Warning, these classic empanadas from Colombia are a labor of love. If you are going to make everything from scratch like I did, you will need a few hours. However, one of the good things about empanadas is that you can prepare a lot in advance. You may wish to make the filling and/or the dough one to two days prior and then “only” need to fill and fry the empanadas the following day. But before we get into the details, what are empanadas exactly? Empanadas are dumplings, each Latin American country has its own variation, heck, every region and city will be proud of their particular empanadas. Since I was born in Uruguay, I am used to empanadas made with wheat flour. The traditional filling in Uruguay is beef (duh) and they are usually baked in the oven. Yes, of course I have a recipe for Uruguayan empanadas on my blog. Colombian empanadas on the other hand are made with cornmeal, if using the right one, they will be gluten-free. Most of the time they are not baked in the oven, but deep-fried. The filling varies, some use a piece of meat that is later pulled apart, I simply decided to use already minced meat. One particularity of Colombia is the “guiso” or “hogao”, this is a thick sauce made of tomatoes, spring onions, onions and herbs that are typically mixed with the meat filling. This makes them Colombian.
Updated recipe in 2022 with clearer instructions and more options
I love meringue. I got to love meringue at a very late stage. Maybe because I feel meringue doesn’t play a very important role in the baking industry. But even though it was late love, merengón from Colombia is the best. It consists of three layers, meringue, whipped cream and a layer of fruit sauce. Easy to prepare, wonderful to look at and once you take the first bite, you will be in heaven, melts in your mouth and has a nice tangy aftertaste due to the fruits. Really a fairy dream!
Today we have a Mexican cake from the north called “mostachón de fresas.” Its base is a nut-based meringue (including crackers) a cream-cheese topping and of course strawberries. I learned that you can basically decorate with any kind of fruit. In Mexico mangos are pretty popular, but I figured since we have strawberry season and strawberries are also popular for this cake, I would stick to the traditional version. It may sound like a strange combination, especially the salty crackers, but my husband and me loved it.
Update: I rewrote the recipe a bit in 2021 and took fresh pictures
It’s summer! Officially! So I need something fast, something refreshing and also something healthy. That’s why I invented this frozen strawberry cake, which can be done in less than 15 minutes. It is pleasing to the eye and everybody will love it, I promise. It may be one of your new go-to recipes. I at least have it stored as a new favorite. I honestly was surprised. I usually don’t invent cakes. I like to change recipes to me liking, I like to alter them. But start one from scratch? I don’t know what happened, but for some reason I just felt like throwing some strawberries together and hope for the best. I usually don’t mind following a recipe, but this time it was just an impluse reaction, why not mix strawberries with some crunchy almonds? I took quite a risk there, because this cake was a birthday cake for a friend of mine. And since he likes strawberries and since it is summer, I came up with this beauty.
Finally I am introducing the basic recipe for arepas on my blog! Arepas are a flatbread made from cornmeal. They are most popular in Colombia and Venezuela. As a German I have to say that these countries offer the same kind of varieties of arepas as breads are offered here. I already introduced arepas boyacenses, however, so far the basic recipe was missing. The reason being simple, I just felt I still didn’t know how to make perfect arepas even though it only consists of three ingredients, cornmeal, water, and salt. But now the waiting is finally over, below I am offering many tips. Hopefully they will make you confident enough so that your first arepas turn out great from the start. If making the very basic recipe, arepas are naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Have you every experienced this? You want to bake something you ate during your holiday, but then you can’t find the right ingredients. This is what happened to me when I tried to make achiras, this is a gluten free cheese snack from Colombia. My first problem was the cheese being used, it is called queso campesino and simply is not sold in Germany. Feta is probably the closest you will ever find, but it is firmer and much saltier. So I thought I couldn’t make achiras.
On top of that, Colombians use a special starch for achiras. It is extracted from the Sago palm. I was very certain that regular grocery stores in Germany wouldn’t offer Sago starch. At least this is what I thought.
You have company coming over or you are in the mood for a delicious breakfast that looks fabulous? Look no further, this fruit pizza is perfect for this occasion. The base consists of nuts and dates, you can also use coconut or soya yoghurt as the cream, and the pizza is then topped off with fruits that are in season. I promise you, this elegant and healthy breakfast doesn’t take very long to prepare and is healthy, gluten free, and if you want to, also vegan.
I already published a fruit pizza on the blog, that one is slightly unhealthier as it has a brownie as the base. If you are interested, check out the reipce in this blog post. Today I decided to go for a much healthier version. The base is so easy to prepare and only contains nuts and dates. You can go fully vegan if you choose coconut or soya yoghurt as the second layer. My version was prepared with Greek yoghurt.
Today I am introducing you to a Latin American speciality: chipa. Chipas are Paraguay’s take on cheese bread and it is naturally gluten free as it is prepared with manioc/tapioca/cassava flour. I know that it is probably not that easy for you to get your hands on this flour, but I can only encourage you to look for it, this bread is so delicious and can also be easily prepared as an appetizer, snack, or party food. If you have any Asian or Latin American store close-by, be sure to check it out, they usually do carry this flour. Continue Reading…
I haven’t posted any savory recipe in a long time, so today may I present to you vegan and gluten free rice noodles with a spicy peanut butter sauce! Think a peanut butter/soy sauce with curry paste, topped off with some flavorful veggies. I really, really love this dish and I am a huge fan of meat and dairy products. So if I post a vegan and gluten free recipe, it means a lot. I really liked this vegan dish I found on the blog Half Baked Harvest. I think it is my new favorite with rice noodles! Continue Reading…
This year for Easter I decided to prepare something dreamy and airy. What better option than to go with pavlova? I went for a pavlova with lemon curd and fresh fruits. Never heard of pavlova? According to my research this dish is seen as the national dish of either Australia or New Zealand, both countries are still fighting about that. In the 1920’s the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova visited both countries and this dish was invented in her honor. It contains a meringue base, which usually has the shape of a nest and is filled with whipped cream and fresh fruits.