Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association: Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month with these recipes

June is Immigrant Heritage Month. Start a new tradition by embarking on a culinary expedition in your own kitchen. Try cooking any of these family-friendly recipes shared by our neighbors.

Moro de Gandules

Moro is a rice and beans dish from the Dominican Republic. While the savory tomato-based seasoning flavors the rice, the green pigeon peas make the dish. These sweet and nutty legumes are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside when cooked. This dish works well as a starch alongside roasted chicken, and can also be served with a shredded slaw salad drizzled with a tangy and light vinaigrette.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ onion diced

½ green bell pepper diced

½ red bell pepper diced

4 sprigs of cilantro chopped

1 tablespoon adobo

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 teaspoon veggie bouillon (or ½ msg-free maggi cube)

1-2 cans green pigeon peas

1 8-oz can of tomato sauce (salsa de tomate)

3 cups medium or long grain rice

4 cups of water

Directions

Choose a medium-size pot or large pan of medium thickness to ensure even heating. Add the oil to your pot or pan and bring up to medium-high heat. Sauté peppers, onion and cilantro for one minute. Add bouillon, oregano, adobo and peas and stir until seasoning dissolves. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Add rice, bring to a strong boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and the rice grains are soft. Use a fork to fluff the rice before serving.

Patacones

Plantains are the starchy cousins of bananas. Originally from Southeast Asia, today plantains are grown all over the world and are common in dishes from West and Central Africa, the Caribbean islands and Central and South America. Green plantains, peeled, sliced, fried, squished and fried again, go by the name of Patacones (Pa-ta-cone-nays) in Ecuador. Sprinkled with salt, they taste a bit like french fries but have more fiber, vitamin A and magnesium. Try them with mayo, ketchup or your favorite sauce for dipping.

Ingredients

2 yellow plantains

oil for frying

Instructions

Cut off the ends of each plantain. Cut each plantain into two halves. Cut a slit along inside curve of each half and pry the peel from the plantain using the help of your knife when needed. A ripe yellow plantain is easier to peel than a green one.

Slice each plantain into quarter-inch coins.

Add oil to your pan. There should be enough to cover the plantain slices when you add them. Bring the pan and oil up to medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, begin adding the plantain slices. Do not let the slices overlap. Fry each batch for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Squish each slice with a large spatula, jar or cup. Fry the pressed slices for a second time and then transfer to a paper towel-lined dish to drain. Season plantain slices with salt. Patacones should be crispy on outside and soft on inside.

Açaí Smoothie

Açaí is a small fruit native to the Amazon region and much used in the regional cuisine. It’s a good source of cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Ingredients:

1 – 14 oz (400g) package of Acai Pulp

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

2 ripe bananas sliced (fresh or frozen)

½ cup milk, non-dairy, milk or water

Your choice of sweetener, for example, agave, honey, guarana syrup or sugar

Instructions:

Put your frozen fruits into the blender first. Pour in fresh and liquid ingredients next. Blend the smoothie to the desired consistency, adding more liquid as needed. Add sweetener to taste and blend.

For more recipes, coupons and international food, visit http://j.mp/spicedash19.

The website also includes coupons from local immigrant-owned small grocery stores and information on a chance to win an international chef gift basket.

To learn more about the World Food Fair, visit occcda.org/events. ••