Colombians love pork, and this stuffed pork, presented with a whole head attached, is the ultimate party feature served for Christmas, birthdays and any special occasion. It’s filled with pigeon peas and cooked rice (deliciously yellow from Annatto spice) then baked under a crispy skin. My favourite way is to cook the pork belly in sous vide, which makes the meat very tender and extra juicy. The yummy crackling tops it and I also like to add a British touch - apple sauce - as well as my own homemade gravy. I often do this for Quinceañera parties – girls´ fifteenth birthday celebrations, which are still very popular within the UK Colombian community.
When I was a child, we used to go every Sunday to visit my grandma, together with all my uncles, aunties and cousins. There were lots of dishes but my grandma would always make enchiladas verdes (green enchiladas) for me only! All my cousins were so jealous as I was her favourite (and still am!). Enchiladas verdes are very easy to make if you have the right ingredients, time and passion! You only need corn tortillas, green tomatillos, chicken breast, white cream, queso fresco and onions.
Empanadas are the most traditional of Latin American dishes, with their origen in the north of Spain, introduced the by moors during the their ocupation. Today you can find empanadas on any Latin American high street, as one of our favourite street snacks. There are lots of types of empandas, as regional produce makes its way to the filling, which can be beef, chicken, pork, fish or vegetables. The Empanada dough is generally made with flour, and can be both baked or fried, but in countries like Colombia and Ecuador, empanadas are made with cooked corn or cornmeal. In the Caribbean the dough is made with a black beans puree. Empanadas are best served hot and often accompanied with a spicy salsa.
The Spanish Omelette is one of Spain’s most traditional and treasured dishes. At El Pirata, head chef Rosendo Simbana has mastered the art of this classic Spanish dish, made with white onion, potatoes and eggs.
From one of London's oldest and finest Spanish restaurants, El PIrata's head chef Rosendo Simbana, divulges the secrets of his signature dish
This affectionately titled “Spanish Style” chicken dish is a great one for when you are cooking for friends and family on a Sunday and can’t be bothered with a full roast or making a huge mess with lots of pots and pans. The chorizo is what makes is Spanish, but really its a hodgepodge of flavours…. I love anything that requires chorizo and only washing up one tray. This is an idea I adapted after seeing tons of “One Pot” recipes online…. they are all pure genius if you ask me.
Think of Coquito like the Puerto Rican version of Egg Nog. It is great for Rum & Coconut Milk fans (like myself) or for those who get very queasy at the thought of raw eggs in a drink (not me I like my Pisco Sours too much.)
This is my favourite chilli con carne recipe ever not just because it tastes amazing, incredibly velvety with an amazing depth of flavour thanks to the dark chocolate… but also because of the way it looks. Making chilli con carne look nice is no mean feat… but topped with melted chocolate squares and laced with Sour Cream hearts, it’s as if you have given your giant chilli con carne the barista treatment.
Meet the famous Colombian party meal! Arroz con pollo is a rice-based tomatoey paella with a twist. It's well balanced, colourful and cheerful.I always associate arroz con pollo with getting together with family and friends back home. It's usually called the 'Plato Frio' because it would be served cold and as a main meal. Some people would not leave the party until the 'Plato Frio' was served!
I have always been a big fan of mushrooms in all their forms – from taking long walks with family to pick wild mushrooms, to cooking them in many ways at home. This recipe is packed full of tastiness.