Happy Indepence Day Venezuela! This week is full of celebrations and why stop on July 4th? On July 5, 1811, the Venezuelan provinces adopted the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence and struck out to establish a new nation.
Today, celebrate more than 200 years of history by cooking up and sharing traditional Venezuelan dishes. From classic pasapalos like pansitos de jamon to comforting mains like roast pernil and pabello criollo to sweet treats like golfeados - here 14 recipes to help you celebrate delicious Venezuela.
What could be better than a perfectly cooked arepa, full of spicy sautéd vegetables, olives, and capers, wrapped up in a plantain leaf and tied with a bow? Nothing. Bollos Picantes Vegetarianos are gifts that keep on giving, packing a punch of flavor that that makes them simply irresistible.
- 4 plantain or banana leaves, washed and dried
- 1 cup of fine, pre-cooked corn meal
- 1 - 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 1/2 small green pepper, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of annato seeds (achiote)
Need ideas for what to do with left-over ground beef? Try using it in deep fried empanadas. Here, a savory beef mix is sweetened with plump raisins then stuffed into buttery pastry and baked or fried until crunchy and golden.
Roast Pernil with Smoky Sweet Potato Chips brings together juicy, tender and full of flavor roast pork coupled with paprika sprinkled baked sweet potato chips, for an updated and modern twist.
- 1 2-pound pork butt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 sweet potatoes (6 oz each), scrubbed and dry
It’s the simple things that leave an impression. At your next big bash, bring out this classic Venezuelan appetizer that is full of flavor, punch and simply spicy flavors. Bolitas de Carne Picantes: how much simpler and more delicious could you get?
- 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 serrano pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of adobo
- 1 tablespoon of green chile hot sauce
- 1 pound of 90/10 ground beef
Keep out of the frozen appetizers section and get a leg up on delicious finger foods with Jalapeño Tequeño Poppers! Tequeños, made of sticks of queso blanco wrapped in sweet dough and fried to a crisp, get a lift with the addition of fresh jalapeño and a new dumpling shape making an addictive and completely vegetarian pasapalo your guests will love.
Craving something sweet, filling and full of flavor? Cachapas, traditional Venezuelan sweet corn cakes, are given a lift with coconut milk, coconut spread, and bits of fresh steamed corn for a treat that can’t be beat.
- 1 1/4 cups P.A.N. mezcla dulce
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon coconut spread
- 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
A festive drink Coconut Ponche Crema is a tropical update to the original. A typical Christmas drink, ponche crema is Venezuelan egg nog. Coconut Ponche Crema ditches the egg and combines equal parts coconut milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk with a few shots of rum, a touch of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon for a sweet and tropical drink.
- 1 cup vanilla coconut milk
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup rum
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- ground cinnamon, to garnish