Black Dinnah/Relleno Negro

reyeno

This hearty black soup or “Relleno Negro” is a traditional dish in Belize that is served with corn tortillas or white rice. Don’t let its black color fool you, this dish is filled with chicken, ground pork and plenty of vegetables making it a soul food dish that many locals and tourists enjoy. The color and flavor is derived from a condiment called black recado (this paste is a process in itself to create), which can be found in stores and local shops. Whether you are a novice or familiar to this recipe, we’ve put together a guide to help you along the way in making this delicious ‘black dinnah’.

WHAT YOU NEED:

3-4 lb whole chicken

2 lb ground meat (pork)

8 eggs (hard boiled)

2 raw eggs – beaten

1 square Black Recardo 6 oz

2-3 Apasote Leaves (Mexican Herb)

2 tsp oregano Leaves (crushed)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1tblspn Corn flour/All purpose flour

1 medium onion (sliced)

2-3 plugs garlic (crushed)

Whole fresh Habanero Pepper.  (Hot Mama’s Habanero Pepper Mash – add tablespoons if no fresh peppers are available)

DIRECTIONS:

STUFFING

**Brown the pork with garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add black recado and cook for about twenty minutes. Allow to cool then add the chopped egg whites and the beaten raw eggs to hold the stuffing together and set aside for later.

CHICKEN

**Wash Chicken with vinegar or lime, season with salt and pepper. Now stuff the chicken with the pork mixture (stuffing). Add the boiled eggs yolks in between the stuffing as you stuff the chicken. Place chicken in pot, add water to cover chicken and add the rest of the ingredients except the black recado. Dissolve black recado in a glass of water and add to the chicken. Stir and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until chicken is done.

**Thicken soup with one tablespoon of maseca (corn flour) or flour, dissolve in half cup of water. Add slowly to soup while stirring serve with corn tortillas.

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Sweet Potato Pound/Pudding

sweet pop pudding

Here is another sweet treat and Belizean delicacy – the sweet potato pudding or as locals call it, “sweet potato pone”. This type of potato can easily be found sold at street vendor stands and is a great substitute for the bread pudding and follows similar instructions. History reveals that this pudding was derived by the Garifuna people in southern Belize. Preparing the pie can be a daunting task but the end results will be worth it. Here is a guide to help you get started on these!

YOU WILL NEED:

*3 lb sweet potatoes

*1/4 cup butter

*2 lb sugar

*2 (14oz) can coconut milk

*1 (14oz) can evap. milk

*1 tbsp vanilla

*1/4 cup raisins

*2 tbsp grated ginger

Grate sweet potatoes. Add sugar and coconut milk. Stir until sugar dissolves, then add evaporated milk, butter, vanilla and raisins. Stir until properly mixed and pour into a baking pan 9 x 11 inches. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes. Let pie cool then serve…. This recipe makes 10-12 servings.

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Coconut Tart recipe

coconut 2

Coconut lovers will go ‘coco-loco’ after sampling these yummy treats called Tarts. These can be found at most Gas Stops, street vendors or in market stalls around the country. You will see that with the coconut thrash that you usually discard, it can become a decadent treat for all ages. Here is a step by step guide on how to make these!

TO MAKE THE PASTRY, YOU WILL NEED:

2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. sugar

1 1/3 c. butter, softened

2 eggs, well beaten

FILLING

2 eggs

1 1/3 c. sugar

7 oz. pkg. flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Sift flour with salt and 2/3 cup sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in beaten eggs and blend well. Knead dough slightly. Cover and refrigerate about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  1. For each tartlet, place 1 heaping tablespoon dough in ungreased muffin cup. Press and shape to form pastry shell. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling into each tartlet shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 22 to 24 minutes until filling is golden brown. Cool slightly before removing tartlets from pans.

FILLING: Beat eggs well. Add sugar and coconut. Mix until thoroughly blended. Fill pastry shells and enjoy!

coconut tarts

Crunchy Chicken Tostadas

tostada

If you fancy Mexican food, you are going to enjoy these piled high crunchy tostadas. These fried tortilla shells are loaded with chicken, veggies, cheese and avocado and make a quick fix meal for any time of the day!

YOU WILL NEED:

Vegetable Oil

6 corn tortillas

Diced boneless chicken breast

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Refried beans

1/2 cup shredded cheese, shredded

1/2 head iceberg lettuce shredded

1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional/seasonal)

1 cup diced tomato

1/2 cup sour cream

REFRIED BEANS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cloves garlic, minced

mashed beans

salt & black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until thick. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste.

2.  To make the tortillas: Pour the oil for frying into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches. Add the tortillas, one at a time, and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.

 3. Spread the beans evenly over one side of each tortilla add chicken pieces, diced lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and cheese, top with a dollop of sour cream. For added taste and to give it some spice, add a few drops of Hot Mama’s Hot Pepper Sauce and enjoy!

