Saturday, August 25, 2007


Rose and Beberly are back for another quarterly, 2-week visit to work with the women's group, and this time they have been welcomed with a traditional luncheon of Bollitos. I've never made them myself ... but I've been to lots of events where they have been served.

For most of the women here, making bollitos would start with growing the corn, drying it and storing it. When they are ready to cook, the women go through a relatively lengthy process of boiling and rinsing to prepare their corn for grinding. Then they take it to the closest molino (mill) to have it processed into maza (corn dough). They would then mix it with the whole cooked black beans.

A measure of the maza is placed in the middle of a precut piece of a leaf of a banana palm.

Then the leaf is folded into a packet which is placed into a large pot with some water that is brought to the boil to steam them for about an hour.

While they cook, the women prepare a fresh tomato sauce.

The bollitos are unwrapped and the sauce is lathered over top.

Then you try to get a photo before they are gone!!


Potato Salad

I haven't made a potato salad for years, and I'm not sure why, since the ingredients are all readily available here. When I decided to serve hamburgers the other day, it seemed like a natural accompaniment. The only alteration I made from the usual potato salad recipe was to use a mixture of mayonaise with my home made yogurt and some chopped cilantro as dressing.
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup is a dish that I grew up with, and never felt the need to look further than Campbell's until moving to the jungle, where it quickly became necessary to figure out how to create it from scratch. Along the way, I discovered this fantastic Guatemalan custom of adding half a fresh avocado and a good squeeze of lemon, and always cilantro if you have any. After trying a variety of noodles, I prefer the Angel Hair Spaguetti noodles, broken into thirds. Since we can't buy chicken stock here, I usually bake chicken thighs and drumsticks and freeze them, as well as the juice from the cooking, to use in a variety of recipes.

(I've been learning that the best photos are those taken earlier in the day when the natural sunlight streaming through my kitchen windows, illuminates perfectly.)

Chicken Noodle Soup

3 pieces chicken (either drumsticks or thighs) baked
1 - 2 Tbsp. drippings from the baking of the chicken
4 cups water
salt and pepper
1 small carrot
1 stick celery
1 small onion
Spaguetti noodles, broken in thirds
2 avocados
1 lemon
chopped cilantro

Put the chicken and drippings, with some salt and pepper, in the water and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes while chopping the carrot, celery and onion.

Remove the chicken from the broth and add the vegies.

Debone and chop the chicken and set aside.

Add the spaguetti noodles. I add enough to make the soup quite thick and not too watery.

Add the chopped chicken.

Serve topped with half an avocado, chopped cilantro and a lemon slice on the side.

Serves 4


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