With Latinx History Month from Sept. 15 until Oct. 15, the Latin American Student Union and other student-run organizations will be celebrating all month long with various events showcasing the culture and history of Latin America. If there’s anything that’s important to Latinx culture, it’s food. If you want to get into the spirit of the culture, here’s how to make basic, easy bacalaítos (codfish fritters) and habichuelas guisadas (rice and beans) that are sure to please. (Note: Bacalaítos are a traditional Puerto Rican dish, while rice and beans vary among different Latinx cultures and this is a Puerto Rican take on the staple dish.)
Bacalaítos (Puerto Rican Codfish Fritters)
– 1 pound dry salted codfish
– 2 cups water
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– ½ tablespoon crushed garlic
– 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon pepper
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
– 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
1. Boil a deep pot of water on high heat to cook the codfish.
2. While the water is boiling, rinse excess salt off of the codfish.
3. Place the codfish in the boiling water. Wait about one hour until the fish is done boiling.
4. While the codfish is boiling, in a bowl, put two cups of flour, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of pepper, one tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro, at least one-half tablespoon crushed garlic (add more depending on preference) and two teaspoons of baking powder. After the dry ingredients, pour two cups of water, mixing until a pancake batter-like consistency is achieved. Taste for flavor, add salt and pepper as preferred. Optional for coloring, add one teaspoon of paprika.
5. Once the fish is done boiling, drain it and let sit until cooled. Once cooled, shred the fish by hand (but not completely).
6. Put a frying pan on medium heat with vegetable oil.
7. On a separate plate, make pancake-sized bunches of codfish. Dunk the codfish in the batter and place into the frying pan.
8. Fry until there’s a golden-brown coloring on both sides.
9. Remove excess oil by placing fried bacalaítos on a paper towel.
10. Let cool a bit and enjoy. Typically eaten with red or black beans and rice, but it’s up to preference.
Recipe adapted from GOYA.
Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Style Rice and Beans)
– 1 can of GOYA red or black beans
– Approx. 3 cups white or brown rice (can fluctuate based on how many servings intended)
– 1 cup tomato sauce
– 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
– ¼ cup diced red peppers
– ¼ cup diced potatoes (or ¼ cup diced yellow squash; use either depending on preference)
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon pepper
– ½ tablespoon GOYA Sazón seasoning
– ½ tablespoon GOYA Adobo seasoning
– ½ tablespoon cumin
– 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of sofrito
Sofrito is a base for many Latinx dishes, consisting of a refrigerated or frozen puree of green peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro.
– 1 quarter cup diced GOYA Salchichon (optional)
1. In a medium-sized pot on high heat, put in two to three tablespoons of olive, one to one and one-half tablespoons of sofrito, one-half to one cup of tomato sauce, one tablespoon of fresh ground garlic, one-half tablespoon of cumin, one-half tablespoon of GOYA Adobo seasoning, one-half tablespoon of GOYA Sazón seasoning, one teaspoon pepper, one bay leaf, one-half tablespoon of paprika, one-third cup of diced potatoes or yellow squash, one-quarter cup of red peppers and one-quarter cup diced GOYA Salchichon (salami; optional).
2. Let all ingredients sauté in the olive oil for a few minutes.
3. After, pour one can of GOYA beans into pot. Once the beans are poured into the pot, fill can completely three times with water and pour the water into the pot. Then, on high flames, let everything boil.
4. Once bubbly, taste to see if salt or other seasonings are needed.
5. Then put the pot on low heat. Stir as needed. The beans are cooked once the mixture has a gravy-like consistency and texture.
Traditionally, the beans were prepared using bagged beans, but today, many make it with canned beans as a timesaving convenience.
Put water in a deep pot with olive or canola oil and salt, let boil. Depending on how many servings, follow the instructions on the bag of rice.
Recipe adapted from GOYA