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Category Archives: Recipes

How to make Argentine Chocotorta

Flickr: Joan Nova

It might be terrible for your waistline, but the Argentine chocotorta might just be the most delicious dessert you’ll ever eat. Its history goes back to the early ‘80s when a local cook tried to create a simple-to-make cake that didn’t require baking and promote a brand of cookies, cream cheese and the indulgent dulce de leche. Taking inspiration from her Italian roots, she produced this sinful gut-buster of a cake that graces so many birthdays today. As a traveller, you might have some difficulty finding it as it’s rarely mass produced. It looks impressive, but it’s in fact very simple to make. Here’s how:

Serves: 4-6
Time: 30 minutes preparation, 1-3 hours setting time

Ingredients

500g cream cheese
500g dulce de leche
1pt whole milk
Cocoa powder
300g dark chocolate
500g chocolate cookies
300ml double cream

Method

Start by taking a large mixing bowl and add the cream cheese and rich dulce de leche. Beat together with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes until they are both fully combined. Leave to one side.

Take a smaller bowl and pour in the pint of milk and stir in cocoa until blended. Take a glass or ceramic rectangular tray which you’ll use to construct the dessert. Take one of the cookies and soak in the milk for 30 seconds until soft but not falling apart. Place this at the bottom of the tray and repeat until you have a layer covering it.

Smear over about a third of the cream cheese dulce de leche mix and then create another layer of soaked cookies. Repeat the whole process until you have 3 full layers of cookies.

Place the tray in a freezer and leave between 1 and 3 hours to fully set.

When you’re ready to serve, take out of the freezer and leave to one side. Break up the dark chocolate into small chucks and place into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream up gently in a saucepan over a low heat, but don’t let it boil. When it’s sufficiently hot, pour it over the chocolate pieces and beat until the chocolate has melted and its fully blended. Pour the ganache mix over the dessert and serve immediately, perhaps with some grated chocolate over the top for good measure.  Enjoy.

Want to try the real deal in Argentina? Get in touch with one of our Argentina experts today on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or email us here.

Peruvian Causa Rellena Recipe

This Peruvian classic looks like a throw-back to the 80s. For comfort food you can’t beat this creamy yellow potato stuffed with everything from seafood to corn. Make these tasty little morsels in advance and keep in the fridge, a time-saver when you’re hosting a dinner party.

Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

6 floury potatoes
4 large peppers, blended
3 limes, juiced
100ml vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Filling

2 chicken breasts
500ml chicken stocked, warmed
½ celery stick, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
200ml mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Salsa

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 spicy pepper, finely chopped
2 limes, squeezed
1tbs olive oil
1 small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

8 chicken / quail eggs, boiled
1 avocado, sliced
8 green olives

Method

Peel the potatoes and place in a pan of cold water. Bring the water to the boil on a high heat and let the potatoes cook until soft. Be sure not to overcook them. Drain the water and put them through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl while they are still hot. Add the blended peppers, lime juice, a little vegetable oil and seasoning to taste, before mixing them well. Leave to cool, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge.

Put the chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil before turning down the heat to medium. Poach the chicken breasts in the stock along with a little salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool in stock before shredding with a fork. Place into a bowl with the mayonnaise, spring onions, chopped celery and a little seasoning. Cover and leave in the fridge until ready to use.

Make the salsa by mixing the red onions, peppers, lime juice, olive oil and parsley with a little seasoning. Put in the fridge until ready to use.

Take a pastry ring and fill the bottom with a layer of the potato mix. Add the chicken mayonnaise filling and the top with another layer of potato. Carefully remove the pastry ring and top the causa rellena with the eggs, a few slices of avocado and some green olives. Keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to serve with the salsa on the side. Enjoy!

Want to try causa rellenas in Peru? Give one of our travel experts a call on +44 (0) 207 1478 or email us here to start planning your adventure today.

How to make Latin American tamales

There are few dishes as iconic to Latin America as the tamale, though their origins are a little less clear. The simple snack of steamed or grilled corn wrapped in banana or leaves date back thousands of years. The first pictorial references are seen on ancient murals in Guatemala created just under 2,000 years ago. Though found in almost all Latin American countries, in some form or other, their original country is not known. They spread from country to country by trading nomads.

