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    RecipesManiac.com   >   National + Regional Cookbooks   >   Caribbean   >   Puerto Rican
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    How to Cook dishes from Puerto Rico


    Puerto Rico Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States of America. It is an island archipelago, consisting of the main island of Puerto Rico, as well as several smaller islands and keys, and is located in the Caribbean Sea, to the East of the Dominican Republic, and to the West of the Virgin Islands.

    The first people to reach Puerto Rico are believed to have reached the island around 2000 BCE. The details of early settlement are obscure, since the native peoples were later almost entirely wiped out during the early Spanish period.

    The Spanish period began in 1493 with the arrival of Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage - by 1508, the Spanish had appointed their first governor (Juan Ponce de León). For almost four hundred years, despite attacks by Britain, France, and the Netherlands, and several revolts, Puerto Rico remained a Spanish colony.

    In 1898, during the Spanish-American war, US forces invaded Puerto Rico, and a result of that, and the subsequent Treaty of Paris which ended the war, Puerto Rico has been a US territory ever since.

    Puerto Rican cuisine has developed an interesting cuisine, derived from many diverse sources, in part as a result of a combination of these historical influences, as well as of course exploiting local ingredients. Some dishes are derived from the original Amerindian inhabitants of the island, there are also many dishes influenced by Spanish cuisine, and of course, US cuisine has also left its mark.

    Some popular Puerto Rican dishes include:
    • Albondigón - Puerto Rican meatloaf.

    • Alcapurrias - Dough is made from green bananas and taro root, stuffed with meat or crab, and then fried.

    • Arroz con gandules - Rice with pigeon-peas, flavored with sofrito (a thick cooked sauce, inspired by Spanish cuisine), and served with smoked ham.

      Arroz con gandules

    • Arroz con pollo - Rice and chicken.

    • Carne Guisada - Beef stew.

    • Cuajitos en salsa - Pork belly in a hot sauce.

    • Jibarito - Meat, cheese, salad and mayonnaise served between slices of fried plantain (a plantain sandwich). It is often served with Spanish rice, and is very popular among Puerto Ricans living in the mainland United States.

      Jibarito

    • Morcilla - Spicy sausages.

    • Mofongo - Green plantains or yuca fried in olive oil with garlic and pork cracklings. It is served mashed with chicken soup or meat.

    • Pollo frito - The Puerto Rican version of fried chicken.

    • Taquitos - A stuffed tortilla, deep-fried. Similar to Mexican cuisine's chimichanga.


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    Puerto Rican Cookbooks

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    Puerto Rican Cookery

    By Carmen Aboy Valldejuli

    Carmen Aboy Valldejull
    Released: 1983-03-31
    Hardcover (408 pages)

    Puerto Rican Cookery
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    • Puerto Rican Cookery
    Product Description:

    Puerto Rican Cookery has become the standard reference on traditional native cookery (cocina criolla). According to the San Juan Star, "the cookbook is seen and is more likely better read in some homes than the religious tome. . . . [it] is considered a primer for beginning cooks . . . a textbook for home economists and it is a guide for the gourmet as well."

    Eating Puerto Rico: A History of Food, Culture, and Identity (Latin America in Translation/en Traducción/em Tradução)

    By Cruz Miguel Ortíz Cuadra

    Cruz Miguel Ort z Cuadra
    Paperback (408 pages)

    Eating Puerto Rico: A History of Food, Culture, and Identity (Latin America in Translation/en Traducción/em Tradução)
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    • Eating Puerto Rico A History of Food Culture and Identity Latin America in Translation En Traduccion Em Traducao
    Product Description:
    Available for the first time in English, Cruz Miguel Ortiz Cuadra's magisterial history of the foods and eating habits of Puerto Rico unfolds into an examination of Puerto Rican society from the Spanish conquest to the present. Each chapter is centered on an iconic Puerto Rican foodstuff, from rice and cornmeal to beans, roots, herbs, fish, and meat. Ortiz shows how their production and consumption connects with race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and cultural appropriation in Puerto Rico.
    Using a multidisciplinary approach and a sweeping array of sources, Ortiz asks whether Puerto Ricans really still are what they ate. Whether judging by a host of social and economic factors--or by the foods once eaten that have now disappeared--Ortiz concludes that the nature of daily life in Puerto Rico has experienced a sea change.

