Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Panetela de Guayaba

These have always been one of my favorite childhood treats from Puerto Rico.  I hadn't had them in over 15 years; the last time I was on the island.  A few months ago my mother returned from one of her many trips to the island with a small plastic tub of Puerto Rican treats and in that tub were some Panetelas de Guayaba.  I was so excited!  The flavors brought back so many childhood memories for me and I knew I had to find out how to make them now that I knew what they were called.  

I have looked all over the net and have come across a few recipes.  I have made a few minor tweaks here and there, and I find that this is the best interpretation of the recipe.  I have made it for my family and everyone that has tried it has LOVED it.  I hope you enjoy these.

2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 stick of salted butter (1/4 cup) melted
10 oz of guava paste cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tbsp of butter to grease mold (approx)
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle over top of cake)

1.  Preheat oven 350º F.
2.  Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla by hand until creamy.

3.  Add flour, baking soda and salt to egg/sugar mixture and stir with spatula.  Mixture will be dry/thick.

4.  Add melted butter and mix by hand until ingredients are fully incorporated.  The result will be a  buttery/sticky dough.

5.  Grease your baking mold with butter.  Be generous.
6.  Take half the batter and spread on the bottom of baking mold.  If you use your hands, you should continuously wet your hands so that the dough does not stick to your fingers.  I find it best to use a silicone spatula coated with butter (personal preference) to help spread the dough evenly.

7.  Place the guava paste strips evenly over the dough.  (Resist eating them!)

8.  Cover guava paste with the other half of the dough and bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

9.  Let cool and cut into squares.  Sprinkle powdered sugar over top. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Bacalaítos are salt cod fritters filled with minced cod fish and can be garnished with cilantro, tomatoes and onions.  They are a traditional Puerto Rican snack and one of my favorites since I was a little girl. They are usually served at beaches and festivals in Puerto Rico. They are crisp on the outside and chewy in the inside. So yummy!

1/4 lb. bacalao (cod fish)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1 garlic clove
2 cilantro leaves
1 envelope sazón seasoning
Pepper sprinkle
Vegetable oil

  • Cut the bacalao in chunks, place in a pot, cover with water and boil on high for 15 minutes.
  • Drain, debone, wash and shred.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.
  • Add the water slowly and mix to make a thick like sauce.
  • Add the pepper and sazón and stir well. Be sure to stir by hand.
  • In a mortar (pilon), crush the garlic and cilantro leaves and add to the mix.
  • Add the shredded bacalao and mix well.
  • In a frying pan, pre-heat lots of vegetable oil.
  • Fry the bacalaitos on high heat by dropping big spoonfuls in hot oil.
  • Turn as needed. Bacalaitos are done when they are golden on both sides.
  • Drain on paper towels and let them cool before biting into them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Arepitas de Maiz

Arepitas de Maiz is a delicious comfort snack that can also be served as hors d’oeuvres. It is very easy to prepare and can be made by even the least experienced cook.

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup of oil (for frying)
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
  • Mix all ingredients except oil. 
  • In a pan heat the oil. 
  • Pour a tablespoon of the mixture at a time into the pan, making small "cakes". 
  • Fry the cakes until golden on both sides. 
  • Serve immediately.
Slice 1-2 bananas (depending on size).  Add the slices into the mixture.   When spooning the mixture for frying, make sure to pick up 1 of the slices of the banana so that it fries with the arepita.


Mofongo is a signature dish of Puerto Rico. It is a garlic-flavored plantain dish. It can be made many different ways and paired with seafood or pork.  It is a spicy taste of the islands. Mofongo is a delicious garlicy treat and easy to prepare.

(Serves 2)
3 green plantains
3 minced cloves of garlic or 3 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 lb. chicharrón or 
tocino (Cooked)

Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying


Peel the plantains, slice into 1 inch slices and fry over medium low heat until tender in the middle. 
  • Using a pilón (mortar) mash the garlic and the chicharron together stir in olive oil and salt, and set aside. 
  • Mash the plantain slices in the pilon adding a little bit of the garlic mixture. You will have to work a few slices at a time. When all done mix all the batches together for even distribution of seasoning. 
  • This should be served hot. 
Serve with fried pork chunks. 
Use this same recipe to make "Bolitas de Mofongo" to add to stews. Shape the mixture into balls and drop in any soup.

I like to use the "juice" from beef stew (carne guisada) over the finished mofongo to add flavor and to make it a little less "dry".