Tamarind drink i.e. "Agua de Tamarindo" is delicious! Tamarind itself looks like a long fruit pod. It grows on trees, and it is a bit of sour. Many Hispanics/Latinos like to make tamarind candies or also make a simple drink called "Agua de Tamarindo" (Tamarind Drink). You'll typically spot Tamarind Drink at latin food restaurants and it's a very common "go-to" drink in Latin America. Some other cultures use tamarind in slightly different ways such as the Thai, who often use it in dishes in combination with a sweetener to make a "sweet and sour flavor". The Filipino culture often makes soups which are tamarind based. I believe the soups are called "Sinigang".
I learned how to make Agua de Tamarindo thanks to my mother who always makes beverages at home. We almost most never buy juices and drinks from the store. So from my mom I’ve learned how to make all kinds of drinks which are usually seasonal: such as melon, papaya, cantaloupe, guava, guanabana, coconut or whatever fruit is in season. When the fruit is not in season we buy frozen pulp which may be sold by brands such as GOYA. My mom also likes to make herbal teas and chill - these are usually from fresh mint, hibiscus flowers, basil and lemongrass.
Today I’m going to be showing you how to make this Tamarind based drink. It’s a great recipe! Think of it as a different version of lemonade or lime aid because it’s tangy yet kinda sour yet sweet. You can buy fresh tamarind at many grocery stores in the fruit/vegetable section.
-10-12 Whole tamarind pods (pods and all when buying tamarind make sure it's not hollow, the pulp has to be touching the shell and you should feel the pulp, it should be firm, and if possible it shouldn't be peeled)
-White sugar to taste (you will need at least 1 cup of sugar and add more to taste)
(1) Soak the tamarind pods in a medium container with water for 5 minutes until shells are softer than before. Remove the outside of the pod and just leave the pulp and seeds. Then drain the water used. Next add clean water and soak the pods at least 3 hours (I suggest soaking th overnight)
(2) Add 1 cup of sugar to the container with the pulp and seeds the next day (or after 3 hours). Rub and grind the pulp and seeds against each other for a bit to loosen. The sugar will help you loosen it.
(3) Have a container or pot ready with lots of clean water. Then put the pulp/seed mash on a strainer and press and swish around roughly straining the mixture through. Add the clean water little by little to get all the pulp and flavor through, kind of like cleaning the pulp/seed mixture. You want to do this over a large container/pot or the pitcher using clean water. (The seeds will remain.)
(4) Now you should add the pulp mixture to the pitcher. (if it's not already in there - keep adding water a little at a time until those seeds and tough parts are clean and you removed as much pulp as possible.)
(5) Lastly add more sugar to taste and stir well. Add ice cubes if you want the beverage colder. Chill in fridge until ready to serve!
Travel to Brazil, and you are guaranteed to run into “Pão de Queijo” at virtually every restaurant you visit. “Pão de Queijo”, also known as “Cheese Bread” is a beloved favorite in Brazil. “Pão de Queijo” is gluten free and it’s made from flour from the yucca plant in the guise of tapioca starch. The "Grill From Ipanema" in Washington D.C. graciously demonstrates in the following step-by-step video how to make “pão de queijo”. “Pão de Queijo” may also be pre-ordered at the Grill from Ipanema. We guarantee you’ll fall in love with these cheese bites!!!
Grill From Ipanema “Pão de Queijo”
2 cups of tapioca flour
2 cups of shredded blend of Parmesan & provolone cheese (any combination of shredded white cheese will do)
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
In a large mixing bowl crack in the 2 eggs, add the vegetable oil, yogurt, milk, and then the cheese. Ensure the wet ingredients are well blended. Next, stir in the tapioca flour. Pour this into the blender and blend until well-mixed.
Take a generous tablespoon of the batter and spoon individually onto a pan/or muffin cups. Bake at 400˚F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Note…There are many different recipes versions of Pão de Queijo, and this is one of the many recipes the Grill from Ipanema DC can demonstrate. This recipe above is very easy and can be done in a few minutes at home. If you would like to order Pão de Queijo from the Grill from Ipanema, it's recommended to order in advance.
The "Grill from Ipanema" DC is located at:
1858 Columbia Road NW
Washington DC 20009
By K. Cano
Next up on Hispanic.com’s food section - a popular Peruvian pasta dish called “Tallarines Verdes”. It’s a great pasta dish made with fusilli-style pasta and a green sauce similar but different to Italian Pesto - as it's made with basil, spinach and cheese. It's really delicious! In Peru it's typically served with a steak on top of the pasta - and do note: leftovers are great! Just add 2 friend eggs on top of a serving of pasta the next day...and yum. I learned how to make this from a Peruvian friend who is an awesome cook!
