Discovering Cuisine in Cartagena – Recipes


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Arroz con Coco y Pasas (Rice Cooked in Coca-Cola)

Cooks in    Serves 8
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil, as needed
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups Coca-Cola
  • Place the coconut milk in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Bring to an active boil and continue cooking about 15 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Run a wooden spoon periodically around the bottom to make sure it isn't sticking. If so, turn down the heat a bit and keep checking. When the coconut milk is as thick as frosting and the bubbles burst like moon craters, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking. The mixture will turn glassy and the bubbles will look like pinpricks.
  • Stir in a teaspoon of oil, and then another if needed, to encourage the mixture to break. Stirring constantly, let the mixture break into oil and solids. Once the solid bits start to brown, take the pot off the heat and carefully transfer the contents to a heatproof container.
  • If using the heavy-bottomed pot to cook the rice, wash and dry it.
  • Add the remaining teaspoon oil to the pot along with the coconut mixture, rice and raisins and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes until rice glistens and is fragrant.
  • Add the salt and Coca-Cola.
  • Bring to a boil; cover pot with a heavy, tight lid. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook another 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before uncovering.
  • -- Adapted from a recipe in "Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture" (Winter 2005)


Arepa de Huevo (Arepa Filled with Egg)

   Serves 4
  • 1 cup masarepa or pre-cooked corn meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 eggs
  • In a medium bowl, mix the masarepa, salt and sugar with a fork. Add the hot water and mix using your hands to form dough. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the mixture into 4 equal size portions and form each portion into a ball by rolling between the palms of your hands.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper or plastic in the kitchen counter, place the ball of dough and cover with another piece of paper or plastic and with a flat pot cover or a cutting board flatten into rounds, about ¼ inch thick.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot to 350° F. Add the arepas in the heated oil one by one, fry for 3 minutes turning over once, about half way trough.
  • Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the arepas from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  • When the arepa is cold enough to handle, with a sharp knife make an opening about 1 ½ inches long on the side of the arepa, cutting to the middle of the arepa without slicing all the way through, just like making a pocket.
  • Crack 1 egg into a small ramekin and carefully pour the egg into the arepa pocket. Take the small piece of the dough you had aside and close the arepa. Add the arepa filled with egg to the hot oil and fry one more time for about 4 minutes, to cook the egg.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the arepas from the oil and drain on paper towel and serve immediately.


Colombian Beans

Cooks in    Serves 10
  • 1 lb dried red beans
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 plantain, diced
  • 1 (5 g) envelope sazon goya
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Hogado:
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Wash beans well with water and take out any debris.
  • Place in pressure cooker and cover with water up to the max line (approx 12 cups for a 5 quart pressure cooker).
  • Place lid on cooker creating a tight seal cook on high for 35 minutes (this will soften the beans).
  • Take pressure cooker of the stove and allow steam to escape completely before opening.
  • Add carrots, plantain, sazon, and salt.
  • If you like your beans more soupy (which I do) add more water to replace what has been lost, if you do not they will be rather on the dry side and you will have to watch more carefully on the next step because they have a higher risk of burning.
  • Cover again and cook on med-high for 20-30 minutes.
  • While beans are cooking sauté the tomato, onions, and cilantro in the oil add a pinch of salt.
  • Once the beans are done add the hogado and test the beans for softness, if necessary cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with white rice and the meat of your choice, enjoy

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