If coronavirus is keeping you home right now, why not make the best out of it and learn some Colombian recipes? We offer you this little cooking class so your taste bugs can travel for you!

Patacones: the most famous meal in Colombia

Patacones – also called “tostones” – are those flatten and fried plantains bananas and are a side dish for many Colombian meals. They look like little yellow pancakes.

Ingredients (for 4 persons):

  • 2 plantain bananas
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Oil

Preparation:

Cut each banana in 3 pieces, fry them in oil or in your frier for 3 to 4 minutes until they soften.

Remove and dry.

Prepare a large bowl with water, mashed garlic and some salt. Dip each banana piece in the mixture, then flatten them with a rolling pin (they must be 0.5 inches thick).

Put the banana pieces in oil again to brown them.

Remove, dry, salt.

Enjoy as an apetizer or a side dish for fish or seafood.

The famous Colombian coco rice

Coco rice is a specialty of the Caribbean coast, it is perfect with fish or seafood.

Ingredients (for 4 persons):

  • 1 pound of white rice
  • 1 coconut OR 1mL of coconut milk + 0,2 pounds of grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of panela OR brown sugar
  • 1L of water
  • Salt

Preparation:

Mix 1 half coconut (or half of the coconut milk and half of the grated coconut) with 250mL of water. Strain with a strainer.

In a pan heat the panela or sugar with the coconut mixture thus obtained. Let it reduce and brown.

Mix the other half of the coconut (or the rest of coconut milk and grated coconut) with the rest of the water. Strain and add to the pan. Tiny pieces of caramel (“cocada”) must detach. Salt.

Boil the preparation and add the rice.

Add water if necessary.

Enjoy with fish.

The cheese arepa: the unmissable of Colombian gastronomy

The arepa is a sort of bread made of corn flour. It definitely is the most consumed food by Colombians! There is a wide variety of arepas: arepa de huevos (with eggs), arepa de choclo (with yellow corn), etc. The cheese arepa is yet another version.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of white corn flour
  • 200 mL of lukewarm water
  • 100 mL of milk
  • 0,2 pounds of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt
  • Oil

Garnish:

  • Feta cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Swiss cheese

Preparation:

Crumble the cheeses, mix, put to one side.

Melt the butter in the lukewarm milk. In a big bowl, mix the flour with the salt and the sugar. Pour the water and the milk with butter. Mix and knead for a few minutes until you obtain a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Add flour if too sticky. Do not expect a bread type of dough, as corn flour is glutten-free.

Form little disks. Put the cheese in the middle of a disk, cover with another one and seal the edges together.

Heat a frying pan (a plancha is even better!), brown the arepas 3 minutes on each side. Eat immediately.

The Ajiaco recipe, the typical meal of Bogotá

Half soup, half chicken and potato stew, the Ajiaco is the typical meal of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital.

Ingredients:

  • 3 onions
  • Cilantro
  • 2 chickens of 5 pounds, cut in pieces
  • 2 poultry stock cubes
  • 1,5 pounds of “sabanera”, potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 1,1 pounds of yellow “criolla” potatoes, peeled
  • 2,2 pounds of “pastura” potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 1 bowl of fresh guascas leaves
  • 5 corns, cut in 3 pieces each
  • Cloves
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Preparation:

In a pan put the onions, the cilantro, the salt and the chicken. Cover with water. Cook over an open fire. Skim regularly. Then reduce the flame and let cook.

When the chicken begins to be cooked, remove the cilantro and onions and add the stock cubes. Add pepper. Add the potatoes and cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes.

When the chickens are cooked, remove them, let them cool down then cut in small pieces.

Add to the pan the “criolla” and “pastura” potatoes. Add the guasca leaves and the corn. Let it cook for 15 minutes.

When the potatoes are cooked, add the chicken and let it cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve it hot with crème fraîche, capers, chili and/or avocado slices.

The very popular recipe of the Sancocho

The sancocho, a Colombian beef stew, is both delicious and quite copious!

Ingredients:

  • 0,7 pounds or more of beef meat (brisket rib plate and chuck)
  • 1 manioc tuber
  • 1 green plantain banana
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • A generous quantity of cumin
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Cilantro
  • Oneear of corn per guest

Preparation:

Thinly slice the onion and chop 2 garlic cloves.

In a big stewpot, brown the garlic and onion in olive oil. Once brown, sear the meat at medium heat on every side.

Add salt and pepper.

Cover with water and let it cook for 1h30.

Meanwhile:

Peel the manioc and break it to remove the hard stem in the middle. Break in big pieces (easier by hand)

Peel the potatoes and cut in big pieces.

Peel the pantain banana and break in big pieces.

Add right now one potato to the stewpot. It will cook more than the others, thus thickening the stew. Mash it once well cooked.

Once the 1h30 has passed add the manioc to the stew, then 20 minutes later the potatoes, then 15 minutes later the plantain banana.

Add the remaining garlic clove cut in two.

Add a generous quantity of cumin for a delicious stew. Add a few spoons of paprika.

10 minutes before the end, add the corn. Add salt and pepper once more.

Finely chop the cilantro and put it to one side.

It is possible to add a few fried bananas for a sweeter taste. Savour the sancocho with a salad or a sliced avocado with vinegar.