Thursday, September 24, 2009

Avocado sorbet in the campo

Another treat that I enjoyed alone in the Peace Corps...por eso, I share the idea on my blog.  I hope others will try it.

I read a book about Citrus last year and it includes a quick recipe for a treat using avocado, lime, and sugar.  It is like a sweet gaucamole.  It is a Brasilian recipe and I imagine these ingredients are abundant there!

In rural Nicaragua I am in avocado paradise compared to the States.  I can sometimes by 3 or 4 large avocados for around $1.00 (USD); sometimes I can pick an aguacate from the tree. I recall spending around $1.00 on a single avocado in the States.

So, the other day, with a sourish lemon that fell outside of the door to my room, I whipped up an avocado, sugar, and lemon juice.  Since my house is super fancy, I actually have a fridge with a freezer (most homes in rural Nicaragua have no need for a fridge...if they have electricity, they do usually have a television however---this home has a fridge because it is owned by a city family that sells fresh cheese--it is fresh because of the refrigerator).  So, I froze this creamy mixture and the next day enjoyed rich, healthy, and delicious creamy sorbet!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Keep it gourmet with recursos that you have

I don´t have access to many of the gastronomic delights of the U.S.A. but I am learning so many new things in Nicaragua.  I eat corn in so many wonderful forms...

Tonight I will dine on a bit of home made ricotta cheese that I made this morning from some left over whey (the farms often produce fresh cheese and throw out the whey).  I will enjoy the ricotta with some olive oil, a splash of fresh lemon juice, salt, and some local grown lettuce before I have my beans!

Friday, September 4, 2009


A Nica favorite and a pretty delicious little fritter.  My family in Carazo taught me to fill my plate because the buñuelos will be gone when it is time for seconds...

The recipe is simple, like so many great edible creations.  Peel, rinse, and proceed to shred raw yucca root (aprox. 8x 4 inch long root pieces).  One can shred by hand or using some sort of food processor.  Next, grind or mash the yucca into a paste with some cuajada (essentially Nicaraguan cheese curd/fresh cheese) or soft salted cheese.  I would substitute with ricotta in the States.  In Nicaragua, the mashing step is done with a hand operated mill--a meat grinder really--although I have yet to see a family use this tool to grind meat.  I´ve seen many things ground, except meat, and I really hope meat doesn´t touch these things b/c of the sanitation implications.
Salt the resulting mixture to taste; the final product has a nice contrast of sweet and salty.  Add one large egg to moisten and bind; mix well.  The ´masa´or soft dough should be fairly thick and slightly sticky.  The family tells me that this is the home made (casera) recipe...the fritters sold in the market are made with some added flour to make them less expensive (like filler).  Spoonfuls of the starchy mixture are deep fried. but a pan fry will probably be sufficient.  Fry until golden brown.
When the buñuelos are cool to the touch, these little yucca doughnuts are eaten with honey or a cinammon spiced simple syrup...deliciosos.
Next time I hope to explore Gallo Pinto, Nica style fried rice and beans.  And in the near future I hope to share some of the traditional corn recipes I am learning.