Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Bandeja Paisa

As the school year winds down, my international cooking project winds back up!!!

I made this massive, ridiculously meaty Colombian dish over the course of three days. Andy and I finally enjoyed it on Monday, May 30. It is called Bandeja Paisa, which translates to Country Flag, and it is a dish that highlights many of the staples and favorites of Colombian cuisine.

On day one, I made hogao, which is a flavorful sauce made mostly of tomatoes and green onions. I LOVED this and drenched my plate with it. I also made the carne en polvo, which is powdered flank steak. This was far more favorful than I expected, probably because of its marinade of cumin and green onions. I also set the beans to soak overnight.

On day two, I made the frijoles paisas (country beans). Simmered for hours with a pork hock, these were very savory. I think I undercooked them a little. The flavors continue to develop as time goes one, as I've noted while enjoying leftovers.

On day three, I began by making the chicharrones, which are fried pork belly. They were tasty, but rich and fatty. These are definitely not something I could (or should!) eat every day. I then set to work on the arroz blanco (white rice), tajadas de platanos (fried plantains), arepas (cheese cornmeal patties), fried chorizo sausages and sunny-side up eggs. I think that the arepa and the carne en polvo were my favorite parts of this dish. The dish was garnished with cilantro, avocado and lime. Overall, it was very rich, meaty and tasty. It was difficult to serve because of the multitude of components, all to be served hot.



1) Prepare the beans, hogao and powdered beef (see below) one day ahead and keep in the refrigerator.
2) When you are going to serve the bandeja paisa, heat the beans and powdered beef and hogao. Make the chicharrones (see below).
3) Cook the white rice and plantains (see below).
4) Cook the arepas (see below).
4) Fry the eggs and chorizos.
5) To serve, place the rice in a tray or platter and place the rest of the ingredients as you like.
6) Bring the hogao in a serving dish to the table, so people can place it on top of the beans if they like. Garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado and lime.


-3 T. vegetable oil
-1 c. chopped scallions
-2 c. fresh chopped tomatoes
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. ground pepper
-1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1) Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the tomatoes, scallions, garlic, ground cumin and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring until softened.

2) Reduce the heat to low, add the salt, pepper and cilantro, cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Check and adjust the seasoning.

Carne en Polvo
(4-6 Servings)
-1 lb. flank steak
-5 c. water
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-2 Scallions, chopped
-1/2 c. chopped onion
-1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1. Place the flank steak in a plastic bag and add the garlic, scallions, onion cumin, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for about to 2 hours.

2. In a medium pot, place the flank steak and water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the beef for about 1 hour or until the beef is cooked.
3. Remove the beef from the water and set aside to let it cool. You can save the water used to cook the beef to make soup or just as a beef stock for other dishes.
4. Cut the beef into chunks and place in a food processor. Process until the beef is of a powdered consistency.

Frijoles Paisa

-3 c. pinto beans
-1/2 lb. pork hocks (I learned from a Kowalski's butcher that this is the same as ham shanks)
-4 c. water
-1 c. shredded carrots
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 green plantain, cubed into 1/4 inch


-1 T. chopped onions
-2 c. diced tomatoes
-1/4 c. chopped scallions
-3 T vegetable oil
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/4 c. chopped cilantro
-1/4 tsp. ground cumin


1. Wash the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Drain the beans and place in a slow cooker and add the water and pork hocks. Cook on high for about 2 hours.
2. When the beans are cooking, prepare the guiso. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, add the tomatoes, onions, scallions, salt, garlic, cilantro and ground cumin and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the guiso, plantains, carrots and salt.

4. Cover and cook for another three hours. Taste for salt and serve.



-1 1/2 lbs. pork belly with meat, washed and cut into 4 pieces (I found this at Clancey's Market in Linden Hills)
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 c. water


1. Place the pork belly pieces, skin side down on a work surface and then make 1 ½ inch crosswise cuts on each piece, being careful not to cut through the skin.
2. Rub the pork belly strips with baking soda and place in a medium saucepan. Add the water and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the water evaporates.
3. When all the water is evaporated increase the heat to medium and cook the chicharrones for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.

Arroz Blanco

-2 c. long grain white rice, rinsed
-4 c. water
-1 tsp. salt
-1 T. olive oil

1. In a medium pot, place the rice and add the water, oil and salt.
2. Bring to a boil for about 30 seconds, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.

Tajadas de Platano

-3 large very ripe plantains
-1/2 c. vegetable oil

1. Peel the plantains and cut diagonal into about ½ inch thick slices.

2. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the plantain slices to the pan, keep in a single layer, and cook about 2 minutes on each side.

3. Remove the plantains with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm.



-1 c. pre-cooked white or yellow arepa flour or cornmeal
-1 c. warm water
-1/3 c. white or mozzarella cheese, grated
-2 T. butter
-Pinch salt

1. Combine the cornmeal, warm water, cheese, 1 tbsp butter and salt, mixing thoroughly. Let mixture stand for five minutes.
2. Knead with your hands for about 3 minutes moistening your hands with water as you work.
3. Form 4 small balls with the dough. Place each ball between 2 plastic bags and with a flat pot cover flatten to ¼ inch.

4. Add the butter to a nonstick pan over medium heat. Place the arepas in the pan, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until a crust forms or they are golden brown.

No comments:

Post a Comment