Growing up in NYC; the melange of beautiful people, languages and customs, ensures you will not escape culturally unenriched. A friend said to me just last week, "Meek, you're the only Black girl I know who knows more Spanish than Spanish people." To which I replied, "You should hear my Greek and French!"
This week, with my Favorite Guy home for a few extra days, I decided to schedule the trial run of veganized pasteles. Pasteles are a traditional Puerto Rican cuisine served at Christmas. The recipe consists of two main components; the masa or dough comprised of pureed root vegetables, green bananas and green plantains (pumpkin or calabazas is also used by some) and the filling, which is traditionally a strained guisadas (stew) of pork butt or shoulder. However, as animals are our friends, I've gone with marinated firm tofu cubes and chick peas combo in a rich tomato base. And of course, before all of this happens, you must whip up a batch of sofrito, no-I mean, no Puerto Rican dish is complete without sofrito.
The most beautiful head of garlic ever and a bright bushel of fresh cilantro
Sofrito with bits of soy bacon for smoky flavor
Grated yucca for the masa (dough)
The finished masa: salted green bananas, plantains, a Russet potato and yucca
Only one downside, we have far fewer willing preparation participants than a traditional Puerto Rican family holiday gathering, so this experience will be continued...
Peace, roots and culture