    The Tropical Kitchen: Puerto Rican Cookbook for Cooking with Classic Flavors of Puerto Rico

    By Martha Stone

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Paperback (64 pages)

    The Tropical Kitchen: Puerto Rican Cookbook for Cooking with Classic Flavors of Puerto Rico
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    Product Description:
    If you have always wanted to learn how to make authentic Puerto Rican dishes from the comfort of your own home, then this is the perfect book for you.

    Inside of this Puerto Rican cookbook, you will learn how to make authentic Puerto Rican dishes that are packed with all of the classic flavors of the tropics. You will learn how to make dishes such as:

    • Carne Guisado
    • Beef Empanadas
    • Traditional Puerto Rican Rice and Beans
    • Mofongo
    • Three Meat Sancocho
    • Puerto Rican Pernil
    • Tostones
    • Crema de Farina
    • Traditional Puerto Rican Flan
    • Pollo Fricassee
    • Chicharrones de Pollo
    • Puerto Rican Potato Salad

    So, what are you waiting for?

    Grab a copy of this Puerto Rican cookbook and start making Puerto Rican dishes today!

    Puerto Rico: Grand Cuisine of the Caribbean

    By Jose Luis Diaz de Villegas

    La Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico
    Hardcover (292 pages)

    Puerto Rico: Grand Cuisine of the Caribbean
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    • Product Details: Hardcover: 292 pages
    • Language: English
    • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 10.3 x 0.9 inches, Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
    Product Description:
    Throughout five centuries, Puerto Rico has developed an internationally renowned cuisine, which incorporates Caribbean ingredients and a long tradition of culinary culture. In this book, the profiles and recipes of nine great chefs demonstrate human and professional aspects of their careers, and how by their efforts-and that of many of their colleagues-Puerto Rico has turned into the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean.

    Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South

    By Von Diaz

    University Press of Florida
    Released: 2018-02-22
    Hardcover (192 pages)

    Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South
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    Product Description:

    When her family moved from Puerto Rico to Atlanta, Von Diaz traded plantains, roast pork, and malta for grits, fried chicken, and sweet tea. Brimming with humor and nostalgia, Coconuts and Collards is a recipe-packed memoir of growing up Latina in the Deep South.

    The stories center on the women in Diaz’s family who have used food to nourish and care for one another. When her mother--newly single and with two young daughters--took a second job to make ends meet, Diaz taught herself to cook, preparing meals for her sister after school, feeding her mother when she came home late from work. During summer visits to Puerto Rico, her grandmother guided her rediscovery of the island’s flavors and showed her traditional cooking techniques. Years later the island called her back to its warm and tropical embrace to be comforted by its familiar flavors.

    Inspired by her grandmother’s 1962 copy of Cocina Criolla--the Puerto Rican equivalent of the Joy of Cooking--Coconuts and Collards celebrates traditional recipes while fusing them with Diaz’s own family history and a contemporary Southern flair. Diaz discovers the connections between the food she grew up eating in Atlanta and the African and indigenous influences in so many Puerto Rican dishes. The funche recipe is grits kicked up with coconut milk. White beans make the catfish corn chowder creamy and give it a Spanish feel. The pinchos de pollo--chicken skewers--feature guava BBQ sauce, which doubles as the sauce for adobo-coated ribs. The pastelón is shepherd’s pie . . . with sweet plantains. And the quingombo recipe would be recognized as stewed okra in any Southern kitchen, even if it is laced with warm and aromatic sofrito

    Diaz innovates for modern palates, updating and lightening recipes and offering vegetarian alternatives. For the chayotes rellenos (stuffed squash), she suggests replacing the picadillo (sautéed ground beef) with seitan or tofu. She offers alternatives for difficult-to-find ingredients, like substi¬tuting potatoes for yucca and yautía--root vegetables typically paired with a meat to make sancocho. Diaz’s version of this hearty stew features chicken and lean pork.

    And because every good Puerto Rican meal ends with drinks, desserts, and dancing, Diaz includes recipes for besitos de coco (coconut kisses), rum cake, sofrito bloody marys, and anticuado, an old-fashioned made with rum.

    With stunning photographs that showcase the geographic diversity of the island and the vibrant ingredients that make up Puerto Rican cuisine, this cookbook is a moving story about discovering our roots through the foods that comfort us. It is about the foods that remind us of family and help us bridge childhood and adulthood, island and mainland, birthplace and adopted home.


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