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Spanish Culture Primer
[June 11]

The following site is in Spanish. If you would like to know about Spanish Music, Spanish Videos, Spanish Books, Spanish Art or even News and Events, as well as special services available in Spanish. Log onto http://latinculture.com/servicios.php This site is from the "Instituto Andino de Artes Populares (The Andino Institute of Popular Art).

Native American with headdress





Food For Thought
[June 11]

Here are some new Recipes that you may like to try. There are several other recipes on the following site that Hispanics and maybe non-Hispanics may like. www.geocities.com/heartland/5217/arrozconpollo.htm try this Puerto Rican dish recipe from this site. Geocities site says this recipe is very simple and low in fat content.

Mercedes Arroz con Pollo  (Chicken and Rice)

  • 3 cups of short or long grain rice (washed and drained)
  • 2 lbís of chicken parts (trim fat and cut of most but not all of the skin)
  • 4 Ĺ ounces of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of alcaparrado(mixture of manzanilla olives,capers and pimientos)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt or pepper
  • Ĺ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of recaito (mixture of green bell pepper, onion, fresh garlic, sprig of recao-if not available use cilantro-at least 4 springs) blended all together
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 1 packet of Sazon with Saffron

Wash the rice, drain and set aside. In a large olla (dutch oven pot with heavy lid) brown the chicken parts with the oil, 5 minutes each side. Remove from the pot onto a bowl. Leave the chicken drippings inside the olla and add all the other ingredients except for the rice, water and chicken. Mix well in medium heat and cook the sofrito (recipe below) for 5 minutes, taste to see if there is enough salt. Add the chicken and rice to the pot and mix well. Add the boiling water until the water is about l inch above the rice, mix well again.

Donít cover the pot until the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed use a wooden spoon and gently stir from bottom to top. Cover and lower the heat to low for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. You can garnish the rice with pimiento strips. Serve with a green salad, tostones (recipe on geocities website, or amarillos. A nice white wine will do very well.



As a flavoring and a base for cooking many dishes. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer indefinitely.

  • 8 leafy stems of cilantro
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • l clove crushed garlic
  • l onion, chopped
  • 6 whole leaves recao (if you canít find it try parsley)
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, add l Tablespoon of oil while pureeing. You can add 2 chopped tomatoes to the mix if you like, but not necessary and only do this before cooking.



Annatto oil is used to give foods color, very much like safron, but annatto has a very distinct mild favor. It is used in many recipes in the online cook book. You will find that annatto seeds are less expensive than safron.

  • 1 cup of corn or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of annato seeds

Bring the oil to a boil in a pot, an achiotera is ideal (very small aluminum pot), but if you donít have an achiotera the pot will do fine. When the oil is hot enough turn of the heat add the seeds to the boiling oil and stir for 30 seconds. Strain through a metal mesh strainer. Let cool and place in a small jar with lid and refrigerate until ready to use. Note: Leaving the seeds in the oil will make the oil bitter.

Makes l cup



Basic Recipe:
  • Ĺ small green pepper
  • Ĺ medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ľ tsp. Of black pepper

Better Recipe (Same ingredients as in the basic recipe plus):

  • 2 sprigs of fresh cilantro

The Best Recipe (Same ingredients as in the basic and better plus):

  • 2 recao leafs (use parsley if recao isnít available)


Chop up all the ingredients into chunks and process them in your food processor which is the best and process until itís all chopped up to resemble oatmeal. If you donít have a processor use a blender, if neither chop everything up into very tiny pieces.

Recaito can be used for all types of foods, and they donít have to be Puerto Rican


*If you have a recipe that you'd like to share, please send it to me via e-mail




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