Don’t wait to travel to Latin America before trying these mouth-watering snacks, they’re aren’t difficult to make at home. Mexican tamales are often made from lashings of lard which keeps them moist when cooking. Substitute for butter if you’re a vegetarian. Once cooked, you can keep them refrigerated for up to a week.

Serves: 8 (4 each)
Time: 2.5 hours

Ingredients

Masa dough

400 g masa harina (maize flour)
700 ml hot water
225 g lard
100 g butter, softened
2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ baking powder
250 ml chicken stock
24 corn husks or banana leaves

Salsa

4-5 tomatoes
1 large onion
2 large serrano chilies
1 bunch coriander
a pinch of salt

Method

Take a large bowl and pour in all the masa. Stir in the hot water and wait until the masa is moistened. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and doesn’t stick.

Add in the lard, butter, salt, crushed garlic, baking powder and knead again until the everything is well mixed. Add the chicken stock a little at a time, mixing as you pour. Stop when the dough is light and fluffy. Put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour. While the dough is cooling, soak the corn husks in hot water until soft, around 30 minutes.

Now for the slightly tricky part. Lay the first corn husk down and add a large spoonful of the dough in the middle and roll the two sides over the top. Bring the narrow side down and fold the wider part over the top. Tie everything together with string. Repeat until they are all complete.

Put to one side and start on the salsa. Put each of the tomatoes into boiling salted water for 10 – 20 seconds. Remove and leave under cold running water. When cool, remove the skin and de-seed. Dice all the tomatoes.

Peel the large onion and chop finely. Cut the chilies in half and remove the seeds. Finely chop them. Take a handful of coriander and wash under cold water. Chop into small parts. Mix everything together in a bowl along with salt, a squeeze of lime and a little olive oil. Leave in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours blend together.

Take a large steamer and put an inch of water at the bottom. Put on a high heat and leave until the water is bowling. Put all the tamales in standing up and steam for an hour. Remove and leave to cool.

When cool, open the tamales and serve with the salsa. Enjoy.

Want to try tamales for real? Start planning your trip today by calling one of our travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or emailing us here.

Authentic Mexican steak quesadilla recipe

Flickr: Hungry Dudes

Quesadillas are a street food favourite in Mexico. The basic recipe are floury tortillas toasted with cheese, but they can be filled with everything at the back of the fridge. Their origins stem back to the colonial Mexico, though the recipe has changed and evolved somewhat over the years. Here’s our authentic recipe including steak, a luxurious version of the humble quesadilla.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

8 flour tortillas
½ kilo sirloin steak
1 medium onion, finely chopped
400 grams Mexican cheese
2 avocados
1 lime
Vegetable oil
Salt & pepper

Method

Add a little of the oil to a frying pan and heat over a medium flame. Add the chopped onion and fry until soft and translucent.

While the onions are cooking, chop the steak into thin slices and season with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the frying pan and cook with the onions for a few minutes until the meat has browned.

Grate the cheese. Lay out four of the tortillas on a clean surface. Add one quarter of the steak and onion mix onto each tortillas, and top each one with a quarter of the grated cheese. Add the other tortillas on top.

Clean at the frying pan and place back on the heat. Don’t add oil this time. When the frying pan has heated, carefully life the quesadilla onto the frying pan and leave to toast on one side. It should take a couple of minutes. Flip carefully with a spatula and toast the other side allowing the cheese to fully melt. You can press the tortilla gently on the top to help it cook and seal everything together. Take out when the cheese starts to ooze out.

Quickly cut in half and top with a squeeze of lime and top with sliced avocado. Eat immediately while the melted cheese is hot. Optional extras include topping the quesadilla with fresh zingy salsa and Mexican cream.

Peruvian pollo a la brasa recipe

Flickr: inyucho

Peruvian rotisserie chicken, sometimes called blackened chicken, is one of the most popular dishes in the country. The dish originated in Lima in the 1950s and is often eaten on Sundays with family and friends. When it was first created, it was only the very wealthy that ate pollo a la brasa, but the dish has now become cheap enough for the masses. The chicken is typically served with French fries, salad and a variety of mayonnaise-based and chilli sauces.

