Sides

Caribbean Vibes: Fried Yellow Plantains {Vegan, GF}

Caribbean Vibes: Pan-Fried Yellow Plantains {Vegan, GF}

Pan-Fried Yellow Plantains are so easy and delicious! And with their crispy edges and lightly sweet flavor, they are the perfect side dish at any time.

When I was growing up, back in the Dominican Republic, I could clearly see in my family people having certain preferences. When gatherings came about, you either had a strong preference for stewed kidney beans, or you loved stewed pigeon peas. You either liked sweet cream of beans (made with red beans) or you ate the white version (made with broad beans) and the same was true for plantains. You either loved fritos maduros (fried yellow plantains) or you were team tostones (fried green plantains).

I remember always leaning towards “team tostones” (I love crunchy stuff!), but as I grew older I started to embrace those foods that were usually preferred by my sister, including pigeon peas and fried yellow plantains. Maybe is a sentimental thing. Who knows?!

When making fried yellow plantains, you need to choose the right ones, which will be yellow color and have very dark/black spots on them (like the picture below). The black spots are the perfect indicator that the plantains are ripe enough and perfect for this recipe. 

 

The perfect yellow plantain is also firm to the touch but no completely. It should feel ripe with a certain resistance. You don’t want a plantain that is too ripe (with the peel mostly black) because it will be difficult to slice, it won’t hold its shape when cooking, it will absorb a lot of oil and it will be mushy. If you have yellow plantains that are overly ripe, they won’t be good for this recipe but you can use them to make Vegan Banana Bread (using yellow plantains instead!)

 

When you go to certain supermarkets, you sometimes see yellow plantain with a perfect bright yellow peel. If you buy those, wait for a few days until it ripens a bit more and you can see black spots. If you cook them right away, the fried yellow plantains won’t have the soft interior and caramelized flavor that is so characteristic.

Caribbean Vibes: Pan-Fried Yellow Plantains {Vegan, GF}

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Caribbean, Dominican Republic

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Ripe Yellow Plantains
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Instructions
 

  • Before starting, have a plate with paper towels ready in the counter to drain excess oil.
  • Heat the vegetable oil
  • Peel and cut the yellow plantains as desired (lengthwise, round or at an angle)
  • Fry the plantain slices over medium-low heat until brown on the bottom. Turn over and cook the other size until golden brown.
  • Carefully remove the plantains fron the oil, with the help of tongs or a slotted spoon, and place over paper towels to drain for a minute or two.
  • You can now season with a pinch of salt, if desired. Preferably, serve immediately.
Keyword caribbean, Plantains

Have you make this recipe or any other from the blog? Use the tag #kasheribbean to share on social media and, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest to keep up with our easy recipes from us and the blogosphere!

 

Simplified Caribbean Style Stewed Pigeon Peas using canned Pigeon Peas {Vegan}

Simplified Caribbean Style Stewed Pigeon Peas {using Canned Pigeon Peas}

When I was a child, in my mind, the Dominican Republic was clearly divided into 3 groups of people: the stewed kidney beans lovers, like me and my grandpa. The pigeon peas lovers, like my sister and my mom; and the “undecided”, who loved  every legume on earth; including split peas, chickpeas and lentils that I hated at the time. As I grew older, and moved around different countries, the flavors from home became very dear to me, so I opened my heart and tummy even for those dishes I didn’t enjoy at the time, and my love for traditional foods grew from there. 

In this recipe for Caribbean Style Stewed Pigeon Peas I use canned pigeon peas to make it easier and more convenient if you are abroad. You can often find canned pigeon peas in some African shops and latin mini markets in cities like Rotterdam and Antwerp. Even some surinamese shops sell it sometimes. If by any chance you come across frozen pigeon peas, you can grab those as well. Just rinse before using, and keep in mind the cooking time is going to increase. 

Probably the most important steps for this Caribbean Style Stewed Pigeon Peas are the preparation of the garlic-oregano base, and the blending of the veggies and some legumes. Keep that in mind if you want to have authentic flavor and texture. 

Simplified Caribbean Style Stewed Pigeon Peas {Vegan}

Course Lunch
Cuisine Dominican Republic

Ingredients
  

  • 1200 gr Pigeon Peas, canned
  • 30 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
  • 20 gr Fresh garlic cloves
  • 10 gr Dried Oregano
  • 50 gr Yellow onion, cut in half
  • 1 Green bell pepper, cut in half
  • 10 gr Fresh Cilantro (also known as Coriander and Chinese Parsley)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a mortar and pestle, crush garlic and dried oregano with a pinch of salt, into a paste.
  • Add the olive oil in the pot and cook the garlic-oregano paste on low flame until fragrant.
  • Add the canned pigeon peas, and the rest of the ingredients, except for the salt. Cook on medium-low with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, and with a soup ladle take one full spoonful of pigeon peas and add to a blender, together with the cooked onion, green bell pepper and cilantro. Blend until smooth. You can add a little bit of the liquid to avoid overheating the blender.
  • Add the blended mixture back to the pot and let it cook for a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with white rice, salad and fried yellow plantains on the side. Enjoy!
Keyword legumes, pigeon peas

Have you make this recipe or any other from the blog? Use the tag #kasheribbean to share on social media and, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest for more! 

