Ed. note: The Tiki Tiki asked Clara, the genius behind the Dominican cooking site, Aunt Clara’s Kitchen, to share some favorite recipes from the Dominican Republic.
To learn more about the typical creole cooking, the pasteles, the rice and beans, sancochos, the mangu of the D.R., plus many more Caribbean food recetas from the D.R., visit her beautiful and popular site.
You also can purchase her cookbook, Aunt Clara’s Dominican Cooking, the first illustrated English-language cookbook highlighting the food of the Dominican.
Recipes and images shared with permission. Words and photos below by Aunt Clara.
Pastelón de Plátanos (Ripe Plantain Casserole)
I don’t know when is it that our people decided that combining savory and sweet flavors was a good idea. Blessed the moment!
Ripe plantains are not like bananas, they are not meant to be eaten raw, and they are not as sweet, but sweet they are. Combine that with the flavorful beef filling, and the melting cheese on top and you have pure bliss. Another great thing about this dish is that it’s almost a meal in itself, just prepare some fresh salad and you’re done.
For the filling, you may use vegetables, chicken or beef (or just use cheese).
Time: 1 hr. Serves: 4
- 6 very ripe plantains
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 lb. of ground beef
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 small red onion diced into small cubes
- 1 green pepper
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- Black ground pepper
Before starting to cook: Butter up a 1-inch tall baking pan. Heat up the oven to 350 °F.
Mix meat with pepper, onion, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and garlic. In a shallow pan heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the ground beef and stir so it cooks uniformly. Add two tablespoons of water and the tomato paste. Let simmer at medium heat. Adjust water when necessary. When the meat is ready let all the liquid evaporate, adjust salt to taste. Turn off the heat and reserve.
Peel the plantains and boil adding 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. When the plantains are very tender turn off the heat. Take the plantains out of the water and mash them with a fork. Add the butter and keep mashing until it is very smooth.
Put half of the plantains mixture in the baking pan. Cover with 1/3 of the cheese and add the meat. Add another third of the cheese, cover with the remaining plantain mixture. Cover with the rest of the cheese. Put in he oven until the top is golden brown.
Serve with a few slices of avocados.
Dulce de Leche Cortada
Dulce de Leche Cortada is a delicious dessert with a touch of sour. It is prepared with curdled milk and its luscious, chewy texture does not detract from its simplicity.
Time: 35 mins. Serves: 4
- 6 cups of whole milk at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of lime peels
- 1/4 cups of raisins
- 1/2 cup of lime juice at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 large cinnamon stick
Mix the milk and egg, stirring until they are well mixed. Sieve to eliminated undisolved egg parts. Mix in cinnamon, lime peels, raisins and sugar and put in a bowl at low heat.
When it breaks a boil add the lime juice one tablespoon at a time in different spots, boil at medium heat, do not stir unless it is sticking to the pot. The milk will eventually curdled and float in thin caramel. Adjust sugar to taste. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.
Chill before serving.
More Dominican Desserts We Love
Here’s a taste of some delicious desserts you can find at Aunt Clara’s Kitchen.
Bizcocho Dominicano or Dominican Cake, the center piece of many Dominican celebrations. It is moist, airy and fruit-filled.
Dulce de Leche en Tabla or Milk Fudge Bars, creamy and sweet.
Morir Soñando, Aunt Clara’s version of the traditional Dominican drink whose name translates to “Die Dreaming.” It is a combination of orange juice and evaporated milk. Truly dream-worthy and refreshing.