DadsStory: Easy Traditional Hispanic Dishes

Submitted by:  Jorge Guzman

My children and I have a Hispanic heritage which is important for me to share with them.  One of the easiest ways I have learned to share this cultural experience is through cooking some easy traditional dishes that they really enjoy.  I thought I would share these recipes with everyone so you can create your own Hispanic Meal night with your kids.


Sopa de Frijoles Negros
(Black Bean Soup)
You can also add peas, carrots, and corn to this recipe according to your liking.
     2 cans black beans (frijoles negros)
     2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
     1 stalk celery, chopped
     1 clove minced garlic (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
     1 onion, diced
     1 teaspoon chili powder
     ½ teaspoon cumin (optional)
     ½ teaspoon salt
     1 cup chicken broth
     8 ounces of tomato sauce
     ½ cup sour cream
     One bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
     1.  Place the canned beans in a blender a little bit at a time and blend well.
     2.  In a saucepan, heat the butter or oil and add the diced onions, garlic, half of the cilantro (if using), celery, spices and salt.
     3.  Cook over medium heat until the onion is transparent.
     4.  Add the tomato sauce, blended black beans, and chicken broth.  Mix well and heat through.
     5.  Serve hot in a bowl, topping with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling some fresh cilantro on top.
     Serves 4-6



Spanish Rice
An easy variation of this recipe is to use a cup of salsa (either store-bought or homemade) instead of the tomatoes and onions called for in this recipe.  You may also add cilantro, garlic, peas, carrots, corn, and/or chili powder to this recipe of you like.
     2 cups rice
     1 cup diced tomatoes
     1 cup diced onions (optional)
     1.  Cook the rice per instructions on package.
     2.  Once the rice is cooked, add the other ingredients and mix well!



Pico de Gallo
(“A little bit of chicken” – this is a chunky salsa, but without chicken)
     1 large or 2 small white onions, diced
     2 large tomatoes, diced
     One bunch of cilantro, chopped (optional)
     2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (optional)
     1/8 teaspoon pepper
     Juice of 1 orange (or 2 tablespoons orange juice)
     Juice of 2 limes (or 1 tablespoon bottled lime juice)
     1 ¼ teaspoon salt
     Chop, dice, and juice your ingredients.  Mix everything together in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the refrigerator.  Serve the next day.




Salsa Fresca
(Fresh Salsa)
     4-6 tomatoes, diced
     1 teaspoon garlic, minced
     ½ cup white onion, finely chopped
     Juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
     ¼ teaspoon salt
     1 to 3 jalapenos, roasted, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
     3 to 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
     1.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, pulse chopping small batches at a time being careful not to over blend and turn the ingredients into mush.  Combine each batch in a glass bowl.
     2.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.  Serve the next day.




     1 can evaporated milk
     1 can condensed milk
     1 tablespoon vanilla
     4 eggs, at room temperature
     ¼ cup sugar
     1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
     2.  Melt the sugar in a skillet until light brown, and pour into a glass pie pan or 9 inch baking dish.
     3.  Blend milks, eggs, and vanilla until mixed and pour into the dish.  Do not over-beat the mixture though.
     4.  Place the glass dish into a large baking pan and pour about ½ an inch of water into the baking pan to surround the glass dish.
     5.  Bake the flan for about 1 hour, then cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
     6.  To serve your flan, gently place your serving plate upside down on top of your flan and flip over to transfer the flan to the plate.  Slice and serve.




Pastel de Tres Leches
(Three Milk Cake)
          1 box yellow or white cake mix (with pudding if available)
     For absorbed topping:
          1 can evaporated milk
          1 can sweetened condensed milk
          1 pint heavy whipping cream
          1 teaspoon vanilla
     For frosting / finishing:
          1 tub whipped topping like Cool Whip or freshly whipped cream
          Optional additional toppings include:
               Shaved coconut,
               Chopped macadamia nuts,
               And/or pineapple
     1.  Bake your cake as directed on the box and then allow the cake to cool.
     2.  Poke holes all over the cake with a fork.
     3.  Mix the three milks and vanilla together in a mixing bowl, and then pour the mixture all over the cake.  Place in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow the cake to absorb the mixture.
     4.  Frost your cake with whipped topping, and sprinkle with any of the optional toppings if you are using them.

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