 

Dominican Stewed Kidney Beans {Vegan, GF}

For me is difficult to pick a favorite Dominican recipe (I have many!), but if I have to choose, I will go with Dominican style Stewed Kidney Beans, because they are the perfect rice companion, full of nutrients, easily available and so versatile; and today is the perfect day to make them!

Stewed Beans is a staple dish in the Dominican Republic, and is typically serve in the emblematic national dish (even though, there is not a consensus) so called “La Bandera” (literally “the flag”). La Bandera is all about rice, beans, some meat or chicken (usually stewed) and a simple salad of cabbage and heirloom tomatoes.

Know your beans…

To have the perfect stewed beans you need the perfect beans, and this is why I recommend to using kidney beans.

The reason is fairly simple, even though you can use interchangeably kidney and pinto beans; generally I find that kidney beans hold their shape much better that regular red beans or pinto beans. So, that would be more like a aesthetic virtue, and if you don’t find kidney beans easily, you can go ahead and use pinto beans.

The basics of good stewed beans

Are you looking for more dominican recipes? Check out our Dominican Style Spicy Sardines Rice

Dominican Style Stewed Kidney Beans is a very simple recipe, but still there are a few tricks that will take this dish to the next level.

  1. For best results, use kidney beans: They hold their shape much better than regular red beans or pinto beans
  2. Use fresh garlic: There is something about fresh ingredients that you cannot beat, even bit the best brands of powdered spices and herbs. They always have the best flavor, and if you are concerned about price, they are always cheaper than those million years old little bottles.
  3. Use fresh cilantro: I know from experience cilantro or culantro can be very difficult to find in some paces, so if you can’t find it, use flat-leaves parsley, also called italian parsley. Again, Fresh! 🙂

How to make Dominican Style Stewed Kidney Beans

In order to make stewed beans, you’ll need to soak the beans overnight. You can also soak them for about 2 hours and then cook in the pressure cooker, but I will only do that if I am in an “emergency cooking situation”, because for me “time” is another important ingredient.

Once the beans are all hydrated (they will double in size), discard the water, add the beans to a pot, cover with new water and boil the beans on medium low heat until they are fork tender. This could take somewhat between 1 hour to 2 hours.

Now, once you beans are tender, is time to make the base of your stew with just 3 simple ingredients (you will prepare this in the same pot where your beans will finish cooking): You need to cook garlic and dried oregano in olive oil on low heat until the mixture fragrant and the garlic starts turning light golden. This is seriously the base of any delicious stewed beans, so don’t skip this important step!

Once the garlic – oregano mixture is ready, add your boiled kidney beans and add 3 or 4 peppers cores without the seeds (the ones you removed to make our easy and vegan Classic Stuffed Peppers with Spinach & Dill), fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, a bit of onion, paprika and a tiny bit of olive oil. Don’t add the salt at this point! Do it when the Stewed Beans are almost ready.

Peppers cores

Final touches

Now that you have done all of the steps to make the best stewed beans of your life, you just need to wait for a little bit so that the low heat make its magic to blend all these beautiful ingredients. Your tummy and your family will thank you 🙂

Bonus Tip! If you want to make your beans a little bit creamier, take a little bit of the beans and liquid and process in a blender 

Have you make this recipe or any other from the blog? Use the tag #kasheribbean to share on social media and, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest to keep up with our easy recipes from us and the blogosphere!

So, now there are no secrets, also you can make the most delicious Dominican Style Stewed Kidney Beans. What will you eat your stewed beans with?

Until next time! 😉

Classic Stuffed Peppers with Spinach & Dill {Vegan, GF}

Today we are making Stuffed Peppers!

I tried Stuffed Peppers and I failed miserably

Somewhere in May, one random ereb shabbath, my creative energy was not flowing AT ALL. After a while I decided I was going to make Vegan Stuffed Peppers for shabbath, since I had what I needed: Peppers and rice. Right? Wrong!! 

Usually, when people realize that I “can cook” they automatically assume all I do is good and perfect from the first time, but the truth is good food is a beautiful leaning process. Some get it easily the first time, and other after a few tries. You are now a witness; the first time I made stuffed peppers it was for sure a total disaster. For some reason (maybe all those 30 seconds insta videos are guilty lol) I believed stuffed peppers was about just peppers and any rice, so I tried with basmati and I failed miserably.  

I love Basmati rice. It has beautiful aroma, cooks easily, fluffy and separate which makes it perfect for salads and pilafs, but definitely not so good for stuffed peppers. As you can see in the picture above, the rice looks dry (it was actually crispy) and it was not holding together, as it should when making stuffed peppers, so the perfect rice to make stuffed peppers (and also dolmas, stuffed cabbage, and more) is risotto rice. 

