preferiblemente utilice uno grande para todo, y uno pequeño por los huevos (para revolver antes agregando).

Beef Papaya Stew - modified

I make the Beef Papaya Stew now several times a month. I've changed it some more, and so I modified the recipe post - I refer to it when I cook, so I don't want multiple versions hanging around...

Speaking of using the computer when I cook - my kitchen has a nifty pull-up counter next to the sink! It is a nice extra space that I can fold away when I don't need it (it blocks the kitchen door when it's up). I can put my computer on it, bring up a recipe, et voila! :-D

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jengibres Chasquidos (Ginger Snaps)

Auntie Rachel (my Dad's Aunt) gave us all the most amazing recipe for Ginger Snaps. I brought it to Costa Rica, and searched for *months* for molasses, just so I could make them!
However, Auntie's recipe is is very specific - it lists the brand name for the oil and for the molasses; neither of these is available here. So, I modified it - the cookies are sooo much more "molasses-y" - the molasses here has a much stronger flavor. So, I figured it could stand up to more ginger too. I now make these a *lot!*

Jengibres Chasquidos (Ginger Snaps)

1 taza azúcar (1 cup sugar)
2/3 taza aceite de soya (2/3 cup soy oil)
1 huevo (1 egg)
1/3 taza melaza (1/3 cup molasses)
2 tazas harina (2 cups flour)
2 cucharadita soda (2 tsp soda)
1 cucharadita canela en polvo (1 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 cucharadita jengibre molido (1 tsp ground ginger)
1 cucharadita pimienta jamaica molida (1 tsp ground allspice)
1/2 cucharadita sal (1/2 tsp salt)

Cream sugar and oil. Add egg, stir well, then stir in molasses. Mix dry ingredients and add.
Make into small balls (about 2 teaspoons), and roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove cookies immediately to cool (they will be soft).
Makes 3 dozen +/-

Mescla azúcar y aceite. Añade el huevo, mescla bien. Después, añade la melaza. Mescla los ingredientes seco, y añade.
Hace pequeñas pelotas (como 2 cucharaditas), y cubre en azúcar. Lo pone en una chapa para galletas, sin grasa.
Hornear a 177 grados C por 10 minutos. Quita las galletas immediamente para enfriar (ellas son blando).
Lo hace 3 docenas +/-

Mode de plat cuisiné:
(directions in French? hmmm...)

Shopping notes:
- melaza is considered a health food, and is usually found in macrobióticas
- pimienta jamaica is usually available during November and December, since it is used in Queque Navideño. Otherwise, it can be difficult to find.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Costa Rican Fish

Costa Rican Fish (1-pan meal)

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil.

garlic (powder or minced fresh)
pinch of cayenne or chipotle
1 chopped onion
1-2 handful chopped carrots
2 very small mandarins or 1/2 orange, chopped fine (use the peel, but toss the seeds)

After about 5 minutes, add 2-4 fillets of Tilapia or Corvina (seabass)
When almost done, add a small handful of dried cranberries

Optional additions:
- vegetables such as ayote (a small green squash), zucchini, and/or vainicas (green beans)
- cube of chicken bouillon

Serve with rice.