Traditional Puerto Rican meal ingredients include; tropical fruits, corn and seafood. Staples found in Puerto Rican recipes include; papaya, plantains, coriander, cacao and yampee. Over the years, Spanish and African influences were added to the Creole foods and blended together to become a unique cuisine. While similar to many other Spanish styles, these recipes have a flavor all their own. Start with a traditional soup.
Chicken and rice soup
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/8 cup of rice (soak the rice in the water while preparing the rest of the recipe)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 onion – chopped
- 5/8 pound of potatoes – diced
- 5/8 pound of squash – diced
- 1 1/4 pound of chicken – diced
Combine the water, salt, lemon juice, and onion in a pot and bring it to a boil.
Add the potatoes, squash, and chicken and return the pot to a boil. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Drain the rice and add it to the mixture. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Makes three servings
Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
- 1 pound of medium size shrimp
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tablespoons of garlic – chopped
- Salt and pepper as desired
- Chopped cilantro
Cook, peel and de-vein the shrimp.
Saute the garlic in olive oil until slightly brown.
Add the shrimp and lime juice with salt and pepper as desired.
Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from pan, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
This traditional Puerto Rican recipe calls for grating a whole coconut. To simplify the recipe you can use three cups of pre-grated coconut. The coconut should be moist, not dry.
- 1 large dry coconut
- 4 teaspoons butter – soft
- 8 tablespoons flour
- 4 egg yolks
- Shavings from one lemon peel
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat your oven to 350º.
Break the coconut open, drain and remove the pulp. Do not remove the soft layer of brown skin.
Wash the pieces of coconut and grate them.
Measure 3 full cups of grated coconut; press the coconut firmly into in the measuring cup.
Alternatively measure three cups of grated coconut, pressing well to ensure the full amount.
Combine the coconut, butter, flour, egg yolks, lemon peel, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Form small balls of the coconut mixture, about tablespoon size.
Place the coconut balls on a well-greased cookie sheet or glass pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
Puerto Rican recipes can add a festive touch to your next party. These recipes are also great for authentic family meals. Vista Magazine has more great recipes to try for easy authentic appetizers your friends and family will enjoy.