Bolones de Verde Green Fried Plantain Dumplings

Ingredients

Yields 6 to 8 bolones

4 green plantains, peeled and cut up into 1 inch rounds

1 bunch of green onions, minced

1 cup of crumbled cotija cheese

4 oz of cubed bacon or pancetta

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 cup of canola oil

salt to taste

Instructions

In a nonstick skillet cook the bacon/pancetta until crispy, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat in a small cup.

Add the canola oil to the same skillet, once the oil is hot,  fry the plantains until golden on both sides. Remove using a slotted spoon and place in a large molcajete or large heavy duty bowl, mash the plantains well, and to this add the bacon fat and mash more until you have a chunky plantain puree, to this add the green onions, bacon, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and cheese, mash again and fold all ingredients, taste your mashed plantain mix and adjust seasonings are needed. Using an ice cream scooper to measure, form balls with the plantain mixture and squeeze them with your hands making sure the bolones are nice and tight.

Discard most of the oil from the skillet used to fry the plantains but leave about 2 tbsp, heat up the oil and lightly pan fry the bolones on all sides until you have a golden crust all over. Place on plate lined with paper towels, serve immediately.   


What are Bolones de Verde?

Hello and welcome to another blog post. Today I am excited to introduce a recipe to what is perhaps one of the most representative foods of my hometown Guayaquil – Ecuador.

If you ask any “Guayaco” what is their favorite breakfast, you will more than likely get a “Bolones de Verde” (Green Fried Plantain Dumplings) as an answer. These yummy and sinful dumplings are the official on the go breakfast in the busy city of Guayaquil, everyone has their favorite bolones place and usually these restaurants sale plantain items only and open just for breakfast. You can enjoy them with a cup of coffee and a little hot sauce.

Bolones de Verde are a very famous Ecuadorean dish, and we are sure our American friends will love them, but there is one issue. Many people in America are not familiar with plantains or how to prepare them. Plantains are of the same family as bananas, but be careful not to use bananas when trying to follow this recipe. It used to be hard to find plantains here in the USA, but over the last 10 years grocers like Trader Joes, Whole Foods and many other supermarket chains have begun to carry them. So finding the ingredients should be much easier than it used to be.

This is a very easy and quick version of the recipe, using ingredients we have available in the U.S, back home instead of bacon we use chicharrones, so if you have a nearby Mexican Market where you can buy good chicharrones go for it! if not bacon or pancetta will work great.

Keep in mind these are meant to be cooked and enjoyed right away, they don’t reheat very well. Serve them with your favorite hot sauce, I love them with sriracha, hope you enjoy this little piece of my home!


We had so many events lately, we were very busy! We all know that when summer is approaching, it’s like everything comes to life! And people in our Irvine, CA know it best ;). But one of the events was a very special one. I was invited to a CCN, the local TV network, to do a segment on Sunrise. Cool, isn’t it? I thought so!

So what to do, what should I prepare, I wondered. And then I had this idea: you can never fail with Tropical Salad and Scallops! Seared scallops, lime beurre blanc, mango salsa, over wild arugula. Fresh, tasty, exquisite. Everyone on the set loved it and I was happy.

Wondering already when it will air? It’s on Sunday, May 22 at 5am on KVMD. Here is a link to help you find the channel.

Hasta la vista and….


We are the happiest when our clients are happy with our work! On 2nd of April we had another gig and it was a very special one – Ray and Nadine’s Ecuadorian wedding. Nadine is Ecuadorian indeed and she really insisted in having us cooking at their wedding, so we couldn’t say no! We are sure they enjoyed the event as much as we did, because it was a very fun one. We agreed on a delicious menu and everything was set to go! Here’s what we cooked:

The appetizers were Shrimp Ceviche (poached shrimp, pickled red onions, tomatoes, jalapenos,citrus marinade, and cilantro) and Beef Empanadas (flaky pastry stuffed with latin beef picadillofilling served with avocado crema), which you all know because we posted the recipe.

The dinner was Orchard Salad (spring mix, strawberries, blueberries, crumbled goat cheese, toasted almonds, raspberry vinaigrette), Hornado con mote (a typical dish from the Ecuadorian Andes. Pork marinated and roasted, with side of hominy and pickled onion salsa) and Tallarines Verdes with Ray’s Kielbasa Saltado (pasta with creamy pesto parmesan sauce and turkey kielbasa cooked with bell peppers, fire roasted tomatoes, white wine and parsley). Nothing more perfect!

