Sunday, June 4, 2023

Eat like you’re in South America!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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South America is home to several regions including Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Columbia. Each of these regions in South America is known for certain dishes. Here are some recipes that can inspire you to bring south American cuisine into your kitchen!

Argentinian Empanadas

Argentinian Empanadas

Empanadas are a Latin American pastry that is filled with beef and other ingredients and either baked or fried. >

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 small golden potato
  • 1/2 bunch green onions sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package pre-made empanada wrappers, preferably La Saltena from Argentina
  • Chimichurri for spooning on top
  1. Peel the potato and boil for 10 minutes in salted water, until it can be pierced easily with a knife. Remove the potato, and finely dice when it is cool enough to handle.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Sweat the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and oregano (add more spices to taste). Just barely brown the beef, since it will finish cooking in the oven when the empanadas are baked.
  4. Remove from heat and add potatoes, green onions, and parsley.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400.
  6. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each room temperature empanada wrapper. Fold in half, roll or pleat the edge, and press with a fork. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with chimichurri.
Peruvian Picarones

Peruvian Picarones

Picarones are a popular snack in Latin America that is basically a pumpkin and/or sweet potato donut.

  • 1 Tbs. dry baking yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. ground corn or cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed anise
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 cup premium beer
  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash puree.
  • 1-2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 lemon or orange peel shreds
  1. Doughnut Instructions: Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water, use a small bowl for this.
  2. Mix cornmeal, salt, anise seed, 1 cup flour and beer in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix.
  3. Add squash or pumpkin and 2 cups of flour. Mix together to form a soft dough texture. Cover with a towel and let the mixture rise in a warm place for around 2 hours. You can also let the mixture rise in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours if covered with film.
  4. Syrup instructions: Add the Syrup ingredients in a saucepan and leave to boil over medium heat level. Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer until a thick syrup forms after 15 minutes or so. Remove saucepan from heat.
  5. To prepare doughnuts: Heat oil in a wok. Drop tablespoons of dough into hot oil and fry until crispy golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with hot syrup.
South American Arepas

South American Arepas

Areas are sort of like cornmeal patties that look similar to pancakes.

  • 2½ cups masarepa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  1. In a bowl place all ingredients, allow sitting for five minutes.
  2. Shape into patties that are ⅓ inch thick and 3 inches wide.
  3. Cook on a hot buttered or greased griddle until golden
  4. Place a slice of white melting cheese on top, and top with a cooked arepa.

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