Jan 7, 2019

Chochoca (cornmeal soup)


  • 1.5 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 kg or beef meat in big pieces
  • 150 g. of chalona (salted dried lamb meat - this is hard to get so you can skip it if unable to find it)
  • 1 finely chopped celery stalk
  • 1 finely chopped leek
  • 1 cup of chopped daikon
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white cabbage
  • 4 potatoes in pieces
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of aji colorado paste
  • 10 cups of hot water
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 cup of chopped yerba Buena (mint)
  • Salt

Put the cornmeal in a small bowl and add 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly. Reserve.

Heat the oil in a big pot. Add the onion, garlic, aji colorado and cumin, and cook stirring frequently until the onion is translucent. Add the meat, chalona, celery, leek, daikon and salt to taste, and fried for a couple of minutes stirring frequently and flipping the pieces of meat so all sides looked cooked. Add the hot water and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and cabbage and half of the yerba buena. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the cornmeal mix slowly, stirring frequently. Add more salt if needed. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Serve hot and sprinkle it with some yerba buena.

Arroz arabe (Arab rice)

This is a side dish that is usually prepared in Christmas or New Year's Eve to be served with stuffed turkey or roasted pork.


  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of classic Coke
  • 1/2 cup of roasted almonds or nuts
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (you can skip the raisins if you don't like them too much)
  • 100 g. of angel hair pasta, vermicelli or other thin long pasta
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 minced garlic gloves
  • Salt

Heat the oil in big pan or pot. Add the pasta broken in pieces and fry it stirring constantly. When the pasta starts to get brown add the almonds or nuts (previously crushed), the raisins and garlic, stir frequently until the pasta is brown. Add the water, coke and salt to taste, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.

Alternatively, after frying the pasta and rice, put the whole mix in your rice cooker, add the water, coke and salt to taste. Follow your rice cooker instructions for cooking time.

Nov 9, 2018

Pastel de tallarin o tallarin al horno (pasta casserole)


  • 1 kg of spaghetti or your favorite pasta (approximately 2 lbs)
  • 2 cups of evaporated milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 350 g of shredded cheese (it could be fresh cheese, mozzarella, Havarti or similar)
  • 125 g of salted butter (approximately 1/4 lb)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of anise seed

Cook the pasta in boiling water with some salt, drain it and reserve. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a large casserole with some of the butter. Put a layer of pasta in the casserole and then cover it with some shredded cheese and small pieces of butter, repeat this process once or twice until you use all the pasta and cheese. Whisk the eggs, add the milk and salt to taste and pour over the whole pasta. Sprinkle the anise on top. Put the casserole in the oven and bake until golden, approximately for 45 minutes.

Cut it as a cake and serve it with llatan as a main dish or a side dish for a steak or roasted lamb.