San Juan and Puerto Rican cuisine
This past weekend I took a short vacation to San Juan in Puerto Rico because its warm and there is cool stuff there. And mojitos – you gotta love mojitos. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a cooking class while I was there so no new recipes this week. But I was able to sample a bunch of different dishes, although I might have lost a year of my life, I ate so much fried food. So without further ado, some Puerto Rican dishes and my thoughts.
Guava and Cheese Empanadas
Ok, these were officially amazing. Its a weird combo of flavors, and the cheese was similar to cotija. But it was freaking delicious. I also had fried cheese dipped in guava sauce, but I think the pastry version was better, even if I did nearly burn my tongue when I first tried it. Served with a mojito of course.
Two fried eggs, cheese, and some sort of pastry/bread thingy (like a Puerto Rican brioche) as a sandwich for breakfast? Yes please! This dish normally comes with ham, but I obviously opted out of it. It also came with fried plaintain chips, which were pretty great, though maybe not ideal for breakfast at 8 am. I had this with fresh-squeeze orange juice, since they didn’t have black tea.
Yucca Monfogo with Vegetables
This is basically mashed yucca, shaped into a bowl, which was then filled with whatever, in my case vegetables. So, this dish is a perfect example of why people frown on vegetarian food – the veggies were poorly cooked. I don’t know how you can mess up carrots and broccoli, maybe they were frozen at some point, but they were ehhh and the sauce only covered it up a bit. I’m sure the restaurant does an excellent job with the meat version. The yucca mofongo itself was delicious though. I had this with a “tropical rum punch” which was way more rum than punch.
These I tried at an upscale Latin restaurant called the Parrot Club (which had super cool decor and the whole interior design was awesome) so the authenticity of this dish is a bit shaky. Black beans, cheese, and various small, chopped up vegetables inside baked pastry. It was seriously amazing. And the salad and the weird fruity dressing on it was great too. One of those meals where you think, yes, I paid a lot for that, but my god it was worth it. Just to mix it up a bit, I had this with caipirinhas – which is a Brazilian drink and is tasty.
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