Want more risotto rice recipes? Check out our Vegan Beer & Almonds Risotto 

The Basics of Stuffed Peppers

The good thing about Stuffed Peppers is that, apart from the rice, there is really not “basics”…. Well, maybe there are a few “must”, and they are: 

  1. Add salt and pepper to the interior of your Peppers: this can be easily forgotten but it is so important! Just sprinkle a little salt in the interior of each pepper and you are good to go. 

  2. Always keep your Pepper tops!: They would act like lids and will prevent a crust on the top of the rice . 

  3. Cut a little bit of the bottom, so the peppers stand on the baking dish.

  4. Pack the rice tightly in each cavity. If you don’t want to serve too much rice, use smaller peppers. 

  5. Place the stuffed peppers tightly in the baking dish. This will help the peppers hold their shape while baking. 


Bonus Tip!
Don’t throw away the peppers core! Remove the seeds and store in the freezer on resealable bags. They give amazing flavor and aroma to any stew, specially stewed kidney beans. Nom nom!  

How to Make Stuffed Peppers

Because this is a very basic Stuffed Peppers recipe, I used 3 simple ingredients for my rice: onions, spinach and fresh dill. 

Basically, I sauteed the onions until lightly golden. Added the risotto rice, spinach, dill and salt to taste. Cook until most of the water is absorbed. Then, cover with the lid and cook on low until the rice is al dente. 



What you need to do next is to stuff the peppers, place the pepper caps on top, and bake until the peppers are tender.  

When you make this recipe or any other from the blog, use the tag #kasheribbean. And, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest to keep up with our easy recipes from us and the blogosphere!


 



As you can see, Stuffed Peppers are easy to make and you can play with the fillings as much as you want, so the combinations are endless. Play around with your favorite ingredients and let us know the most exciting combos you come up with! 

Until next time! 😉  

Vegan Beer & Almonds Risotto


A few weeks ago I made proper risotto for the first time, and today I bring you the results: A delicious, easy, vegan with Gluten Free option Beer & Almonds Risotto!

The inspiration behind this Beer & Almonds Risotto 

Back in march this year, we went to Portugal, and after spending the whole day walking and exploring the city of Lisbon, we had a lovely dinner under the stars. On the menu, one dish catches my attention: Almond Risotto.

When I saw that perfectly cooked, creamy and absolutely delicious risotto, my mind immediately took me back in time to when I was twelve. The time when we met Tio Mario (uncle Mario, whose real name was Mario Autore).

Tio Mario was an old man that lived in our building, originally from Napoli, Italy. Everyone’s perception was that Tio Mario was just a difficult man. He barely talked to anyone, and he didn’t have family and friends in the country.

After a few weeks, my mom realized they had met before, back when my mother was studying at university. He was a restaurant owner, his restaurant was near the university and my mom went there often. That realization evolved into instant connection. That old, lonely man started cooking for us every week, we started visiting often, to the point that if we were not at home, we were with Tio Mario. We soon became family. 

Endless pastas… and, risottos

The first thing we tried from Tio Mario, was pasta! Now you know my little secret: my appreciation for pasta recipes comes from those memories. My LOVE for culinary arts was also born and grown since the day I met Tio Mario, because he not just started cooking for us, but when I told him I wanted to be a chef, he soon welcomed me into his kitchen, and became my mentor.  

Endless kind of pastas, risottos, pasta, sauces, snacks and desserts, became part of our lives and memories, alongside our newly added family member! 🙂 He was 84 by the way!! 

Check out the perfect companion of pasta with tomato sauce! The Ultimate Vegan Meatballs 

The inspiring picture 

Few weeks ago, on a random day, I was thinking of Tio Mario and I thought of the risotto we had back in Lisbon. When I saw the picture I captured after the one of the risotto, the idea hit me. I didn’t have white wine so I would make BEER & Almonds risotto 😛

The inspiring glass of beer

I don’t know why I was so intimidated by the idea, because it ended up being so easy to make! You just need to start with the right rice, risotto rice , and you have won half the battle. 

How to Make Beer & Almonds Risotto



To make this Beer & Almonds Risotto, I started by dry-roasting some silvered almonds on the pan, until they were light golden brown and fragrant. Once they were done, I set aside, added some olive oil to the pan and sauteed some shallots. 

Once the shallots were fragrant and translucent, I added the risotto rice and this is when the fun starts. You start by adding the alcohol, seasonings and the stock, stir and stir, until the ingredients transform into a yummy, creamy al-dente risotto. 

It would have not been possible for me to have a great Beer & Almonds Risotto without Gennaro Contaldo’s fantastic tutorial on how to make Risotto Bianco

Sometimes it saddens me that Tio Mario passed away four years after we met him. It also saddens me that I don’t remember all the names of the dishes, or the flavors of many. Despite that, I keep his memory alive, and every time I cook or see any resemblance of Italian gastronomy, I think of my beloved Tio Mario. 

When you make this recipe or any other from the blog, use the tag #kasheribbean. And, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest to keep up with our easy recipes from us and the blogosphere! 

Do you have food memories that you cherish? I bet you do!! Never take them for granted and express your  gratitude and love for them on every possible opportunity! Until next time! 😉