National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15. So this is a good time to learn more about Hispanic culture, and a great place to start is by sampling some delicious delights you may not be familiar with. We are happy to present three recipes that are sure to get you on your way. If you try them, take a picture and post it to our Facebook page. Happy cooking!
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
By Raquel Arrais
This bread is part of my childhood. Even today it’s one of the most delicious treats I want to eat when I go to Brazil. It is easy to make and tasty to eat!
- 4 cups tapioca flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Place the tapioca flour in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Combine milk, water, oil, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- When the milk mixture boils, pour it over the flour. Mix well. The texture will be fondant-like, white and sticky.
- With the mixer still on, add the eggs, one at a time. You may think the eggs won’t mix in since the tapioca flour mixture is so sticky, but keep mixing.
- When the eggs are incorporated, add the cheese, a little at a time, until fully combined.
- The dough is supposed to be soft and sticky. But if you’re worried that it’s too moist, add more tapioca flour. Just don’t overdo it or your cheese bread will be tough, and the cheese will not be gooey enough.
- Shape the dough into balls. Wet your hands with cold water and use a scoop or spoon to help form balls slightly smaller than the size of golf balls.
- Place the balls of dough on a baking sheet.
- Bake the cheese bread for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.
- Serve them warm!
Arroz con Gandules Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Rice With Pigeon Peas)
By Laura Sanchez
- Homemade Seasoning*
- 19-ounce jar Spanish olives
- 5 cups water
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 215-ounce cans pigeon peas/gandules (drained)
- 4 cups rice
- 115-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 packets Sazon with achiote and cilantro
- 2 tablespoons sofrito (Goya makes a good version)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- Blend the homemade seasoning ingredients in a blender until well mixed.
- Chop the Spanish olives into fine slices and lay them aside momentarily.
- Heat the water in a “caldero” or Dutch oven to medium heat, and add the cooking oil.
- Add the homemade seasoning, stirring it constantly until tender, but not browned.
- Add the sliced Spanish olives and salt to taste. Stir to combine.
- Add the drained pigeon peas and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the rice and distribute the mixture evenly. Cook on medium heat.
- Allow the rice to absorb all the liquid, uncovered. Then stir the rice once and cover it to steam for 20 minutes on low heat.
- Stir it again one last time. The rice will be fluffy and ready to eat!
- Buen provecho!
Gluten-free Alfajores With Dulce de Leche (Argentine Sandwich Cookies)
By Silvia Sicalo
- 2½ cups cornstarch
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 111.5-ounce can of condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
- Beat butter, sugar, and condensed milk with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, until well-blended. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract with the last egg.
- Fold into flour mixture with a spoon, mixing until dough holds together and turns into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Roll out dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut cookies with a small round cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven until set but not browned, seven to 10 minutes. Remove immediately to cool on a wire rack.
- Spread underside of a cookie with 1 teaspoon dulce de leche. Sandwich together with another cookie until filling comes out on the sides. Roll sides in the shredded coconut.