Need more recipe ideas?

May 8, 2012

Costa Rican banana nut muffins recipe (with or without chocolate chips)

Costa-rican-banana-nut-muffins

Cousin Martin, in his frequent travels to Costa Rica, always seeks out locally-produced cookbooks for me. I adapted these muffins from a banana cake recipe in one of his recent finds, The Best Recipes: Costa Rica, published by Ediciones Jadine S.A. in San José. When I made the cake according to the original recipe, I wasn't thrilled with the texture, though the flavor was nicely spiced and not too sweet. After a tweak here and there, and the last-minute addition of a handful of chocolate chips to half of the batter, I'm happy to recommend these muffins to you. The flavor of banana takes center stage, and you'll love the subtle notes of clove and vanilla, too. Eliminate the nuts if they're not your thing, or add more chocolate chips. Serve these muffins with afternoon tea or morning coffee, or sneak one into your child's lunch box.

Continue reading "Costa Rican banana nut muffins recipe (with or without chocolate chips)" »

April 24, 2012

Recipe for shrimp picadillo {gluten-free}

Shrimp-picadillo

My husband Ted, Cousin Martin and I visited Cuba for one all-too-short week in 1996, and ever since I've wanted to return. Despite shortages and rationing, we tasted some wonderful food, in places like Havana's famous La Bodeguita del Medio (one of Hemingway's haunts) and in paladares, the private restaurants Cubans are allowed to operate in their homes. Picadillo, a popular filling for tacos or empanadas, traditionally brings together minced meat, onions and tomatoes. Cuban-style picadillo throws raisins, olives and capers into the mix for an irresistible sweet-and-sour tang. In this recipe I've taken those same ingredients and paired them with large, sweet shrimp, served over steamed rice. The resulting dish, fancy enough for company, comes together quickly for a great worknight dinner, too. You can make the sauce ahead and refrigerate; then, reheat, and add the shrimp to cook for a few minutes before you're ready to serve. ¡Buen provecho!

Continue reading "Recipe for shrimp picadillo {gluten-free}" »

April 22, 2012

Recipe for brigadeiros (Brazilian chocolate truffles)

Brigadeiros-chocolate

My friend Peter, who runs a pousada in Brazil, recently passed through New England on one of those whirlwind, must-see-everyone visits that are always, always, always too short. We had a very small window in which to get together, and I planned to surprise him with brigadeiros, a traditional Brazilian chocolate truffle-like treat. Unfortunately, Peter and I missed each other on this visit, but the urge to make brigadeiros stayed with me. Named for Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, who ran for president of Brazil in 1922, these sweets were made by adoring female supporters, and sold to raise money for his campaign. The brigadier lost, but the chocolatey caramel bonbons endured. I used Ghirardelli sweetened ground chocolate, which more closely resembles the cocoa powder you'd find in Brazil; if you don't have any sweetened cocoa powder, try powdered hot chocolate mix. The chocolate sprinkles are traditional, but I couldn't resist the multi-colored ones. I'm sure the brigadier would have loved them.

Continue reading "Recipe for brigadeiros (Brazilian chocolate truffles)" »

April 5, 2012

Recipe for slow cooker Puerto Rican black beans with sofrito and cilantro {vegan, gluten-free}

Slow-cooker-puerto-rican-black-beans-with-sofrito-and-cilantro

Three times I attempted this black bean recipe, as I tried to recreate a dish I enjoyed years ago in a local Puerto Rican restaurant. Three times I loaded my slow cooker with dried beans, not presoaked, just rinsed and picked over. First, I tried cooking them without any seasoning, thinking I'd add the flavorings at the end so they wouldn't keep the beans from softening. (Not enough water; the beans turned into a solid blob before I realized it.) The second time, I added sufficient liquid, but in an act of defiance, the perfectly cooked beans refused to absorb the sofrito, tomato or spices. (Blech.) The third time, success: dry beans, correct amount of water, sofrito and tomato and spices added right at the beginning, everything coming together with no more intervention on my part than a stir somewhere between hours five and six. In a pinch, you can substitute store-bought sofrito (I like Goya red sofrito, though it contains a tiny amount of MSG), but it takes just a minute to make your own from scratch.

Continue reading "Recipe for slow cooker Puerto Rican black beans with sofrito and cilantro {vegan, gluten-free}" »

About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

Never miss a recipe

Find an ingredient, find a recipe

Shop here

  • Start your Amazon shopping here, and your purchases help support this site. Thank you.
My Photo

Find me here too


  • Syndicated on BlogHer.com
Blog powered by TypePad

The Perfect Pantry® participates in the Amazon Associates affiliate program,
and earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links on this site.
Thank you for supporting The Perfect Pantry when you start your shopping here.