Food. Everybody loves food. Even if they are not accomplished chefs, who know about food everything. As to me, I have never been one. I have always kept my food preparation simple and fast. Although I avoid fast food restaurants like McDonalds and BurgerKings. (Have to admit though that I’ve been hooked on Subway in London :).)
But then, knowledge about food is the best thing through which you can find way to the heart of locals, and also a good way to start knowing the country. Yes, I have tried my first gazpacho in Barcelona, my first apple strudel in Vienna, and shared ham rolls with Jacquie in London, and I understood that ham rolls can be really delicious when prepared for eating in special way.
Considered that my plan is to go to Bolivia one day and that I have more time on my hands now, I decided to explore also Bolivian cuisine. And now, when my birthday is only 10 days away, I have made a resolution to prepare something Bolivian for the party.
From all the broad array from different regions in Bolivia I chose a recipe of traditional meal SILPANCHO which is said to be favourite around Cochabamba. This recipe I found on http://www.food.com/recipe/silpancho-traditional-bolivian-meal-306949, which I found through my favorite site about Bolivia www.boliviabella.com which contains loads of information about this incredible country. Please, visit it, if you are interested too. So, let’s see, what we can cook:
1 lb thin sliced soft beef
2 cups breadcrumbs (estimated amt, use as needed)
adobo seasoning (with cumin, “con cumin”)
3 cups uncooked white rice
1/2 of a red pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp dried)
2 -3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salsa (topping for meat)
2 vine-in plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 finely diced jalapeno
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
Fried Sliced Potatoes
6 medium yukon gold potatoes
24 HOURS MAKE AHEAD PREPARATION:.
PREPARE POTATOES: Add whole peeled potatoes to boiling lightly salted water. Boil about 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked but still firm (overcooking will cause slicing thin to be more difficult). Put potatoes in the fridge to cool (this can be done the day before).
PREPARE RICE: Cook rice as directed (this can be done the day before). Dice a 1/2 red pepper and 1/4 cup red onion. Put in a container and add 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro or 1 tsp dried cilantro. Store container in fridge until ready to fry rice (this can be done the day before).
PREPARE MEAT: Lightly dust both sides of meat with Adobo Seasoning Con Cumin (just tap it out, don’t shake on).
Pour some of the bread crumbs onto a plate. Lay one slice of meat over the crumbs, sprinkle more bread crumbs on top and pound into meat using a meat mallet (or make a fist and pound with the side of your hand). Flip the meat over and sprinkle more bread crumbs on the other side if needed and pound again so that both sides are well covered in crumbs and meat is flattened out. Repeat on each slice of meat. Store in fridge until ready to cook (this can be done the day before).
PREPARE SALSA: Dice tomatoes, onions and jalapeños and mix together. Store in the fridge until ready to serve (this can be done the day before). (Time Saver: Use a food processor to chop onions and jalapeño and then stir hand diced tomatoes).
DAY OF COOKING:.
FRY RICE: Heat 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add cooked rice and prepared red pepper, red onion & cilantro. Toss well. Add 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) and Cook 10-15 minutes tossing frequently. Remove and keep warm in covered serving dish.
FRY POTATOES: While the rice is cooking, heat another skillet over moderately high heat and pour oil so that it covers the entire bottom and is about 1/8 deep. Slice cooled potatoes about 1/2″ thick. Add slices one at a time until you have 1 layer on the bottom of the pan and there is space between each one. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Cover and keep warm.
FRY MEAT: When rice is done, add about oil to emptied skillet so that it is about 1/4-1/2″ deep and heat so that it is hot, but not smoking. Place a few slices of meat in skillet and cook about 1.5 minutes or until edges become golden brown and meat actually lifts up in the center. Flip and cook on other side about 1 minute or until cooked through. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. Repeat with remaining meat. Cover and keep warm.
FRY EGGS: (Begin this just before serving your meal) When the potatoes are done, use the same skillet for the eggs reducing heat to medium low. (TIP: Make sure skillet has cooled before adding eggs – you don’t want them to cook too fast or the egg whites will become hard before the yolks are cooked). Add eggs individually so they remain separate and fry just until yolks are cooked, flipping once. Serve immediately.
PLATING THE FOOD: On each plate, serve about 2-3 pieces of meat topped with prepared salsa, about a cup of rice, 5 potato slices and 2 eggs (salted if desired).
Happy cooking! I will notice you what will come out of my experiment. Also, as I have intention to post food articles on regular basis, please, send me all Bolivian recipes, if you have any or if any comes your way. They will be posted here on travelingaround50.wordpress.com. I will be very happy to receive them and get to know more about Boliuvian cuisine. Also send stories about your eating adventures, reviews of eateries, your impression or simply your thoughts on the issue. All will be published!
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