We started off 2022 with a slightly delayed Colombian Chow with Chef Christian Lopez.
Ceviche de Camarones
Although not as popular world-wide as Peruvian ceviche, Ceviche de Camarones (Shrimp Ceviche) is very popular on the coast of Colombia, but it is also enjoyed throughout the country. My grandfather shared his recipe for Ceviche de Camarones which is made with cooked shrimp, lime, cilantro, onions, jalapeno, tomato sauce and I have added a couple of my own ingredients. Gluten-free. Vegan option: Ceviche de Hearts of Palm
Beef and Potato Colombian Empanadas
Empanadas are a common street food in the Latin American diaspora. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, empanadas are truly a Colombian staple. Traditionally, in Colombia, these delicious fritters are made with shredded pork and beef, but in my family, we cube the beef, and serve it with ají, a fresh Colombian hot sauce. My recipe for empanadas is made with freshly ground hominy corn to make the masa. The cubed beef and potato is simmered in my grandmothers’ green onion sofrito recipe and fried until golden and crispy. Gluten-free. Vegan Option: Mushroom & Potato Empanada
Found in many countries in South America, this stew varies widely in the Latin American diaspora, but everyone agrees it’s a soup to warm your soul. My grandmother has been making Sancocho for my entire life and makes it all year round. She usually gets started bright and early, using the biggest pot that she can find and sometimes using two or three pots. You would think that she was cooking for an entire neighborhood, but no, it was just for six people. Our Sancocho is made with chicken, potatoes, green plantains, yuca, garlic and adobo seasoning. Served with a plate of rice, avocado, topped with aji and fresh cilantro and green onion. ¡Es tan rico! Gluten-free. Vegan Option: Root Vegetable Stew
Cojin de Lechona
Traditionally a whole pig is used, but since space and time are limited in my family gatherings, we make a Cojin de Lechona (lechona pocket) with pork skin. The pork skin is stuffed with yellow rice, pork chunks marinated with our green onion sofrito and garlic, peas, and carrots. Baked until the pork skin is crispy. Served with a corn arepa. Gluten Free. Vegan Option: Marinated tofu, pan-fried and mixed with rice, peas, and carrots -- steamed in a banana leaf.
Buñuelos con Chocolate
Colombian Buñuelos or cheese fritters, are a mouthful of textures and flavors. They have a soft crumb inside, a crispy crust, a hint of sweetness and are a typical Colombian Christmas treat but eaten all year round. Buñuelos are made using cassava flour and cornstarch, typically with a Queso Costeño, but it is hard to find here in the States, so I use a mixture of Feta and Queso Fresco. These delicious treats are best accompanied with Colombian hot chocolate. To make the hot chocolate we use unsweetened chocolate, panela (unrefined cane sugar), and milk. We use a chocolatera and molinillo (or molinillo) to mix the chocolate, sugar, and milk together. Gluten free. Vegan Option: Oblea (wafer dessert) with condensed coconut milk and fresh fruit. Chocolate with oat milk.