Category: main entrees

Hallacas!!! Merry Christmas 2012

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It might not look like much. It is one of my favorite things to eat. It does take hard work to make. So many different cooking techniques at play, hallacas are worth the effort and time, I love this christmas venezuelan classic, I could make it more often if I had the time, but it requires holidays type free time. I’ve been working on these for 3 days now. Like mexican tamales and puerto rican pasteles, these masa dough treats stuffed with slow stewed meats and tons of south american flavors are amazing and worth learning and understanding. Let’s break it down:

leg o’ lamb!

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Extremely easy recipe,  oh yeah, the photo… these couple of young sheep smiling on top of a New Zealand hill in the south Island, that’s the only photo I was able to find in my pbase site… hint… hint… have a look 🙂 Ok, back to this dish of which no photo exists, because it was 2am when I was done roasting, and after letting it rest and having portioned it and stored it, and realizing I hadn’t taken out my SLR that evening, getting the tripod out, setting up…. YAWN. Iphone…. click… fail. I was half asleep and the iphone snapshot just didnt do it justice, so…delete… insert a less crappy photo of related topic, done. BTW, my LOL came from New Zealand anyways, so this pic made perfect sense, Lamb in the US mostly comes from there or Australia, maybe one of the guys in the pic is like the grandpa of what I just ate. It was delicious  in the extreme!

freshwater-seafood risotto

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Tonight I had some cooked crawfish I bought at the supermarket and by that I mean I bought them already cooked.  I haven’t  had crawfish before, and as it very frequently happens, I ended up eating whatever new thing I try. They are quite addictive actually, they tasted nothing like shrimps, if anything, their taste is closer to that of lobster…. let’s say 10% lobster taste. These guys must have been boiled in some spicy liquid too, like I’m sure southern creole cuisine dictates!, very peppery. But anyways, I did end up with a pile of crawfish shells,  I enjoy making stocks, it was a no brainer, crawfish stock it is , I also had shrimps and rice and a few other things so decided to try a seafood-freshwater risotto:

empanada gallega

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In the search for the original empanada, the mom of all empanadas!, I turned to this Galician dish, something I had when i was like 5 and I can still remember the experience, yes, an awesome one i meant. It’s like this baked steak sandwich (or tuna or chicken or just bell peppers, in either case, awesomeness), the real deal uses a french bread dough, more classical bread than what i ended up trying here, and I’ve had this variation in many bakeries around venezuela, in which the brioche dough has earned it’s place and it’s used pretty much every time we want to stuff something in bread, or cover bread with sugar. So this variant is a bit different, but in a good way i hope, at least i find it a perfect combination of brioche bread and pressured cooked flank steak stew: