Category Archives: Appetizer

Sweet & Sour Meatball recipe

sweetandsour

If ever you throw a party or invite people over for dinner, these sweet and sour meat balls are the perfect bite-sized finger food that will thrill your palate. Simply gather your ingredients as listed below and follow the instructions for this yummy everyday family meal.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

2 pounds Grind Meat – Beef

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 cup pineapple juice

½ cup sugar

3 tbsp. vinegar

4 slices pineapple (cut in pieces)

3 sweet peppers (cut in strips)

1 small onion (minced)

Salt & black pepper to taste

3 tbspn Cornstarch

1 tsp. soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:

* In a bowl, mix minced onion, salt, black pepper into ground meat and form into golf-sized balls.

* Add oil to frying pan and fry meat balls until crisp or golden brown.

*Remove pot from flame and place meatballs on a plate

* Add Pineapple juice to the oil left in the pan and heat for a few minutes. Mix together all other ingredients plus 6 tbsp of water and add to the pineapple juice.

*Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly.

* Add the meatballs, heat thoroughly and make sure they are all evenly coated. These meatballs can be served alone as finger food, with steamed broccoli or over a bed of white rice.

For an additional kick, add any of Hot Mama’s Belize Pepper products for a spicy twist.

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Cheese stuffed cho-cho/chayote

CHAYOTE

In Belize, this oddly shaped vegetable is called Cho-cho, in other parts of the world it is known as Pear Squash, Vegetable pear or choko. Chayote is a sweet squash that is versatile but can also be used in other ways including soups and our favorite, cheese stuffed. In this recipe segment, we’ll guide you into making this appetizer/side dish that can accompany your entrée.

WHAT YOU NEED:

Cho Cho (2 per person)

Salt

Black Pepper

Grated Cheddar Cheese

Grated onion (1 medium sized)

DIRECTIONS:

*Preheat oven to 350F.

*Wash chayote/choc ho and part boil until tender (about 40 minutes). Cut in half, scoop out pulp and mash together with salt, black pepper, grated cheese and a small amount of grated onion.

*Place mixture back into choc ho shells, sprinkle with cheese or buttered breadcrumbs.

*Transfer stuffed chayotes to baking pan and place in oven to brown for about 10 minutes and serve hot.

Optional: You can also add bits of bacon or meat pieces in the stuffing.

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Tamalitos / Ducunu Recipe

tamal final

 Spanish speaking locals in Belize call this next dish “tamalitos” while the Creole population call it “ducunu”. While this dish is labor intensive, it will leave you and your family wanting more. Tamalitos are made solely of corn and are rich in flavor. And while Ducunu requires ample time for preparation, here are some quick easy steps to follow to getting it done.

YOU WILL NEED:

8 full ears of corn (grated or ground)

1 dessert spoon margarine 10ml

1 large onion

1/4 cup thick coconut milk 125ml

2 tsps baking powder 10ml

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

*Cut ends of corn.
*Peel off husk and silk. Leave the large husk to wrap ducunu.
*Grate or grind corn.
*Melt margarine (low heat). Add melted margarine, salt and baking powder to corn.
*Add milk and mix well until all ingredients are evenly coated.
*Place a couple corn cobs and 2-3 husks in pot to balance ducunu.

*Add water and bring to a boil.
*Scoop one large tablespoon corn mixture in each corn husk. Fold over and set between cobs in boiling water.

*Boil for 20-30 minutes

*Recommended to serve with stew chicken or any other meat of choice!

A great pairing for Ducunu is Hot Mama’s  sweet pepper sauce or habanero pepper sauce. Happy eating!

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Spicy Quesadillas

quedailla

When it comes to Mexican Cuisine, quesadillas come to mind as one of their most popular meals and in Belize, it is no different. While there are several ways of making this cheesy delicacy, adding meats such as chicken, pork or seafood make a great combination and creates for an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Follow this easy recipe and you impress your family with this restaurant styled quesadillas.

YOU WILL NEED:

6-8 Large flour tortillas

Grated cheese – (Options: mozzarella, cheddar, or Monterey Jack)

 Optional Ingredients:

Green onions

Fresh tomatoes, diced

Chicken/pork or seafood chunks

Lettuce

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

*Heat a large cast iron frying pan to medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil or butter and spread it around the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Take one large flour tortilla and place it in the pan. Flip the tortilla over a few times, 10 seconds between flips. Air pockets should begin to form within the tortilla.

** When pockets of air begin to form, take a handful of grated cheese, sprinkle over the top of the tortilla, making sure that the cheese does not land on the pan itself. Add whatever additional ingredients you choose – green onion, tomatoes, etc. If you would like your quesadilla to be a chicken quesadilla, add some diced cooked chicken. Take care not to layer on the ingredients to thickly.

***Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. The cast iron pan should be hot enough by now to have plenty of residual heat to melt the cheese and brown the tortilla. If the quesadilla begins to smoke too much, remove from the heat. After a minute check to see if the cheese is melted. If not, return the cover and keep checking every minute until the cheese is melted. When the cheese is sufficiently melted, use a spatula to lift up one side of the quesadilla and flip over the other side, as if you were making an omelet. The tortilla should by now be browned slightly. If it is not browned, turn the heat up to high and flip the quesadilla over every 10 seconds or so until it gets browned. Remove from pan and cut into wedges.

To make the lettuce to accompany the quesadilla, thinly slice some iceberg lettuce. Serve with the lettuce, cilantro, salsa and sour cream. Additionally, you can add a few drops of Hot Mama’s Habanero Hot Sauce to provide that extra spicy kick.

quesa1

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Chicken Enchiladas

enchilada

The chicken enchiladas recipe is a family favorite and perfect to make with leftover chicken. Simply gather the ingredients and follow these simple instructions.

YOU WILL NEED:

3 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

3 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

8 corn tortillas

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp. Hot Mama’s Habanero Pepper Powder

1/2 tsp. leaf oregano

2 tsp. cumin

2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 cup water

Sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic in oil for about 3 minutes (DO NOT let them brown!)
  3. Add the chili powder, oregano and cumin
  4. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the tomato sauce and water
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes
  7. Add 3/4 cup sauce to the chicken and 1 to 2 cups cheese and mix well.
  8. Heat each tortilla a few seconds on each side in a skillet over medium heat. Stack on a paper towel.
  9. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a shallow 2 quart baking dish.
  10. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the tortillas. Fold the sides over the filling and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  11. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.

 Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the enchiladas. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Top each serving with a spoonful of sour cream and a couple drops of Hot Mama’s Pepper Sauce for an added kick.

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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