Sunday, September 5, 2010

Regional Recipes: PUERTO RICO Round-Up

It's September.  Depressing.  But true.

Why depressing, you ask?

Well obviously because that means I'm sitting in a classroom all day instead of wiling away my time on a beach in San Juan, while sipping a pina colada and eating plantains by the fistful.  Yes.  By the fistful.  I really love plantains.

Well, what can you do.  Other than eat away your sadness of course.  Let the Puerto Rico round-up begin!

First up is Sara of the Saucy Dipper who was inspired by all of the Puerto Rican food she ate at a friend's wedding in San Juan.  One thing in particular that left an impression on her was the Puerto Rican dipping sauce that she had there.  Delicious!

My sister from another mister, Mo, over at Food Snob is *gasp* Puerto Rican and *gasp* lost her Puerto Rican food V card just for this round up!  She made arroz con gandules, a Puerto Rican household staple!

Chaya of My Sweet and Savory always puts so much thought into her Regional Recipes entries.  She researches the country in question and then hems and haws over which recipe to choose.  Well, she certainly chose a winner this time with her bunuelos de queso.  YAM FRITTERS WITH CHEESE.  Yes people.  She knows the way to my heart.

Heather of Girlichef, though an expert in Mexican cooking, has never dabbled in Puerto Rican food before!  As such, she thought she would go all-out for this month's challenge.  And make a multi-course meal.  She made Pavochon, Jibaritos, Spicy Pina Vinagre, and Mantecadas.  AKA turkey seasoned and roasted like a suckling pig, a sandwich made with fried plantains in place of bread, spicy pineapple vinegar, and Puerto Rican shortbread cookies.  I'm inviting us all over to her place for dinner.

Daniel of Casual Kitchen, always out to show readers that you can cook good, real food without breaking the bank, shares his recipe for pernil with us!  A great dish to serve to company.  Or to just sit at home eating yourself.  With a fork. Not that I do things like that.  Often.

Sparkling barbecue sauce.  Comprised of lemon-lime soda, ketchup, sweet red barbecue sauce, liquid smoke and black pepper, that is what Kim of Stirring the Pot doused her Puerto Rican grilled pork chops in and man do they look GOOD!

Jo of Little House by the Railway Line and a first-time Regional Recipe-er, excited to start trying new foods, made not one, but TWO dishes.  Her mojo isleno and quimbobo guisado both look flavor-packed and delicious.

Vanessa of Sweet Artichoke really persevered in trying to find a vegetarian recipe amongst all of the pork-heavy Puerto Rican dishes!  I'm glad she did, as her black bean soup looks hearty and satisfying.

Akheela of Torviewtoronto, another first time Regional Recipes participant, submitted her version of caramel pudding or flan.  This eggy custard is one of my favorite desserts and so I'm quite glad that someone took it on!

Rachel of The Crispy Cook shows her adopted patriotic pride for Puerto Rico by making the National Dish of arroz con gandules!  She made her vegetarian version super tasty by adding extra seasoning and more olives.  I like the way she thinks.

Deb of Kahakai Kitchen has been on an avocado kick this month, and quite frankly I don't mind the abundance of avocado recipes that she has been churning out recently.  This cold avocado soup la fortaleza is no exception, as it's creamy lemony and delicious.

This month's regional recipes destination came at the perfect time for Ty's Mommy of The Seventh Level of Boredom.  She recently fell in love with plantains and made tostones with garlic mojo sauce to share with all of us!

Marisa of The Creative Pot and I have an unstated agreement that someday when we both have unlimited time and money, we will travel the world together.  Until then, we'll just cook through the world together.  Her coquito, which looks to be a creamy hypnotically coconutty drink, has thoroughly convinced me that she will be an ideal travel partner.

Kristin of Holy Cannoli must have somehow found out that pina coladas are my favorite iced drink.  Because now her pina colada sorbet is going to be my new favorite iced dessert.  Now if only I could be enjoying it on a beach somewhere...

When Kelly of It's A Food Life went on a cruise to the Caribbean three years ago, her ship stopped at San Juan.  Where was the first place she and her husband went once ashore?  A Bacardi Factory.  No lie.  And so she cooked up a banana bread pudding with rum sauce, which looks like a bread pudding lover's dream.  All I have to say it.  I need to get to San Juan.  With a pan full of this.

Finally, coming in just under the wire myself, I made Pastelon which is basically a lasagna made out of sweet plantains.  It is at once sweet, salty, spicy, and absolutely mind-blowing. I kind of want to eat it every day for the rest of my life.

Which brings us to one of my favorite parts of every month - announcing our next destination!

I never eat take-out.  Ever.  Except for one thing.

Sushi.  I adore sushi.

And so this month we are headed to...JAPAN! Please send your recipes to by September 30th!