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Four Flavorful Dishes to Celebrate Your Latin American Culture on Super Bowl Sunday


I’m not necessarily a football fan, but I love having guests over on Super Bowl Sunday. Watching a flashy half-time show, spending time con mis amigos y familiares, funny commercials, and great food are all ingredients for an amazing fiesta. Not to include the fact that I just love to cook! Cooking has always been a way for me, as an Afro-Latina, to celebrate my Latin American culture. So while football is as American as you can get, my Super Bowl Sunday menu won’t be.

Here are four flavorful dishes that you can possibly incorporate into your Super Bowl Sunday menu to celebrate your Latin American culture:

Ajies Rellenos (Stuffed Peppers) - Panamanian Style

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large peppers (green, yellow, or orange)

1-½ pounds of lean ground beef (you can also substitute with lean ground turkey)

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

½ onion, very thinly sliced

½ teaspoon of prepared mustard

2 teaspoons of salt

½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of margarine or butter

1 hardboiled egg

1 lettuce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Wash peppers, then slice ½ inch of the top of each pepper.

  3. Remove the core from the inside of each pepper, including all seeds.

  4. So that each pepper will stand upright while baking, cut away a very thin slice from the bottom of each pepper.

  5. Using a fork, poke tiny holes (about 4-8) on the bottom of each pepper so that the juices will drain out.

  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef or ground turkey, tomato paste, onions, prepared mustard, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and margarine or butter.

  7. Lightly stuff each pepper with the meat mixture.

  8. Set prepared peppers upright in a baking dish.

  9. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Peppers should be starting to soften.

  10. Continue baking until meat filling is cooked through and peppers are tender (an additional 20 to 30 minutes).

  11. Sprinkle each pepper with parsley and drizzle with a spoonful of juices from the bottom of the baking dish.

  12. Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with slices of the hardboiled egg.

Ají de Aguacate Licuado (Guacamole) - Colombian Style

Makes 1 ½ cups

Ingredients

1 avocado

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of lime juice

2 tablespoons of minced scallion or green onion

2 tablespoon of minced cilantro

1 teaspoon minced, seeded red habanero pepper

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black ground pepper

Directions

  1. Slice the avocado in two, lengthwise; remove the skin and the seed.

  2. Chop avocado and place in a nonreactive container (stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or metal cookware with an enamel coating).

  3. Place oil, lime juice, scallion or green onion, cilantro, habanero pepper, salt, and black pepper in a blender and mix until smooth.

  4. Add the puree to the avocado. Mix gently.

  5. Refrigerate until ready to use. (You can add the avocado seed to the mixture to prevent it from oxidizing or sprinkle a few drops of lime juice on top of the mixture).

  6. Serve with plantain coins or chips (see next recipe)

Moneditas de Plátano y Platanitos (Plantain Coins and Chips) – Colombian Style

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

1 large green plantain

2 cups of corn or canola oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the ends off the plantain and peel.

  2. Cut plantain in 1/8-inch thick rounds if making coins, and 1/8-inch thick by 3 to 4 inches long strips if making chips.

  3. Pour oil into a deep, medium, heavy-pot, and place over medium-high heat.

  4. When the oil is hot (about 350 degrees F), add the plantain pieces one by one so they won’t stick to each other.

  5. Deep fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown on each side.

  6. Remove (preferably with a spotted spoon) and drain on paper towels.

  7. Add salt (to taste) immediately and serve.

Empananditas de Carne (Meat Turnovers)

Makes 26 turnovers

Ingredients

Dough

2 cups of flour (put extra flour to the side for rolling)

1 ½ teaspoons of sugar

1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ cup of butter

½ cup of ice water

1 egg

1 egg yolk for brushing border, beaten

2 cups of canola or corn oil for frying

Meat Filling

¼ cup of canola or corn oil

½ cup of minced onion

½ cup of grated carrot

½ cup of diced red pepper

¼ cup of minced scallions

¼ cup of diced celery

¼ cup of minced cilantro

1 beef bouillon cube

¼ teaspoon of black ground pepper

¼ teaspoon of Adobo seasoning

¼ teaspoon of whole cumin seed, toasted

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 teaspoon of salt

½ pound of lean ground beef (you can substitute with lean ground turkey)

2 cups of beef broth

2 cups of diced potatoes

Directions for Preparing Dough

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pasty blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.

  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the water. Add the mixture to the flour and knead until dough forms.

  3. Place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. While the dough is chilling, make the filling (see below).

Directions for Preparing Filling

  1. In a pan, over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the green onion, carrot, red pepper, scallions, celery, cilantro, bouillon cube, pepper, Adobo, cumin, garlic, and salt, and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally so it does not burn.

  2. Add the meat and cook 5 minutes, stirring.

  3. Add the broth and potatoes and cook 15 to 20 minutes more or until the potatoes are soft and the broth has evaporated into the meat mixture.

  4. Set aside to cool before filling the empanaditas (see below).

Directions for Preparing Empanaditas

  1. Take the ball of dough out of the refrigerator and divide in half. Sprinkle the work surface with some flour, and roll the dough in two 9x15 inch rectangles.

  2. Cut about thirteen 3-inch circles from each rectangle.

  3. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on one side of each circle. Moisten the borders of the circles with egg yolk. Fold the circles in half to cover the filling with the dough, and close by pressing the edges together so that they are well sealed and the filling doesn’t ooze out.

  4. In a heavy deep pot, heat the oil to 325 degrees F and fry the empananditas for 3 minutes on each side. Take out with a spotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately while hot.

Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday!

Photo credit: © Tim Hill/Food and Drink Photos/Food and Drink Photos/Corbis, © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis©, © Bagros/SoFood/Corbis, © miguelangelbriones/RooM the Agency/Corbis, © Sandra Roesch/Westend61/Corbis

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Author Bio:

Founder and Publisher of Blacktina Magazine Onine, Julia Christie, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is an Afro-Latina of Panamanian and Colombian descent. A writer at heart, Julia has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Spelman College, and a Master of Science in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from New York University. Julia currently lives in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @JuliaChristie15 and on Facebook: @Julia Christie.

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