Comida Puertorriqueña

Learn to do the seasoning Adobo and sofrito first, you will needed for these recipes.



5 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano

Procedure: Mix ingredients in a morter and pestle or in food processor. Rub on your meat or poultry. Marinade for a few hours. For best results, marinade overnight.
If you wish to add a golden color to your meat or poultry, add 1 Tbsp of ‘Achiote’, which is a fat (vegetable oil, or in the old days, lard) in which annatto seeds have been lightly simmered to impart a deep red color.
You may also substitute 1 Tbsp of Paprika for the annatto.
Makes about 1/2 Cup

Mojo Isleño

1 large bell pepper
1/2 cup stuffed olives
1 onion, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper

Procedure: Heat olive oil to medium heat in a heavy cast iron pot or pan. Saute onions until translucent; then add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
Bring to a slow simmer and cook for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.
Makes one Cup.


3-4 stems & leaves of cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium to large green bell pepper
1 medium to large onion
1 medium tomato
If available, add:
3 recao leaves
3 ajices dulce (small sweet peppers)

Procedure: Mix ingredients in a morter and pestle or in a food processor.
When ready to use, simmer on low heat in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil- olive, canola, corn, etc. This recipe for the Sofrito yields enough for an average recipe - if you double a recipe, then you would also double the amount of sofrito.
You may also make two, three, or more times the amount above and freeze the sofrito in small containers, to be used when you are preparing your next recipe!
Makes about 1/2 Cup e

Arroz con Gandules

2 cups rice
3 cups water or beef stock
1 can of gandules
1/3 cup of sofrito
2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt

Procedure: A. In a deep sauce pot, simmer the sofrito in the oil for 2 minutes while stirring. (medium heat)
B. Add the rest of the ingredients: the gandules (and their broth), tomato sauce, water (or stock), the rice and the seasonings. Stir to completely mix ingredients.
C. Cook on high heat until the water evaporates and the surface of the rice is exposed, but not completely dry.
D. Lower the heat immediately to “low”, and cover.
E. Cook, covered, approximately 20 minutes.
Remove cover, taking care to not let the water that’s condensed on the cover drip back into the pot!
[ This might lead to what is know as arroz mogollado (pronounced moh-go-yao) - soggy rice! The cardinal sin of any good Puerto Rican cook! ] F. Using a large serving spoon, carefully mix the rice by taking scoops from the side furthest from you, and gently placing them towards the center of the pot. Then turn the pot 1/4 turn. Repeat 3 times.
G. Taste the rice. It should be slightly firm, but not hard. If it’s hard, cover and let cook another several minutes and test again. If it’s soggy (uh-oh!), cook uncovered several minutes, turn again, test. Repeat if necessary
¡ Buen Provecho !

Pastelon de Platano

Ingredients: (1)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pitted olives, pepper or onion-stuffed
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp cooking wine
1/2 lb lean ground meat
1/3 cup raisins
6 plantains, ripe but not overripe
2 tbsp olive oil
(4) 3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Procedure: Pour the olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients included in (A). Sauté for about five minutes.
Stir the ground meat into the ingredients already in the saucepan. Cook for about ten minutes. Add the raisins. Continue to cook for another ten minutes or until the meat is cooked but not dry. You may want to remove the bay leaves at this time.
Slice the plantains lengthwise. Use a separate saucepan to fry the plantain slices over medium heat in two tablespoonfuls of olive oil. Remove from the saucepan. Wipe excess oil with paper napkins.
Use a deep square baking pan. Grease thoroughly with about half of the melted butter. Cover the bottom of the pan with a row of plantains. Add enough of the cooked meat to make a layer, following the style for preparing lasagna. Alternate rows of plantains and meat until both are used up.
Pour the remaining melted butter over the pie. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes.
Corned Beef in English Ingredients: 1 can corned beef
1 small can of tomatoes sauce
1 large potato (or sweet plantain)
1 small onion
3 whole garlic cloves
1 envelope of sazon
1/4 tsp of salt (optional)
1/2 beef cube

