Friday, July 01, 2011

Cookies and Avacado's

Today I thought I'd share a little more on some new foods we've been trying here in Paraguay. One of our new dishes is homemade refried beans (click on beans to get the recipe) with a simple guacamole to go with it. I also make a fresh tomato, cilantro, onion and garlic salsa to go with it and we eat our beans over rice. I should also note that the refied bean recipes makes a ton! I did half the recipe and we ate it for 5 meals. This a great recipe for freezing or for a large crowd. Also, I don't think this would be considered a tradional food in any way shape or form but its taking advantage of the foods that are available and cheap.
Here is the guacamole recipe...

Simple Guacamole

2 avocados
1 juicy lime
1/4 cup of finely diced fresh cilantro
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and put through a garlic press
For optional spice: Cayenne powder, crushed red pepper flakes, crushed chipotle flakes, or 1/4 of diced peppers (for a milder pepper use anaheim).
1) Cut the avocados in half and seed. Scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl. Smash with a fork.
2) Add the cilantro and garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze about 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice into your guacamole and add the optional pepper of choice (start small). Mix.
3) Taste test and adjust with salt, lime juice, or peppers.
Serve right away or sprinkle more lime juice over the top ( to prevent browning) and place in the refrigerator for several hours.

Here are my 2 avacados, its actually just one big one. I didn't know there were different kinds that grew so big! I only need one for this recipe. 
Then my fresh cilantro, which is really easy to come by here and my lemon. The recipe calls for a lime but I use a small lemon and it works great. I'm also not sure if they have limes here, the lemons look like limes but taste like a cross between the two.   
Here is the avacado mashed (I used a potato masher), with half of the lemon squeezed over it. 
Here it is all ready to go, I squeezed the other half of the lemon over it before putting it in the frigde. I made the guacamole this morning, so it should be perfect for dinner tonight. I don't add the salt or anything else, until after its sat for a while. Also, the other spices mentioned in the recipe I can't find here, so all I add is salt if needed. 
Had to have a picture of the kids, they were coloring and doing stickers this morning. 
Jamen made a silly face

The other recipe I wanted to share with you all is a cookie recipe called Alfojores. Its shortbread like cookie filled with dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is pretty big thing here, they eat it on bread, make ice cream with it and other sweet treats. You can find dulce de leche ice cream in the state, I think Breyers makes it and a few other brands. As for finding dulce de leche, you might find it near the sweetened condensed milk or near the mexican/asia food, depending on the store. I have seen these cookies here and people know what they are. Not sure if you would call it traditional but they are readily available.
So to make Alfojores you will need the following...
3 egg yolks
4 TB soft butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
2 TB rice flour (or regular all-purpose flour)
pinch of baking soda and a pinch of salt
Dulce de leche
Cream together egg yolks, butter and sugar. Then add flours, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combinded. Form into a ball and place in fridge for 15-20 min until well chilled. After chilling, flour counter and roll dough into 1/2" thickness. Cut into 2" circles. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 320 for 5-10 min until hardly brown. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool. When cool fill with dulce de leche.  
I think you are supose to roll the edges in coconut but I skip this step, because Jon's not huge fan of coconut.
Well, enjoy the recipes, let me know if you liked them:-)

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