And of course I’ll share a recipe with you from this fabulous Menu! this is one of my favorite ways to eat shrimp! everyone I make this for loves it and asks for the recipe, so here’s for you how to do Ceviche de Camaron/Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche. As the weather warms up, and we get ready to fire up the grill, and take our entertaining skills to the backyard, here is a fabulous recipe ideal to serve as a welcome appetizer on a hot summer day, and best of all can be made ahead of time! It’s packed with citrus flavors, serve it in chilled martini glasses with your favorite corn or plantain chips and perhaps by accident you drop a little vodka in it? trust me! you’ll be glad you did!

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced through a mandoline
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 limes
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced into ¼ inch
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and diced into ¼ inch
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup of tomato ketchup
  • 1.5 pounds of shrimp (U/21-25, peeled and deveined, save the shells)

Instructions

To prepare the shrimp you first have to make a quick shrimpy stock:

Take the shrimp shells and sautee in a saucepan with a little bit of oil until they turn red, add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let steep for another 10 minutes. Strain this liquid and add the clean shrimp to the stock, place back in the burner and simmer on low heat until the shrimp turn pink, that means they are cooked, this takes just a few minutes, make sure you don’t overcook the shrimp. Take the shrimp out and rinse under cold water, place in a bowl and refrigerate. Reserve the stock for later.

To assemble ceviche:

Place onions into a colander and squeeze and massage them under cold running water, place them into a bowl, add the lime juice, the salt and massage again, add the tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro, add the orange juice, the ketchup, 1 cup of the shrimp stock, mix well to incorporate, to this marinade add the poached shrimp, taste and add more salt, lime juice or orange juice if desired the flavor profile should be a vibrant puckery citrus with a hint of sweet from the tomato ketchup.
Ecuadorian ceviche pairs beautifully with a crunchy topping such as corn nuts, plantain chips, corn chips or even popcorn!

The ceviche can be made the night before your party, serve chilled.


I am sure you know the basics of food & wine pairing: whites with seafood and reds with land meats (beef, bison, etc). Though this is a great place to start, the world of wines is choc-full of varieties with tons of small subtleties which can really accentuate (or take away) from a dish.

It is rare to throw a party or private dinner where wine is not served and recommending a proper food & wine pairing is always among the tasks taken by private chefs.  With proper pairing, your guests dinning experience will be greatly elevated. So the next time you have a special event, keep these tips in mind when you serve wine to have a successful night!

A quick cheat sheet for wine pairings

Here we go. Let’s start with White Wine.

  • Riesling: if it’s dry, it goes very well with chicken, fish and pork.
  • Gewurztraminer: goes with Asian food or pork or sweet fruit tarts as desserts.
  • Chardonnaygoes with chicken, fish, or turkey.
  • Sauvignon Blancespecially with white meat – seafood and poultry, or vegetables – salads.
  • Chenin Blanc: choose it for pork.
  • Colombardchoose it for starters with goat’s cheese, or root vegetables soups.
  • Muscatas aperitif or with desserts.

 

In terms for Red Wine:

  • Merlot: goes with all dishes.
  • Pinot Noir: goes with salmon, chicken, lamb.
  • Pinotage: perfect with barbecued steak or sausages.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: goes with lamb or beef.
  • Sangviovese: if you think of pizza or pasta, choose this wine.
  • Barbera: match it with Tomato based dishes, especially those from North Italy.
  • Gamay: perfect for barbecue.
  • Malbec: perfect for a grilled steak.
  • Shiraz: choose it for grilled steaks and roasted vegetables.
  • Tempranillo: mostly for vegetarian dishes.

This is just a simple and quick introduction to food & wine pairing. For a much more in-depth look into the topic, you can follow this awesome guide from winefolly.com

Wine is a perfect and exquisite drink and it can turn a dinner into a perfect one, so if you happen to come up with an unusual and tasty wine pairing, please share it with us.

‘Till next time!

Chef Alexa and AlexaCuisine Team

happy eating


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