Procedure: Peel and cut the potato into small thin french fries (if you decide to use the sweet plantain - peel and cut the plantain into 1/4 inch pieces). Heat oil and fry potatoes (as if you’re making french fries) while the potatoes are cooking do the following:
In a food chopper (or blender) add onion, garlic, beef cube, sazon and salt and chop until very finely chopped almost like a thick paste. Open the can of corned beef, remove the meat into a bowl and shred with a fork until most of the clumps are separated.
After the potatoes are cooked remove and drain (keep some of the oil about 2 tablespoons - (using low flame) in the same pan add the mixture of garlic onions etc. sauté for a few minutes. Add the can of tomatoes sauce using the same can fill with water (once) and add the water into the pan stir. Add corn beef and stir making sure the meat is coated completely with the sauce. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 1/2 hour.
Option: If you really like onions you can cut an onion in pinwheels and place on top before covering this adds more flavor (this is my personal addition).
I serve this over white rice and a mixed salad (lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and avocado) with an oil/vinegar dressing.
Cream Cheese Flan (Dessert) Ingredients: 3 whole eggs
3 egg whites
2 ounces of cream cheese
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of condensed milk
1 Teaspoon of vanilla
3/4 cup of sugar
Procedure: Take the sugar and caramelize it in a small sauce pan. Do not let the sugar burn. It should be a golden caramel color. Pour this caramel into an 8" round dish. Make sure to coat the bottom and the sides of the pan.
Place all other ingredients in a blender and mix till it has a smooth consistency. Pour into the pan filled with caramel. Place pan in “baño de Maria”. Baño de María is a larger pan that has an been filled with an inch of water. This will help cook the flan. Place the larger pan with flan pan in it in the oven at 350 degrees. (25-30 minutes)
You can check the flan by poking it center with a knife. If the knife comes out clean then the flan is done.
Coconut Spice Ice Cream (Dessert) Ingredients: 1/4 cup sugar
2 cups coconut cream
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coconut (finely shredded)
1/4 cup coconut flavor Puerto Rican Rum (Capt. Morgan Parrot Bay)
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Procedure: Mix sugar, 2 cups of coconut cream, add the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, shredded coconut, coconut flavor Puerto Rican rum add in the nutmeg and vanilla and cinnamon. Transfer the mixture to an Ice cream maker. Freeze garnish with sprinkle of almonds mint leaf and stick of cinnamon.

[/Flan de Coco (Dessert)

1 can of evaporated milk
1 can coconut cream,
1 can of condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of sugar (for caramel)
1/2 cup water(for caramel)

Procedure: In a saucepan over medium heat cook the sugar with the water until caramelized. Then coat your flan pan with the caramelized sugar. Then in a blender mix the remaining ingredients all-together. Pour into the flan pan. Put the flan into bon-Marie, and cook in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove it from the oven and let cool off, before putting it in the refrigerator.

Flan de Coco y ron (Dessert)

3/4 cups sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vinegar
5 large egg yolks
3 large whole eggs
1 3/4 cups coconut cream milk
1 cup milk (substitute option sweetened condensed)
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
3 tablespoons dark Puerto Rican rum
(Great optional substitute Captain Morgan Coconut flavor Puerto Rican rum)

