Category Archives: South American

Serrano Grilled Chicken and Veggie Salad

For the Dressing

  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T Greek yogurt
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 T minced serrano
  • pinch of salt

For the Salad

  • 1 C sliced carrots
  • 1/2 apple of choice, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/4 C cubed grilled chicken
  • 1 C sliced cucumber
  • 1 C chopped lettuce


In a small bowl whisk together ingredients from dressing until thoroughly combined. Pour dressing in bottom of 32 ounce jar.

Layer ingredients for salad in order listed. Top and refrigerate. When ready to eat, shake jar to distribute dressing and enjoy!

Note: This salad has a hit of spice thanks to a zesty dressing with cumin, serrano, honey, and lemon juice that goes well with any veggies, making it an easy go-to salad you can put together with what you have on hand any day of the week.


Guava and Manchego Phyllo Pouches with Passion Fruit Syrup

Yield: Makes 6

Phyllo Pouches

  • • 1 cup 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes guava paste* (about 7 ounces)
  • • 1 cup 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes Manchego cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • • 9 tablespoons sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • • 9 12×8-inch sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed
  • • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted


Toss first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to combine. Cover filling and chill until ready to use, up to 1 day.

Stir sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface; keep remaining sheets covered with plastic wrap and damp towel to prevent drying. Brush phyllo with butter and sprinkle with 11/2 teaspoons sugar mixture. Repeat 2 more times to make 3 layers. Cut rectangle in half crosswise, making two 6×8-inch stacks. Place scant 1/3 cup guava filling in center of each stack.

Gather sheets around filling to form pouch. Brush pouches with butter. Transfer to small baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 6 pouches total.

Sprinkle with some of remaining sugar mixture. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake phyllo pouches uncovered until golden brown and filling is heated through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates. Spoon syrup alongside; serve phyllo pouches warm.

*A firm block of concentrated fruit available at some supermarkets, at Latin markets, and at

Passion Fruit Syrup

  • • 1 cup water
  • • 1 cup sugar
  • • 1/2 cup passion fruit pulp (from about 7 ripe passion fruits)


Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low; simmer until syrup is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)


note: This was made by our dessert queen Laurie and between the recipe and her arose perhaps the finest dessert I have ever tasted. – Paul

Paul’s Cream of Green Banana Soup with Pesto

4 very green bananas
2 C milk
½ C cream
3 oz white cheddar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper

Peel the bananas.
Bring 4 cups of water to boil and add the bananas.
Cook over low heat until soft (around 15 minutes).
(So says the recipe…cooked for 20 minutes to no effect then threw them
in the microwave on high for about 5 minutes).
Drain but reserve the liquid.

Cut up bananas and food-process with 2 cups of the liquid till smooth.
Transfer to a clean saucepan.

Add the milk and cream (used half and half) and bring to a boil.
(Should be consistency of heavy cream, add water if too thick).
Add the white cheddar and stir till melted.
Remove from heat and add salt and white pepper.
And a pinch of sugar.Serve hot with a pinch of pesto (see below).

Cilantro Pesto

1 C cilantro
1/3 C parsley
1/3 C olive oil
2 T walnuts
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Process ingredients together:
Pour into bowl.
Add ¼ cup parmesan and mix.


This recipe comes from Antioquia in Colombia, where it is served with rice and a number of side dishes, including crisp pork crackling, bananas, avocados, and white corncakes. Stretched in this way, the quantities given here would easily serve eight.

Into a large pot 2 cups of red kidney beans (not pre-soaked).
Add 5 cups of a mixture made from the liquid drained from a large tin of peeled tomatoes (the tomatoes themselves are used later) and your choice of stock.

Do not add salt it is said to prevent the beans softening properly.
Cover the pot and put the beans to cook over low heat. (South American practice is to add a tablespoon of oil when the beans begin to wrinkle but I omitted this with no ill effects.) Continue cooking until tender; about 2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, finely chop 2 large onions and 4 cloves of garlic and fry gently in a little oil.
Add 500 g. minced meat (usually beef but take your choice, I used chicken) and fry very slowly until brown.
Add the tinned tomatoes, a chopped green chile, 2 or 3 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons cumin, half a bunch of basil (chopped), 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pepper and salt.

Tip the contents of the frying pan into the beans and simmer slowly till well blended.

Serves 4-6. (January 31, 2004) From Columbia.


1 chicken breast
2 large onions chopped
3 eggs plus one yolk
150 grams almonds, toasted and chopped
1 tbsp. Coriander seeds
2 tbsps. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Saffron
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
1 tsp. Allspice
1 clove
1 tbsp. Grated ginger root
olive oil and cooking oil
10 phyllo leaves
salt and pepper – to taste
powdered cinnamon
confectioner’s sugar

1. Grind spices
2. Cook chicken in oil to brown
3. Stir in onions
4. Stir in salt, pepper and spices
5. Let cook until dry
6. Add ½ cup of water or chicken broth
7. Simmer covered for 40 to 45 minutes. Adding more water if needed and turning pieces a few times while cooking
8. Once cooked, transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool and cut into bite size pieces
9. Meanwhile, let the sauce reduce by half until thick.
10. Arrange phyllo leaves in a spring form pan, oiled. Place 1 leaf in the bottom and arrange 8, overlapping on sides of pan, in sucha way that they surpass the boards of the pan. Oiling each leaf as you go.
11. Beat eggs and egg yolk and stir into sauce and cook until it becomes creamy.
12. Arrange chicken in the bottom of prepared pan. Top it with almonds and then the cream. Keep alternating layers in this fashion.
13. Cover with 1 phyllo leaf. Baste with oil.
14. Turn the part of the leaves toward the middle of the filling.
15. Baste top with oil
16. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 45 minutes
17. Let stand 10 minutes
18. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top and serve (Oh No, I put the cinnamon in the chicken with the other spices!!! Big mistake!!! This is probably very good if made the correct way. YIKES, SORRY Everyone)

January 31, 2004

Mixed Greens with Honey-Lime Dressing

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 cup paper thin red onion slices

2 – 6 ounce bags of mixed lettuce
6 plum tomatoes, thinly slices

Whisk the first four ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer 2 tablespoons of dressing to another bowl; mix in the onions.
Let onion and remaining dressing stand at least one hour and up to three hours.
Toss the onion occasionally.

Mix lettuce, tomatoes and onion mixture in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing.

Source: Bon Appetit, February, 2004 Argentina

Dinner Club, January 31, 2004

Baked Corn Pudding with Chiles, Onions, and Cheese

4 tablespoons of butter – divided
1 kilo (about 2 pounds) of frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup whole milk

2 cups finely chopped onions
6 green onions chopped
1 tablespoon (packed), chopped and seeded Serrano chilies

4 large eggs
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter glass baking dish.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add corn and sauté for 5 minute.
Add milk.
Reduce heat to medium and cover, and simmer until corn is tender (about 5 minutes).
Transfer to processor and blend to course puree.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in same skillet over medium high heat.
Add all onions and chilies; sauté until onions are tender, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in corn puree and cool for 15 minutes.

Beat eggs, flour, salt and pepper to blend in a bowl.
Mix in 1 cup of cheese. Transfer to baking dish.
Sprinkle with ½ cup of cheese.
Bake until golden, about 40 minutes.


Source: Bon Appetit, February, 2004 (Argentina)

Note: Dinner Club, January 31, 2004