Serves: 4
Time: 8 hours

Ingredients

2 kilo chicken, cut into quarters
5 garlic cloves
100 ml soy sauce
2 tbs lime juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tps paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp black pepper
1 tbs oil
1 lime, quartered
Seasoning

French fries

Method

Put the soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, cumin, oregano, paprika, pepper and oil into a blend and wizz up into a paste.

Put the chicken into a large mixing bowl and cover in the marinade, rubbing well into every part. Place into the fridge and leave for at least 8 hours, taking it out every half an hour to baste and rub the marinade. If you have the time, 24 hours is even better.

Though this dish can be made in the oven (200°C for one hour), it tastes a lot better by barbecue. Light the barbecue and wait into the flames have disappeared and the coals are grey. Move the coals cover the edge of the barbecue so there is no direct heat on the meat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cover with the lid. Turn every five minutes or so and baste with the remaining marinade. The chicken should be down in around 45 minutes.

Serve in the centre of the table with French fries, a salad, spicy sauces and lime wedges.

Garnish with lime wedges.

Colombian changua soup recipe

Flickr: manuela y daniel

Typically served for breakfast in the highlands of Colombia, this rich warming milk soup is perfect for a cold morning. Be sure to try this dish in Bogota where some of the best changuas are served.

Ingredients:

1 litre water
1 litre full fat milk
5 spring onions
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
Handful of chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, minced
4 eggs
1 tbs butter
Pinch of cumin
Mild cheese, cubed
Salt and pepper

Method:

Take a large heavy bottomed saucepan and add the water, milk, butter, potatoes, garlic, most of the coriander and a little salt. Put on a medium heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.

Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Crack and drop each egg into the soup being careful not to break the yoke. Cover and leave for three minutes (or longer if you want a harder yoke).

Fill a soup bowl with chopped spring onions, a little of the cubed cheese, some pepper and cumin. Carefully remove one of the eggs and lay in the bowl. Pour over the creamy soup and garnish with a little chopped coriander. Serve with toast.

Want to try changua in Colombia? Get in touch with our Colombia travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 to discuss your travel plans or see our example tours here.

Authentic Mexican carne asado taco recipe

Tacos are synonymous with Mexico. This classic recipe for carne asado (barbequed meat) tacos is one of the best we’ve tried. Cold Corona beer works perfectly as an accompaniment to this spicy street food.

Ingredients:

10 tortillas
500g skirt steak, cut into thin slices
4 chilies, chopped finely
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground cloves
Oil
3 tomatoes
2 large onion, chopped finely
2 handful of coriander, chopped finely
4 limes, 3 cut into wedges and 1 juiced
Oil
Seasoning to taste

Method:

Take a blender and add 2 of the chopped chilies, 2 chopped garlic, vinegar, ½ of the chopped onions, 1 teaspoon of cumin, the ground cloves, seasoning and a little olive oil to bind everything together. Blend into a paste.

Put the steak slices into a mixing bowl and add the blended paste. Mix well together, cover with cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Put the tomatoes, ½ chopped onion, 2 of the chopped chilies, the rest of the garlic, 1 teaspoon of cumin, a handful of coriander, juiced lime, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and seasoning. Mix well together, cover in cling film and leave in the fridge until ready to serve.

If possible, spark up the barbeque. Once the coals have greyed, place the slices of steak on and cook for a couple of minutes on both sides. If you don’t have a barbeque, heat a griddle pan to a high heat and cook the steak for a few minutes on both sides.

Heat a frying pan and heat each tortilla until warm. To serve, put a tortilla on a plate, top with some of the steak, coriander, some chopped white onion and a little of the sauce. Squeeze some lime juice and serve with extra lima wedges.

Want to try carne asado tacos in Mexico? Get in touch with our Mexico travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 to discuss your travel plans or see our example tours here.

Peruvian arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) recipe

Flickr: canelita0306

Flickr: canelita0306

While chicken and rice might sound boring, this Peruvian dish is anything but. A mouthwatering mix of rice, aji Amarillo paste, vegetables, coriander and golden fried chicken.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

4 large organic chicken thighs
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g aji amarillo paste
A handful of spinach leaves
A handful of coriander
200g white rice
50g frozen peas
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 pepper, finely chopped
1 small can of sweet corn
500mls chicken stock
Vegetable oil
Salt & pepper
Method

Wash the spinach and coriander and blend together with some water to create a paste.

