Tag Archives: garbanzo beans

Pasteles in Banana Leaves

23 Dec

This is a very labor-intensive dish… the very same reason why most people in Puerto Rico buy their “pasteles” from someone who has the experience and the patience to make these.  In our yoga center, Mai, Mili and Katy are the pasteles experts.  They even make them to sell to anyone who’s interested in a delicious vegetarian version.

Pasteles hold the essence of the Puerto Rican holiday dinner…  a Xmas season without pasteles is like a day without sunshine, a beach without sand…  you have not eaten true Puerto Rican holiday food until you have one of these.

The whole deal is this MASA made from green banana and yautía filled with a soy-based stew.   Then it’s all wrapped in a banana leaf that will actually give the masa some of its flavor.  It’s very characteristic and you can find banana leaves in the refrigerated or produce section of a Latin supermarket.   Pasteles without at least a piece of banana leaf miss something.

 

This is a yautía… in Cuba, yautías are called malangas.  However, in Puerto Rico we call malanga a completely different tuber.  Do not confuse them.  I looked up in the internet and apparently it may also be called tanier = tannier = tannia.  Don’t know where, but if you can’t find them by the yautía name, any of other those might also work.  Yautías come in two varieties – white and purple.  You will need yautía blanca or white yautía for this dish.

    

 

PASTELES IN BANANA LEAVES

12 green bananas
1lb white yautía
¾ cups milk
1 ½ tsp salt
2tbs sofrito
2 tbs annatto oil
Filling:
½ cup textured soy protein – in cubes, soaked in filtered water for about ½ hour
1 small potato, cubed small
1 cup cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans
2 cups mixed vegetables
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup sliced Spanish stuffed olives
3 tbs sofrito
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups water
1 tbs olive oil
 
20-25 pieces of paper to roll pastels
Banana leaves – cut into rectangles of 10” x 8” approximately
Cotton kitchen twine

 

  1. Peel the banana and yautía and shred them using a food processor or a machine called Champion.  I have seen this machine also be used at Iron Chef America competition.
  2. Add the sofrito, salt, annatto oil and milk to the banana and yautía mixture.  Mix it all well to create a homogenous smooth mixture.  The annatto oil will provide a bright yellowy/orangey color to the mixture.  Set aside.

Now we make the filling…

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the olive oil along with salt, sofrito and tomato paste.    Add the garbanzo beans, soy protein, potato and water and cook everything for about 15-20 minutes. 
  2. Add the mixed vegetables and the raisins, if using.  Cook everything for about 15 more minutes.  Once everything is cooked, add the olives.

Now we assemble the pasteles…

  1. Place a banana leaf on top of the pastel paper (it’s similar to butcher’s paper). 
  2. Take a little bit of the sauce of the soy mixture and wet the banana leaf. 
  3. Take a large cooking spoon and spoon about a spoonful of masa in the center of the banana leaf.  Using the spoon, form a well in the center of the mixture and place about 2 tablespoons of the soy/vegetable mixture in the well. Carefully fold the leaf over, in order to cover the filling with masa on all sides. DO NOT over stuff them.
  4. Fold the paper like a letter and fold in the sides to create a compact package.  Tie them with cooking twine.  Be careful not to tie too tightly.
  5. Repeat this procedure until all the masa mixture has been used. You can now freeze or cook them when you are ready.  

When you are… 

  1. Place a large pot of salted water (as if you were to prepare pasta).  Boil the pasteles for about 45 minutes until the masa is cooked.  If you froze them, place them directly from the freezer onto the boiling water and boil for about 1 hour.
  2. Drain them well when you take them out of the water…  it’s not nice to have a puddle of pastel water in your plate when serving yourself the rest of the Xmas dinner.  Many people, including me, enjoy pasteles with a drizzle of ketchup on top.
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Chickpea Cocido

1 Apr

I’ve been meaning to eat more beans… because to me beans are an acquired taste.

Rice and beans is a staple in most Puerto Rican meals, except in mine.  My mom eats them but never cooked them at home. My grandma would make rice and beans almost every day… and for the first 17 years of my life I got offered rice and beans everyday to eat and every day I would say no, thanks.  I would only eat the rice and the sauce of the beans. The actual beans… never.

I truly do not know what happened about 10 years ago, but I saw this nice plate of garbanzos and I not only had the sauce, I actually put some garbanzos in my plate.  I liked them.  I still do not crave them, but I can enjoy them up to a point. 

