Cooking in Cartagena
COOKING IN CARTAGENA
Cooking is one of my passions and I am always interested in learning about new cooking techniques. When we visited Cartagena I heard about a cooking class to learn how to cook coconut rice, fired plantain and fried fish done the traditional caribbean style. I couldn't resist, so I took the class and spent a complete day with a local family to learn from their cooking skills.
The day started with the husband of the family picking me up directly at my hotel. We then drove directly to the local market to buy the ingredients needed for the meal.
I always love to visit markets in every city I visit. They all have something different and unique to them. With weird smells, tasting numerous fruits and vegetables I have never tasted before and just sucking in as much of the local culture as I can.
THE COOKING CLASS
Once we had collected all of the ingredients in the market we drove back to their house to learn how to cook our meal with them. The family was very welcoming and super nice. It was a pleasure to learn to cook with these friendly people.
The pictures of the end result unfortunately don't look as good as the meal was but it was truly delicious. When I will redo this recipe at home I would do a poached fish instead because I find that frying the fish is a little to greasy for my taste.
If you are in Cartagena and you want to try the class check the link here :
THE RECIPE (rice and fried plantain) :
1. Open the coconut and remove the coconut from the peel.
2. Grate the coconut
3. Add the wax to grated coconut. Strain the mixture of water and grated coconut to make coconut milk. Pour the milk into the pan and cook a medium heat. Cover the pan. Frequently stir the coconut milk and cook until brown. Do not let milk burn
4. While the coconut milk is cooking put the grated coconut in a blender with water. Strain and add to the coconut milk.
5. Wash the rice and then add the rice to the coconut milk mixture. Add salt.
6. Cook covered for 40 minutes stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes add the raisins.
7. Once the rice is toasted on one side turn to toast on the other side.
1. Remove the plantain from the skin
2. Cut into 3 pieces
3. Fry in 1-2 inches of oil
4. Remove the plantain once they are roasted.
5. Smash fried plantain between two wooden chopping boards
6. Dip flattened plantain in water, salt and garlic (a clove broke).
7. Fry the plantains once more until golden brown.
**note : I only provided the recipe for the coconut rice and fried plantain because the fish is easier to do.