These tamales represent the three "sister" crops - beans, squash, and corn - favored by indigenous Americans. These early farmers developed a system for planting these three crops that was mutually advantageous to all three. The bean vines grew up the corn stalks and added nitrogen to the soil, and the sprawling squash plants shaded the roots of the corn plants and kept weeds at bay.
These tamales are made with corn masa and filled with roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, and seasoned black beans.
Here is a list of kitchen gift ideas for friends and family who like to cook, especially those with an interest in South American food.
Brigadeiros are delicious chocolate truffles that are named after a famous Brazilian Brigadier General named Eduardo Gomes, who apparently loved chocolate. The rich fudge-like frosting on this cake is prepared like the candy, but cooked for a shorter period of time. It makes a beautifully shiny, easy-to-spread glaze that is ideal for cake decorating.
Headed to a cooking exchange? Need the perfect gift for someone special? Check out this list of South American cookies for some home-baked inspiration.
These spiced cakes have a surprise on the inside - molten dulce de leche.
Quinoa, that nutty gluten-free high protein grain/seed from the Andes, has become quite trendy. It shows up in salads, breads, vegetarian dishes, and even sushi. But quinoa also makes a great breakfast cereal. You can cook it just like oatmeal, and stir-in your favorite breakfast add-ins: fruit, maple syrup, honey, nuts, etc. Quinoa is not quite as creamy as oatmeal - but you can combine quinoa with quick cooking oats to achieve a very pleasing breakfast cereal texture.
Quinoa has been in the news lately. Its increasingly popularity in North America and other countries means that traditional Andean farmers are exporting a great deal more quinoa than ever before. Quinoa has long been an important source of protein in the Andean diet, but it has recently become too expensive for many of the farmers to eat themselves, as it's more valuable as an export.
Tender new potatoes are seasoned with smoked paprika and achiote and roasted in the oven until they are browned and crispy.Â A quick boil precooks the potatoes before they go into the oven, resulting in a soft, starchy inside.
Colorful and fresh tasting, this vibrant quinoa salad would be a great side dish (and/or vegetarian option) at a holiday meal.
German immigrants brought apple strudel came to South America, and it has remained a popular dessert there, especially in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. This quick and easy version starts with packaged puff pastry dough, but if you prefer to make the dough from scratch (not as hard as it sounds), you can refer to this recipe from Jennifer McGavin, About.com's expert on German food.
Tequeños are a popular appetizer in South America, especially in Venezuela. They are fried cheese sticks, made with firm white cheese that is wrapped in dough and deep fried. They are great for parties.
You can use wonton wrappers or pre-made empanada disks as a shortcut, but making homemade dough is easy and doesn't take much extra time.