Sunday, February 28, 2010

watching Vancouver wrap Nicaraguan food the background, the TV is on--NBC wrapping up its coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. (Although we are not hockey fans--we did happen to catch the overtime-end of the Canada/USA hockey match: exciting!) the kitchen, S. is cooking something from our days of living in Nicaragua: salsa jalapeña, to go with pan-grilled chicken breasts.

The major thing missing from the recipes below, however, is "chiltoma"--we can't find it here,
but 'chiltoma' is a pepper halfway between a sweet pepper and a bell pepper--S. is substituting small sweet peppers, cut into long strips--adding it to the sauce, along with the onion and jalapeños...

...a photo of some chiltomas, in our pila in our Nicaraguan kitchen:

(note the ridges in the smooth concrete basin--this pila is also where we did our laundry...and the chiltomas are soaking in water with a few drops of bleach...ahh, the realities of la vida tropical...)

Nicaraguan food is not so spicy--so even though this common Nicaraguan sauce has 'jalapeño' in its name, don't expect anything muy muy picante, ok? But it's good...


Salsa Jalapeña

Nicaraguan Cream Sauce for Chicken, Seafood, or Beef
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

• 1 cup of crema (substitute heavy cream if you can't find the jar of Mexican or Salvadoran crema)
• 1/2 cup milk (you may not need the full amount)
• 2 medium onions, sliced thin
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 8 jalapeños, sliced length-wise (remove seeds for a milder sauce, or use substitute for spicier versions)
• Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a medium sauce pan, saute the onions, peppers, and garlic for about 5 minutes over medium heat until they soften.

2. Add the crema and stir to incorporate all the ingredients.

3. Add half of the milk to loosen the sauce. Allow to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, add more milk. Be careful not to cook over too high a heat otherwise the milk could either boil over or scald. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over fried or grilled chicken fillets or thighs, grilled steak, or grilled jumbo shrimp with a side of rice and a slice of avocado.

(click here for the original source)

 and here's another version, in Spanish:

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