Monday, November 26, 2012

Tasty Tourism Series-South America, Part II

As promised in Part I-

If you like the idea of slow-cooked steak with a Columbian flair, you will love this recipe.

Columbian Stewed Flank-serves 4
1 lb flank steak (another cut will work too)
5 chopped Roma tomatoes
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
2 ½ cups water
2 tbsp corn oil
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Using medium heat, warm up the corn oil in a skillet. Then, gently place the steak into the oil. When each side is brown, remove the steak and put on a plate. Then, add the tomatoes, garlic, onions, salt, pepper and cumin to the oil. Once the onions are tender, put the steak back into the skillet and add the water. Once you've added the bouillon, bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and allow to simmer for 2 hours. You could also use a slow cooker or crock pot.

Now, take the steak out and put onto a cutting board. Shred the meat with two forks, put on a serving plate and pour the tomato/onion mixture over it. Serve with tortillas or over Mexican rice. For some extra flavor, some people also add jalepeños or chopped red and green peppers. Personally, I'd love to put it on a crunchy tostada shell with refried beans and colby/jack cheese.

Since the Galapagos Islands are home to tortoises that can weigh up to 500 pounds and have used for food for centuries, someone suggested that I include a recipe for turtle soup. Since these magnificent creatures are endangered and frankly I find the idea of turtle soup disgusting, I'm going to give you a different kind of Turtle-

Chocolate Turtle candies
25 individual caramels, unwrapped
2 cups pecan halves
1 24-oz bag chocolate chips
2 tablespoons water
½ cup butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet and bake them for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, melt the chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. You can also microwave for 1 minute, if this is easier. While the chocolate is melting, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides of the boiler with a rubber spatula.

Now, line your baking sheet with foil and grease down with butter. In a saucepan, combine the water, caramels and butter. Using low heat, cook and stir until the caramels are fully smooth and melted. Add the pecans. Now, spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet and let it stand until hard. Drizzle chocolate over the caramel clusters and refrigerate for about an hour, until they are set.

I wonder if confectioner's chocolate or caramel sundae sauce would work? I think Kraft makes caramels especially made for baking, but the caramels in the recipe are the candies you find in the grocery store. Just be sure to hide the bag from me, because otherwise you might not have any left for the recipe!

These are just a few of the wonderful flavors that can be found in South America. What are some of your favorite recipes?

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