Procedure: Preheat oven to 325°.
Place 1/2-cup sugar in a medium skillet on top of stove over medium-high heat; add about 1/2 cup of water slowly and a teaspoon of vinegar, boil until water and sugar is completely dissolved, cook until the water is reduce. Swirl the syrup around the pan.
Do not let it burn, but Continue cooking until sugar syrup turns medium-dark brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; pour caramelized sugar syrup into pie dish. Or small individual dessert dishes. Swirl syrup evenly until coats bottom of dish completely. Let it cool. In a large bowl, add whisk together remaining 1/4-cup sugar, and salt, egg yolks, and whole eggs until combined.
Add in remaining ingredients, Coco Lopez, milk, vanilla, and rum, Whisk until combined. Pour Flan Mix into pie pan or into small individual desert dishes. Carefully transfer pie pan or each dessert dishes into to oven on the middle of baking pan, pour a cup of water so the water comes halfway up the sides of pie pan or dessert dishes. You will be making a Bain -Marie. Boil water bath.
Alternatively, it can be cook on top of a stove as long as water bath is still used and using aluminum foil tent seal. Place pie pan or small individual dessert dishes in the middle- baking pan with water bath in oven. Bake until Flan is almost set (it will appear loose in center but continue cooking as it cools), 45 to 50 minutes.
A good test, To see if it is done, just poke a knife in the middle of the Flan and pull it out, if it comes out clean, then It’s done. Carefully take out the whole baking pan out of oven or stove with the Flan dishes, until water cools; then transfer pie dish or small dessert dishes to cool.
Refrigerate. When ready to serve, run a knife between Flan and pie dish. Place a serving dish on top of Flan; invert. Slice, and garnish with any remaining syrup or shredded coconut. Chilled Flan overnight in the pie dish or individual small desert dishes and, served the next day.

Limber de Leche Desert

Ingredients A:

  • 1 large can of Evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 vanilla teaspoon
    d. cinnamon to your taste
    Ingredients B:
  • 1 egg yorg
  • 2 sugar teaspoons
    Procedure: Mix ingredients A and B in separate bowls
    Mix both together and pour in plastic cups.
    Freeze and Enjoy

Habichuelas, Beans

1 lb. of dried (Rosita) Pink or red beans
(wash and discard any abnormal beans)
2 liters of water
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
(be careful with the Sazon it’s also salty)
1 packet of Sazon with achiote
4 ounces of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 potato (peeled and cubed)
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of recaíto
1/2 lb. of cooking smoked ham(cut up into bite size pieces)

Procedure: In a pot to hold the beans and the 2 liters of water boil the beans for 45 minutes to an hour. The water will evaporate so after 20 minutes of cooking add more water, about 1 cup. When the beans are tender turn off the stove (don’t discard the water).
In a frying pan add all the other add the olive oil (if you don’t have olive oil use vegetable or corn oil) and heat. When the oil is hot add all of the other ingredients which will be the sofrito. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sofrito to the pot where the beans with the water are in. Turn on the heat again to medium and cook for an additional 20 or until the mixture becomes a bit thick not soupy. Make sure the potatoes are done.
Note: Instead of ham you can use chorizo (about 4 links chopped like a bit thicker than nickel’s) and instead of potatoes you can use chunks of calabaza (pumpkin). Sometimes we add bollitos (optional) made with green plantain.


2 green plantains
2 cups of vegetable oil

Procedure: Peel the plantains and cut them diagonally 1 inch. Place the pieces in salt water so they won’t oxidize. In a deep frying pan heat the oil. Before adding the plantain pieces to the hot oil dry them with paper towels. Fry the plantain pieces until they turn a light golden color. Leaving the heat on remove them from the frying pan and lightly flatten them with a brown paper bag, wax paper or a tostone flattener to about 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch. Add them to the frying pan again and fry until golden brown on both sides. Place on towels to blot, sprinkle with salt and serve them hot.
You can put ketchup, mojito (garlic, olive oil and salt mixture) or a slice of anchovy on them if desired.
Serves 5

Arroz con Pollo

1 Whole Chicken Cut into Serving Pieces
3 Cups of Rice
1 1/2 cups Sofrito
3 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 Tbsp home-made Adobo

Procedure: - Rub chicken with adobo or seasoning; then brown at high heat in a deep sauce pot.
2- Add Sofrito to chicken. Lower heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes.
3- Add water. Bring water to a boil. Then, add rice.
4- When water begins to boil again, cover and reduce to low heat.
5- Cook for approximately 20 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.