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Crispy Conch Fritters recipe

conch-frittersIn this week’s Belizean recipe segment, we will be guiding you on how to make Conch Fritters, a popular finger food snack in Belize. These fritters can be accompanied with any sauce of your liking; we have seen this dish paired with tartar sauce, ranch dressing or a mixture of spicy hot sauce or Hot Mama’s manganero sauce. Whichever way you like it, try it today!

YOU WILL NEED:

1 1/2 pounds (4-5 pieces) of conch

1 sweet pepper (medium size)

1 onion (medium size)

1 1/4 cup of unbleached flour

1 1/2 cup of water

5 leaves of herb (culantro, cilantro, basil, etc…)

1 celery stalk

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/4 of Habanero chili pepper (optional)

EQUIPMENT/TOOLS:

  1. blender

2. two mixing bowls

3. large mixing spoon

4. pot spoon

5. large cast iron skillet

PREPARATION & METHOD:

Clean Conch and cut into 1″ pieces

Clean deseed and chop Sweet Pepper into small pieces

Peel, clean and cut onion into 8 pieces

Chop celery into 4 pieces

Chop up herbs

  1. Place all of the above in a mixing bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the ingredients into a Blender followed by 1/3 cup of water and blend on ‘chop’ for 6-10 seconds. Pour into a new mixing bowl and continue process until all the ingredients has been blended.

2. Stir in flour

3. Add salt & pepper (mixture consistency should be like a cake batter; if you need more water just add a small amount

4. Pour oil in frying pan and heat the oil in frying pan (medium heat): make sure oil is sizzling to get the desired results (if you like, you can begin to heat oil around step 6)

5. Spoon 1 pot spoon size of mixture into frying pan (cook 4 -5 at a time); turn over only when ends are golden brown and the fritter is somewhat cooked; continue cooking on the other side until entire fritter is golden-dark brown

6. Drain on a paper towel placed on a large serving plate

7. Repeat cooking process until entire batter is finished

8. Serve with sauce of Choice (options: Hot Mama’s Belize pepper sauce, Manganero Sauce, Fiery Hot Sauce)

conch frittaz

 

Stewed Conch recipe

STEW CONCH

The Caribbean Queen Conch is a seafood delicacy in Belize…. hundreds of local eateries, food stops and restaurants have one or two items on their menu that includes Conch. On this culinary adventure, we will guide you with the ingredients and steps to make the perfect Stewed Conch for your family to enjoy!

You will need:

1 lb shelled conch, cleaned, skinned

1 medium onion sliced

3/4 cup water

1 tomato chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup oil

1 medium chopped onion

1/4 cup green onions,

3 tablespoons tomato paste

salt, black pepper, and Hot Mama’s Habanero Hot sauce to taste

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp parsley

2 tbsp vinegar

2 Potatoes

Handful Okra

Directions

Pound conch with a mallet, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces. Place conch in a bowl with vinegar.

Add water, and set aside for 2 hrs then drain thoroughly. Cook onion and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes

Combine remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat. Conch is cooked when it is tender (about 45 minutes) for 45-50 minutes, stirring constantly until conch is tender

NOTE: Classic stewed conch is served with coleslaw and white rice or a garden salad. For many, these two simple sides provide the perfect match. The cooling coleslaw acts to refresh the palate in between bites of the quite spicy conch and the white rice soaking up the delicious, rich sauce offsets the spiciness of the conch. A part from stewing, conch is also curried, used to make salad, fritters, in soups, grilled, jerked and baked!

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Conch Ceviche – Belizean Style!

ceviche

Known for having the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, Belize is an abundantly blessed nation when it comes to seafood. And while there are a lot of seafood dishes and meals to choose from, one particular appetizer gets all the praise – Seafood Ceviche. Whether you are a shrimp, conch or lobster lover, making ceviche is the ultimate Belizean appetizer/snack. Serve it up in a shell and your guests will know they are eating in paradise! Here is a step by step guide adopted by Hot Mama’s Belize to help you prepare this yummy appetizer.

YOU WILL NEED:

 1lb Fresh Conch meat – diced

1/2 cup Lime Juice; – Fresh squeezed

1/2 cup Lemon Juice; – Fresh Squeezed

1 medium habanero pepper – seeded and finely diced

1 cup Onion – finely chopped

1/4 cup Cilantro; – finely chopped

1 cup Tomato; – peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon Black pepper; – Fine ground

 DIRECTIONS:

**On a clean board pound the conch out flat. Dice the tenderized meat into 1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes or small, bite-sized slices. Put the cut up conch in a shallow, glass pan and cover with the lime and lemon juice. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Mix in the finely diced Habanero and marinate another 2 hours. Drain the conch and place it in a mixing bowl.

**Add the onion, cilantro, tomato, salt, and black pepper and mix. Squeeze about 1/2 a lime’s worth of juice over the mixture.

*NOTE: Take caution when handling fresh Habanero peppers. Plastic gloves are a great idea. Also, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face, eyes or any other “tender” body parts. This stuff is mucho caliente!

 **Place in a bowl and serve with crisp tortilla chips and lime wedges. ENJOY!

**NOTE: You can substitute the Conch for Shrimp or any seafood.

conch-ceviche

Recipe adapted by: Hot Mama’s Belize