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and fry in a little oil on a medium heat until golden brown. Set aside.

In the same saucepan, add the onion, garlic and aji paste and cook until the onions are soft. Add the blended coriander and spinach paste add the chicken thighs.

Once you have brought everything to the boil reduce the heat and continue to simmer.

Take another pan and add the chicken stock, rice, carrots and corn. Cook for around 30 minutes until the rice has soaked up all the stock, but isn’t overcooked. Towards the end add in the peas for the final few minutes.

When the rice is cooked, add in the chicken thighs and aji paste mix and stir together. Plate everything up and add a little sliced purple onion and coriander over the top. To add a little zing, squeeze over some lemon juice and a few finely chopped chillies.

To try this dish in Peru, call on of our experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or email us here to start planning your trip.

Bolitas de yuca y queso recipe

Flickr: sstrieu

Flickr: sstrieu

These delicious crispy balls are made up from yuca (also known as cassava or manioc) and melted cheese. To get these perfect, a deep fat fryer works best, but they can be made using a heavy bottomed frying pan.

Serves: 12
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 kg fresh yuca
4 eggs, beaten
250g breadcrumbs
½ kg mozzarella cheese, cubed
Vegetable oil
Salt

Method

To start, take a large saucepan and fill with water and the salt. When it boils at the yuca and leave for 15-20 minutes until tender.

Drain the water and mash the yuca.  Take the mash and roll into 12 balls. Take each one and flatten with the palm of your hand. Add a few cubes of the cheese in the centre and reroll the balls

Put the egg in one bowl and the breadcrumbs in another. Put the fryer on and heat to 180 °C. Once heated, dip each ball into the egg, then the breadcrumbs and then place into the oil. Cook for five minutes or until they are golden brown. Turn halfway through. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Eat immediately.

To try bolitas de yuca y queso in Latin America, give one of our specialists a call on +44 (0) 207 407 1478, send us a message here.

Delicious Baja-style Mexican fish taco recipes

Flickr: Barb Watson

Flickr: Barb Watson

They may be a bit of a faff to make, but you won’t be disappointed with these delicious Baja-style fish tacos. Get everything prepared, so once the fish has been fried you can serve up straight away. For a little more zing add extra lime juice and a few hot chillies.

We love to hear about your creations or new Latin American recipes. Head over to our Facebook to share photos and recipe ideas.

Serves: 6 people
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Batter
130g plain flour
1 small bottle of bear
A pinch of salt
Black pepper

Sauce
100mls sour cream
100mls crème fraiche
3tbs lime juice
zest of 1 lime
A pinch of salt
Black pepper

Salsa
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large chilli, finely chopped
1 lime, juice squeezed
1tbs oil
A pinch of salt
Black pepper

Fried fish
1kg halibut, skinned and cut widthways into 1cm strips
100g plain flour
Oil
A pinch of salt
Black pepper

The rest, to serve
Corn tortillas
Jalapenos
200g shredded cabbage
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Start by making the batter. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the seasoning. Gradually stir in the beer and mix until lump free. Leave in the fridge until use.
  2. To make the sauce, mix both the sour cream and crème fraiche in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest and seasoning and mix thoroughly. Leave in the fridge until use.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave in the fridge until use.
  4. Put a large frying pan on a high heat and add oil half way up. While the oil heats, put the mix the flour and seasoning on a large plate. Take the batter out of the fridge. Add a little salt and pepper to the fish fillets. Coat each fillet with the flour mix and then dip into the batter. Carefully drop into the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes at which point the batter should be golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish and leave them on paper towels to drain.
  5. Heat the tortillas quickly in a dry frying pan. To serve place the tortilla on a plate and lay one or two pieces of the fried fish. Top with the sauce, salsa, shredded cabbage, chopped coriander and jalapenos and serve immediately. For extra zing, squeeze a little lime juice over the top.

Fresh fried tacos are best served with cold bottles of Mexican beer along accompanied by a wedge of fresh lime.

Want to try real fish tacos in Baja California or explore Mexico’s rich food heritage? No problem. Call us today on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or message us here to begin planning your trip. One of our Mexican experts will be on hand to talk you through the various options and provide inspiration for the trip.

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