Note: I rarely measure anything – so these are rough estimates…feel free to add more of anything as fits your palate!
Ingredients for pasta main dish:
-1 medium sized bag of Fusilli pasta
-1-2 bunches of spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
-1 big handful of fresh basil washed
-1/4-1/2 pound fresh cheese, I use Mexican Queso Fresco (as I made it it was a really large fist sized chunk of cheese…maybe even a tad more. Also reserve an extra 1 cup of crumbled cheese for sprinkling over when eating
-1/2 cup toasted almonds ground (OPTIONAL)
-evaporated milk or whole milk, not too much - I'll specify in the instructions (OPTIONAL)
-1/2-1 purple onion minced
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1 aji amarillo (a Yellow Peruvian Chili Pepper OPTIONAL some don't use it, you may sub another spicy chili pepper)
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste I use about 1/2- 1 teaspoon
-1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamine "Ajinamoto" (OPTIONAL)
-oil to cook
Balsamic vinegar is the 'wine' of Modena, Italy. It is rich, thick, expensive and marries up beautifully with food such as steak to produce an unusual finish that greatly enhances the look and flavor of the meat.
But be warned. Not all vinegars labelled 'balsamic' are the real thing. In fact, most are decidedly not even though the label may insist they are. There are three things to look for on the label; either this; 'Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena' or this; 'Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale de Reggio Emilia', plus the fermenting age which should be at least 12 years for the very best results.
With the true Modena or Reggio Emilia brands you can tell the age from the label. Both use gold labels for balsamic that has aged for 25 years or more, and you will pay accordingly.
Modena brands use red and silver labels to indicate aging of 12 and 18 years respectively, while Emillio Regio's only other label is white, indicating an age of at least 12 years. They are expensive because the best vinegars will have gone through a seven stage fermenting process, starting with a white grape 'must' that is boiled until reduce by half. This must is then transferred over a period of time to a succession of barrels made from different types of wood. With each fermentation a little more of the liquid is lost, a process that is referred to as 'the angels' share'.
1 ½ oz. Tortuga Gold Rum
1 oz. Coconut Rum
2 ½ oz. Orange Juice
2 ½ oz. Pineapple Juice
Splash of Strawberry Syrup
Garnish with Cherry, Lime & Orange Slices.
Mix the orange and pineapple juices together, pour both rums in a shaker with crushed ice. Give ingredients a shake for about 30 seconds. Garnish with a splash of Strawberry Syrup. Add garnish/garnishes.
Note: beach chairs are optional.
Adapted from a recipe from the Cayman Islands Restaurant Association.
How to Recipe: Spanish/Cuban Arroz Amarillo con Frijol de Carita (Yellow Rice with Black Eyed Peas) PHOTOS
Black eyed peas, which in Spanish many Cubans call them “Frijol de Carita”, or the Spanish call them “Alubias Carillas” are one of my favorite legumes. You can buy them dried at most grocery stores, or pre-cooked and frozen. I often stew them with meat, or like I do here inspired by the Cuban “Moros” (black beans cooked with rice) or “Congri” (red beans and rice) I steam them together with rice. This dish may be served as a main vegetarian course with fried plantains and a light salad dressed in olive oil, lemon or lime, and salt. If you’re a meat eater like me it makes a great side dish with stewed, grilled, or roasted meat and a side of vegetables.
How do you drink your coffee? I drink mine every which way… And I’m saying it really depends how I’m efeeling. With cream, con leche, black, with condensed milk. Yep, it’s all good. And I don’t mind where my coffee comes from: Africa, Colombia, Folgers…(lol) I drink it all.
Looks like I’m not alone either. I can definitively say, Hispanics drink café…si! I’ve got the stats to prove it. (It’s all about the numbers…at least that’s what they told me in accounting…but I digress!)
The National Coffee Association has just released a National Coffee Drinking Trends 2013 market study. Check it. The question was: “Did you drink coffee yesterday?” Responding “yes” were the following:
How To Recipe (PHOTOS): Mexican Sardinas Frescas Lambriadas (Lightly Battered & Fried Fresh Sardines)
Mexican cooking is very diverse encompassing everything from Mole to fresh vegetables and great salads. Today I’m making a crowd favorite, Sardinas Lambriadas (Battered & Lightly Fried Sardines) which uses egg batter which is commonly used in Mexican cooking. This egg batter may be used as coating for other foods such as Chile Rellenos, or perhaps other vegetables (similar to Japanese tempura).
These sardines are battered, fried, and delicious. It’s a delicious and simple recipe. In fact, it is my favorite way to prepare fresh sardines.