Because my mom never made beans at home, I never learned to make them from her.  And when my grandma was making beans each day, I was not interested in learning how to make them.  So this recipe is my way to learning how to make beans in a way I would enjoy eating them the most.  This recipe had several incarnations… but by far this is the best one so far.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

 chickpea-cocido

 

CHICKPEA COCIDO

1 tsp olive oil
½ vegetable bouillon cube
2 tbs sofrito
1 small onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced thin
½ can stewed tomatoes
½ chopped tomato
1 small can garbanzo beans
1 roasted red pepper
5 manzanilla olives, chopped
2 tbs tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
½ tsp Herbamare
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, ½ bouillon cube, sofrito, onion and pepper. Sautee everything for about 5-6 minutes until onions start to get translucent.
  2. Add the carrots, the tomatoes and the garbanzo beans.  Now add the red peppers, olives, tomato sauce, bay leaf and season with salt, pepper and Herbamare seasoning.  If you would like more sauce… add about ¼ cup of water.
  3. Simmer over medium/low heat for about 20 minutes.  Turn the stove off and let it continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes.

 

Serve over whole grain rice or over steamed potatoes.

Hummus Pastelón

11 Apr

These days I am trying to eat less cheese…  And it’s difficult because  I truly love cheese.   I believe the tag cloud on the right is a testament to the amount of recipes I make with cheese.  But the thing is that I should not eat as much cheese as I do. 

Ever since I was 21, I was diagnosed with a chronic IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) condition.  Most people react to different things… my main culprit is stress.  So when I am stressed and on top of that, eat too many dairy products, things get ugly.  I promise I won’t go into the details.

My condition was partly why I became a vegetarian…  I started noticing that by eating healthier I could manage my condition without the need of traditional chemical medication.  I would focus on eating as naturally as possible and see what effects that would have on my condition…  the results were positive, to say the least.

April was designated IBS Awareness Month… so in an effort to educate my palate to think outside the boundaries of cheese-laden dishes and to raise awareness of IBS, but more in particular, the fact you CAN BE a vegetarian and thru diet manage your IBS condition you’ll see more and more recipes without using  cheese.

 

 

Hummus Pastelón

2 potatoes, washed well and cut into quarters or eights
½ cup of hummus – it can be home-made or store-bought
Juice of ½ a lemon
5-6 grape tomatoes
1 tbs butter or canola margarine
1 tbs olive oil
Garlic salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbs slivered or sliced almonds

 

 

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil the potatoes.  I cover the potatoes only half way with salted water.  I find they cook faster this way.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the hummus filling.  You can use my recipe for hummus here or buy it from the store.   If you’re using the store-bought kind, I like to “revive it” by adding a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon.  I like the tangy lemony taste in hummus.   Set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are done, drain them and return to the same pot.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil, add the butter, buttermilk and mash to desired consistency.  It can be as chunky or as smooth as you prefer it.  Season with a bit of garlic salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Now we assemble the pastelón…  in a medium casserole dish spread ½ the mashed potatoes creating the bottom layer of the pastelón.  Spread the hummus layer as evenly as possible.  Place the cut grape tomatoes on a layer on top of the hummus. Add the remaining mashed potato layer and smooth out the top.  Sprinkle the almonds on top.
  5. Place in 350 degree F oven for about 20-30 minutes, basically to brown the top a bit and for all the flavors to combine and meld.

 

This dish, with its great flavors and all, turned out  a bit monochromatic for me…  so next time I will make sure and include something that will impart some added color to the hummus filling… stay tuned.

 

Hummus Sandwich

19 Nov

This is my favorite sandwich right now by far…  It all started with a hummus sandwich I order at a bagel place near my work.  And you can add a few extras… and because I love grain mustard so much, I started ordering the hummus sandwich with grain mustard, and take it from me, it gives it a really nice kick.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I make my own hummus, and the recipe will follow.  But just in case you want to try this and are strapped for time, just take some store-bought hummus, brighten the flavor with some squirts of lime juice and call it a day.

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HUMMUS SANDWICH

1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans – I still have not been able to figure out how to make the garbanzo beans from scratch
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
juice of one lime
about 1/2 cup of olive oil – enough to make the mixture as creamy as possible
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of paprika
 
Whole -wheat bread – choose your favorite, pita, baguette, bagel, it will work with any
Whole-grain  mustard
Tomatoes
Lettuce or any other greens – optional

 For the hummus:

  1. Rinse the garbanzo beans. 
  2. Place garbanzo beans, cheese, garlic, lime juice salt, pepper, paprika and some of the olive oil in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until the mixture is creamy.  If the mixture is not as creamy as it should be, keep adding olive oil in small increments until you reach a smooth texture.

The Parmesan replaces the tahini sauce… because I can’t bear to buy a huge jar of tahini just to make hummus.  I need to be more versatile with the limited refrigerator space I have.  And the lime juice gives it a nice kick… I does not taste like the typical Middle Eastern restaurant hummus, it tastes better!!! 

To assemble the sandwich:

  1. Toast the bread
  2. Smear hummus on one side and mustard on the other.
  3. Add tomato and lettuce.

Enjoy…  I hope you like it as much as I do.

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