2 pounds lean pork meat, without bone
6 tablespoons jugo de naranja agria (sour orange juice)
Crush and mix in a mortar:
4 sweet chili peppers, seeded
4 fresh culantro leaves
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons whole dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
Cube finely:
1 pound lean cured ham
1 green pepper, seeded
1 onion peeled
1 1/2 cups seeded raisins
1 can (1 pound) garbanzos (Chick-peas), liquid included
1 cup water
24 olives, stuffed with pimientos, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons capers
6 tablespoons Achiote Coloring (cook anais seed in 1 cup vegetable oil)
Procedure: Wash and dry pork meat rapidly and cut into very small cubes. Mix meat cubes with the sour orange juice.
Add ingredients included in B to meat.
Add ingredients included in C and the seeded raisins. Mix together well.
In a saucepan, bring to boil ingredients included in E. Drain the liquid over the meat mixture. Remove skins from chick-peas and add chick-peas to the meat mixture.
Add olives and capers.
Add ingredients included in F, mix well, cover, and set in regrigerator until the masa is ready. Masa (Paste)
A-4 pounds white yautia, peele
4 pounds yellow yautia, peeled
15 green bananas, peeled and rinsed in salted water
2 cups lukewarm milk
B-1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) Achiote Coloring 2 1/2 tablespoons salt
Wash, drain and grate the yautias and bananas. Crush gradually in a mortar yautias and bananas.
Mix in a bowl with lukewarm milk to make a smooth paste. (If using an electric blender, crush gradually yautias and bananas with lukewarm milk. Set in a bowl.)
Add the Achiote Coloring and salt, mix well, cover, and set aside to make the pasteles. To Shape and Cook the Pasteles
Use 20 bundles of plaintain leaves. They should be long and wide.
With a knife, remove the central ridge to give greater flexibility to the leaves. Divide leaves into pieces, about 12 inches square. Wash and cleen leaves with a damp cloth.
Place 3 tablespoons of the masa on a leaf and spread it out so thinly, that it is almost transparent.
Place 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the masa.
Fold the leaf one half over the other to make a top and bottom layer of plaintain leaf and enclose the contents in it. Fold it over once more.
Fold the right and left ends of the leaf toward the center.
Wrap in a second leaf placed on the diagonal.
Tie the pasteles together, in pairs, with a string, placing folded edges facing each other.
In a large vessel, bring to a boil 5 quarts water with 3 1/2 tablespoons salt. Add 12 pasteles and boil, covered, for 1 hour. Halfway, turn over pasteles. When cooking period is finished, remove pasteles from the water at once. Repeat process with rest of pasteles
Note: Parchment cooking paper may be used in place of plaintain leaves.

Bacalao Guisado

2-3 lbs cod fish, fresh or salted, FLAKED
4 large spanish onions, sliced
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced
1 4-oz can tomato sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sofrito
1 packet Sazon
Procedimiento: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in in a large skillet.Add sliced onions and green peppers.Cook until onions are tender. Add tomatoes and remainder off olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes.Mix in remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. **NOTE: If using salted cod fish, you MUST either soak the fish overnight in cold water OR boil the fish to remove the excess salt BEFORE cooking.
Alcapurrias de Platano rellenas de Carne

