What's For Dinner Last Night?: Something Carribo-South Americanianish

I haven't posted pictures of what I've been cooking for myself lately, so I figured I would indulge my urge to share my creations. Last night I threw together a dish that I will call, for lack of a better term, Something Carribo-South Americanianish.

2 cups rice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
Several drops Louisiana hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
2 chayotes, cut into cubes
2 ripe plantains, sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
Coarse salt to taste

Please note that none of the above measurements are precise; they are merely post-hoc estimates of how much I used. Adjust any of the proportions to suit your taste.

This meal originated because I had some plantains. I haven't worked much with plantains and unfortunately most of the recipes I found online involved deep frying them. Deep frying is sort of an ordeal, so I found a recipe for sauteed plantains and used that as a guide to make my own recipe. I also had some chayotes in the fridge, which are a Central and South American vegetable that look sort of like a pear with a butt. They taste not unlike zucchini or summer squash when cooked, but are a bit tougher so you don't have to worry as much about overcooking and getting a soggy zucchini mess. I decided to make something vaguely Cuban and South American. Fusion, if you will.

I started by making rice. I'm lazy, so I just threw two cups of rice and a cup of water into the rice cooker, along with some salt, a dash of chili powder and a few drops of hot sauce. Then I sliced up an onion, heated some peanut oil over medium heat, and commenced sauteeing. After a couple of minutes I added the garlic, and a minute later the cubed chayote. I let that cook, stirring, for about five minutes before adding the plantains. After a further ten minutes sauteeing, around when the plantains started to get golden-brown, I sprinkled on some brown sugar, a little cinnamon, some chili powder, some cayenne, a dash of white pepper, and some coarse salt. Finally, I poured in about a tablespoon of hot sauce, which deglazed the pan nicely. I cooked a minute more, turned off the heat, and voila! Something Carribo-South Americanianish! Serve over the rice.

Note that this is an easily substitutable dish. You can easily use squash in place of chayote, regular salt in place of coarse salt, black pepper in place of white, whatever. I can also think of some interesting additions to the dish; it might taste good with some chopped spicy peppers, maybe a little habanero. Some allspice powder or raisins might also give it a nice Jamaican flavor.

Also, note that I don't want to pretend that this is in any way an authentic Cuban, South American, or any other cuisine's dish. It's just something I threw together from ingredients from those regions and flavored with spices I'm familiar with from the area.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on October 20, 2007 5:30 PM.

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