Though we’re counting down the days until 2014 (and the delicious New Year’s Eve party we’re planning), we’re taking a moment to look back. 2013 was a year full of new restaurants, chefs, family meals, dinner with friends, and hours spent in the kitchen. And though we love trying new things, some recipes took hold of us and became staples in our lives. Judging by how often you went looking for these recipes, they became a part of your lives and your kitchens too.
We took stock and found them: the most popular recipes of 2013. From classics, like chicken croquetas and arroz con gandules, to creative takes on old recipes like a farm fresh margarita and a vegetarian burrito, here are you favorite savory recipes of the year. So grab some supplies (like our favorite all purpose Dutch oven and plenty of these for the leftovers) and get cooking.
Hope your new year is even more delicioso than the last.
Arepas, a traditional Venezuelan dish, are a food truck lover's dream. A street food found at nearly every bodega, the cake is made of a savory corn meal mix and the stuffing, though here made of ground beef, varies depending on the cook's mood. You can find them plain with just a little cheese, stuffed with lobster or seafood, or packed with shredded chicken. Stuff them with whatever you like and invite a few friends over to join the party.
This popular recipe comes from celebrity chef Pati Jinich. To make the tinga, Jinich suggests a timesaver: shredded rotisserie chicken. The chicken is doused in a sauce made with tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chipotles in adobo sauce. The meal comes together quickly but has that cooked-all-day flavor.
This quick and easy side gives asparagus a Latin touch with the addition of chorizo. Quick to pull together and beautiful enough to impress guests, readers loved this recips. Sturdy enough to transport and easy to scale up, add this dish to your rotation of holiday dishes.
Vegetarians can play too! This meatless meal takes a Latin food staple, the black bean, and turns it into the main dish. The beans are stewed with fresh lime juice, cilantro, and red pepper flakes then wrapped in tortillas for a vegetarian meal that works as a family-friendly entree or as a mid-afternoon snack.
Heat things up with this salsa, a simple and smoky dish using the ubiquitous dried chile de arbol. Dried chile de arbol pods are used widely throughout Latin America and you can find them in the international foods section of most well stocked grocery stores. Here they are blended with the familiar flavors of garlic, lime, and salt for a beautiful deep-red dish. Serve with warm tortillas, drizzle over the carne con chile, or enjoy with elotes.
This recipe has been a reader favorite since our launch and it's no surprise. Croquetas are a Latin staple, found at every bakery, party, family get together, dinner, and beyond. Their mere presence means the fiesta has begun. This classic chicken croqueta starts with cooked chicken seasoned with sautéed onion bell pepper, and garlic. It's rolled then fried until crispy and golden brown.
Latin America has plenty of recipes for empanadas, both sweet and savory. Stuffed with carne molida, pollo asado, cheese, or guava, empandas are as unique as the individual cook and can satisfy any craving. This recipe calls for holiday-friendly sweet potato and an old-fashion vinegar and egg crust. Enjoy them with a cup of morning cafe.
Popular in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, this dish can feed a crowd without breaking the bank. A baked dish in the style of a lasagna, the recipe for tamal de olla varies from country to country. Panama’s traditional tamal de olla features a sweet and savory mix of raisins, olives, capers and vinegar, sandwiched between layers of tamal-style masa.
This is another classic that has made its away on to the list and never left. Gandules are pigeon peas, subtly sweet and most often used in this savory rice combo, arroz con gandules. At most Latin holiday parties, you'll find big pots of this dish adorned with roasted red bell pepper strips and served along side pernil.
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