3 green plantains
3 tablespoonfuls anniato oil (achiote)
2 cups filling (may be lobster, shrimp, beef, chicken, turkey–see below)
1 1/2 lbs yautia (tanier, tannier)
1 tablespoonful salt
frying oil
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoonful diced pitted olives, pepper or onion-stuffed
1 small green bell peppers, chopped
1 tablespoonful chopped onion
1 tablespoonful olive oil
1 bay leaf
(B) 1 1/2 cups lean ground meat
1 tablespoonful raisins
Procedure: 1. Wearing gloves is strongly recommended. Peel the yautias and remove the rinds from the plantains.
2. Grate to a fine paste.
3. Add anniato oil and salt. Stir well.
4. Prepare the filling.
5. Place about two tablespoonfuls of the paste on a greased plantain leaf (traditional) or waxed paper (convenient). Spread the mass and place about two tablespoonfuls of the filling in the center. Fold the mass unto itself so that the mass remains outside and the filling inside.
6. Fry in hot oil in a deep frypan until golden brown.
7. Allow to shed excess oil. Serve while still reasonably hot. Warn your diners that the filling may be hotter than the outside.
The filling:
Pour the olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients included in (A). SautŽ for about five minutes. Stir the ground meat into the ingredients already in the saucepan. Cook for about five minutes. Add the raisins. Continue to cook for another five minutes or until the meat is cooked but not dry. You may want to remove the bay leaf at this time.
Other fillings may be used. Lobster, shrimp and chicken are among the most popular.


1 lb codfish fillets
1/2 cup beer (optional), otherwise use water
2/3 cup wheat flour
1 large egg at room temperature
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoonful chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoonful ground garlic
Procedure: Unless you are using fresh, unsalted codfish, it is advisable to boil the codfish fillets in water, drain and repeat to remove the excess salt.
Shred the codfish fillets into bits with a fork.
Blend all ingredients together.
Use a deep skillet, half-full of cooking oil. Preheat the oil on medium high heat. Use a ladle to pour the mix slowly into the hot oil. Alter the amounts of mix as needed to produce the right size for your preference.
Remove from the skillet when it appears cooked throughout and the edges begin to curl. Roadside stands hang the fried bacalaitos right over the skillet to let excess oil drip back into the skillet. At home you can also lay each fritter on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Eat while still quite warm. Be ready with more mix. They taste delicious and will have your guests asking for second helpings.
Arroz con Cebolla, Rice with Onions

Arroz con cerveza y cebolla, rice in beer and onion, is a dish that may have your diners asking for second helpings, so be sure to cook enough to allow for that.
The basic recipe should serve 4 adult diners.
Two cups uncooked white rice
1 can onion soup
1 can of beer
two slices of bacon, cut in small pieces. Trim off some of the fat, if excessive.
1 large white onion, peeled of its outer coats
1 teaspoonful of salt
1 cup Spanish red peppers (pimientos morrones)
1 cup sweet peas (or peas and carrots)
Procedure: The rice should be cooked in a pot just deep enough to allow for its doubling in size during the process.
Fry the bacon over medium heat in the pot where you will cook the rice, until most of the grease has become liquid. Stir occasionally to keep the bacon from sticking to the pot.
Add the beer and the onion soup. Carefully add the rice and the salt, stir and set to medium heat, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates. Do not try to speed up the process by using more heat, since this may cause scorching of the rice and a good portion of it may stick to the bottom of the pot. (This is called “Pegao” in Caribbean cooking; we’ll get to it in future recipes!)
When the liquid has evaporated (about ten minutes), use a ladle to fold the rice so that the rice from the bottom now lies on top. It normally takes about four scoops to go around the whole pot. Place the onion on top of the rice, REDUCE the heat to LOW, and cover the rice. The rice should cook for ten to fifteen minutes, or until tender.
Decorate with the Spanish red peppers and the sweet peas (and carrots) when serving.

Tres Leches, Dessert

5 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Procedure: 1. Grease and flour a 8 x 12 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Separate 5 eggs, and beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup sugar slowly to the egg whites, beating constantly. Add the yolks one by one, beating well after each addition. Stir in the 1 teaspoon vanilla. Sift the flour, and stir it into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 20 minutes, or until done. Cool.
3. Blend the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Pour this syrup over the cooled cake.
4. To make Meringue Frosting: Beat 3 egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Frost the cake.
Servings Per Recipe: 10