Mom's Recipes


Basic white rice

Rinse rice and put in the caldero with about ¼ cup vegetable oil. Add enough hot water to cover rice 1½ inches above rice line. Add salt and stir. Let it boil on high until water evaporates. Cover and simmer on low for 35 minutes. Don't stir any more.

Basic Seasoned Rice

In a caldero fry chopped bacon or chopped tocino (fat-back) until crispy. Remove the cooked meat and fat and save. In the bacon fat fry sofrito ingredients until tender - about 5 minutes for grounded sofrito or 10 minutes for diced sofrito. Add the bacon or tocino. Add tomato sauce and any cooked meats and vegetables you desire and stir well. Add enough liquid to cover rice 1½ inches above rice line. Let it boil on high until water evaporates. Now you may stir the rice once or twice only. Cover and simmer on low for about 35 minutes.

You may add any of the following or a combination to vary your rice dishes… any kind of canned beans, fresh or frozen vegetables, meats, (all meats must be precooked ), including bacon, pork chops, cooked pernil chunks, sausages, fish, shrimp, meat balls, ribs, chicken, etc.

For Arroz con costillas . . . . . cook sofrito in a caldero with oil, add cooked ribs, tomato sauce, and follow basic seasoned rice recipe.

Make butter and garlic rice by substituting the oil with butter and adding crushed garlic.

Use about ¼ cup sofrito per cup of raw rice.

Stirring the rice after it has begun cooking may cause it go get sticky or "amogollao."

For color add tomato sauce or achiote.

Add a can of stewed Italian style tomatoes for extra good flavor.

Brown Mushroom Rice

1 can French Onion Soup
1 can Beef Broth
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 can measure of rice
1 stick butter

Melt the butter and add all the ingredients together. Cook the rice as usual.

Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork)
EASY as 1 - 2 - 3

5 lbs. pork shoulder - picnic cut (with fat)
5 tsp. crushed garlic or garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed oregano
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil. Mix well.
Wash the meat and pat dry.
With a sharp knife cut the fat away from the meat keeping it all in one piece. Start at the wide end and go to the narrow end. You don't have to separate it completely - just leave enough still conected so that you can flip the fat over to the side while you season the meat itself. The fat will be placed over the seasoned meat and will cook over the neat to give it more flavor. Season the fat with only salt. Make very deep slits all over the meat and season the meat making sure that seasoning goes into all the slits. Put the fat back over the meat to look the same as before it was cut.

Refrigerate the shoulder, covered with plastic wrap, for 24 hours. Let the meat get back into room temperature before cooking. (At least one hour).

Place the meat in a deep pan with the fat side up. There will be a lot of grease so be sure to use a deep pan. The fat side up will make nice crunchy "cueritos." Do NOT cover.

Preheat the over for at least 15 minutes before placing the meat inside. Cook in a 350º oven for about 3½ hours without turning. Then raise the oven temperature to 375º and cook another 20-30 minutes until the skin is crunchy. Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest on the counter for about 20-30 minutes before carving.

Tips . . . Pernil should be cooked in a pre-heated 350º oven for 35 minutes per pound. If using a meat thermometer, it will be ready when it reaches 185ºF. If the picnic cut is not available just buy a pork shoulder - it won't have the fat and you won't get any cueritos - but it will be delicious.

1 hr. at 400° and 6 hrs at 300

Leftovers make great tacos!

Mojo de Ajo (garlic sauce)

1 cup olive oil
8 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Make it at least one day ahead for richer flavor. Cover and refrigerate. Use on meats and tostones.

Claudia’s Avocado Salsa
(to die for. . . )

5 jalapeños seeded (with seeds it will be really hot)
8 green tomatillos
handful cilantro
3 avocados
1 tsp. garlic
salt to taste

Boil jalapenos for about 10 minutes, drop in tomatillos also and boil another 5 minutes. Put all ingredients in blender without any liquids. If too thick add some of the water used to boil. Chill.

Serve with tostadas.

Bacalaitos (15 bacalaitos)

1/4 lb. bacalao filet
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
3/4 cup bacalao broth
1tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. crushed garlic
oil for frying

Cut the bacalao into large chuncks and boil for 30 minutes. Change the water and boil again for about 15 more minutes or so. The soaking softens the flesh and each water change reduces the salt. Drain and save the last batch of soaking water. Cut the fish into small tiny pieces.

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the broth and stir well. Add the rest of the ingredients. The mixture should be watery, somewhat like pancake batter. DO NOT use an electric appliance to stir this stuff - you will end up with a big mess.

Spoon the batter by ½ cup fulls into hot oil. The bacalaitos should be fried over medium-high heat turning once. They should be golden. Drain on paper towels.

Any extra fish or batter may be frozen for later use.

Pastelillos Volaos (Empanadillas)

Buy Goya Brand "discos" - frozen turnover dough circles ready to use in making pastelillos or empanadas de carne. They come in white or yellow dough. The dough circles comes in two sizes and in packages of 10 or so circles which you just have to stuff and seal. Handle these after being at room temperature for at least 20 minutes so they are soft. Or cut open one side of the package and put in the microwave on defrost for 10 - 20 seconds. You don't want to defrost them too long because they will stick together. Defrost them for 10 seconds at a time until you can separate the circles. Then let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so and they are ready to handle.

Stuff them with cheeze or guava jelly (or both), moisten the rim and fold over. Use a fork to mash down all around the pastry. Fry over medium heat. Drain on paper towels.

Meat stuffing -

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. sofrito
1 packet Sazón with Coriander and Annatto
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
6 large stuffed olives, diced

In a skillet, heat oil on medium. Stir in beef and cook until browned. Stir in remaining ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture thickens. Spoon about 1 tbsp. meat mixture into center of a pastry circle, fold over; moisten edges and seal with a fork. Heat 2½ inches of oil in a deep saucepan on medium. Cook empanadas in batches, turning to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

* Stuff with left over diced Thanksgiving turkey and a bit of stuffing, add cheese if desired.

Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad - Riqueño Style

1 avocado
1 chicken breast, seasoned with Adobo, grilled
¼ cup green onion, diced into 1" pieces (appx.)
¼ cup seasoned olive oil (see recipe below)
¼ cup cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Dice the avocado and chicken into bite size pieces. Give the cilantro a couple of chops. Toss all ingredients together and serve on a bed of lettuce.

Seasoned Olive Oil

Seasoned olive oil can be made ahead and used with many recipes. No need to refrigerate. Just mix all ingredients and shake well. Shake before serving. Use over cooked meats, including grilled steak, or in salads.
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. each crushed dry oregano leaves
¼ tsp. Adobo
½ tsp. powdered garlic
½ tsp. vinegar


Mexicali Meat Pie

Pie Shell 1 9” pie crust
6 slices, bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled up (for crust layer)
Meat Filling 1 pound lean ground beef
1 8oz corn, drained
1/3 cup onion, diced
½ cup green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Black pepper
sprinkle of Chayanne Pepper
1 8oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup corn meal
Topping 1 egg
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Mustard
½ tsp. Worchestershire Sauce
1½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 sliced, stuffed olives (or black olives)
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled (for topping)

Preheat oven to 450°

1. Layer bottom of pie crust with cooked, crumbled bacon pieces.

2. Meat Filling: Brown ground beef and drain. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook another few minutes. Add the rest of the ‘meat’ ingredients and continue to cook for a few minutes. Carefully pour over bacon pieces.

3. Bake this for 25 minutes at 450°

4. Topping: Mix egg, mustard, Worchestershire Sauce, and salt . Pour over meat mixture, layer with sliced olives then shredded cheese. Bake another 5 minutes or so until cheese melts. Serve warm.

Serves 8.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey - vegetable oil - 2 pkts Sazon - adobo - 1 large head of garlic - 1 large onion

Remove any turkey parts that were in the turkey, wash it inside and out and dry it.

Rub the turkey on the outside with garlic oil and a packet of Sazon for beautiful color.
Season with adobo inside/out.
If you are not going to stuff the turkey put a large onion, cleaned and skinned, sliced in half and a whole head of garlic, peeled (as much as possible) with the top sliced off, in the cavity of the turkey.
Your house will smell devine and your turkey will be delicious.
Bake according to package instructions.

Once the Turkey is done you can move the whole thing to a BBQ grill on med low or low heat just to keep the turkey hot that way you can use the oven to bake the stuffing and the bread rolls.

Brocoli Rice Casserole
1 lg sack brocoli pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1½ cans water
1 stick butter
½ cup diced onion
1 can uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese for topping

Arrange brocoli in 9 x 13 pan. Mix all other ingredients together (except shredded cheese) and pour over brocoli. Bake at 350° for 1 hr. covered with foil. Uncover and add shredded cheese, bake for another 15 min until cheese is melted.

Can make this in a caldero - cover as soon as it starts to boil and cook for about 30 minutes, then add the shredded cheese, and cook another 15 minutes. It should be very moist.

Christmas Fruit Salad

1 fresh apple, diced
1 fresh orange, pulp only
handful of red seedles grapes
handful of green seedles grapes
½ cup walnuts
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
1 banana, sliced
1 container Cool-whip

Mix all things together and make one day ahead. Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap.


12 oz bread cubes
12 oz corn bread cubes
2 sticks butter
1½ chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1½ cups chicken broth

Combine dressing with butter and vegetables. Stir liquid in gradually. Spoon into greased casserole dish. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350°. Remove cover and bake 10 minutes longer for a crispy top.



Follow directions on Corn starch box.


Holiday Rum Cake

1 cup chopped pecans
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup dark Puerto Rican rum

¼ lb butter
¼ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup rum

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour tube pan. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of pan.

Mix all cake ingredients together.
Pour batter over pecans in pan.
Bake 50 - 60 minutes. Set on rack to cool. Invert on serving plate.
Prick top and drizzle and brush glaze evenly over the top.

For glaze, melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. Stir in rum.

Serve and top with Cool-Whip.

Pasta Salad with Smoked Turkey-Ham-Bacon

Corkscrew macaroni
Muenster and Swiss cheeses (diced) or any two kinds
d iced Smoked Turkey
diced Ham
diced, cooked bacon, drained
red roasted peppers, diced
green peppers, diced
diced onions
a bit of sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare as usual

Chocolate Chip (Pan cookies)
Easy and delicious

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) softened margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat over to 350º

Dry ingredients - combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl.

In a larger bowl beat margarine, granulated sugar, borwn sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs one at a time beating well each time.

Gradually beat in flour mixture adding a bit at a time until it is all mixed together.

Using a large metal spoon mix in chocolate chips and nuts - folding and turning until it is all mixed together.

Grease a 15 x 10" jelly-roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). Spread the dough into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cook in pan on a wire rack - away from heat.

Once completely cooled, slice with knife or round pizza cutter. Can make up to 4 dozen bars depending on the size you cut them.

Green Enchilada Sauce

10 tomatillos
2 med onion
5 jalapenos (remove centers)
6 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper

Boil the tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro for 10 min, put all ingredients in blender. If too thick put back in pot and bring to a boil. Thicken with corn starch.

Christy's Albondiga Soup

g beef
diced onions
cilantro - lots
1/4 c uncooked rice
2 eggs
1/4 milk
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
diced olives
chayanne powder
salt and pepper

mix all ingredients together, very well. Cook albondigas in a caldero with 2 cans of tomato sauce and some water and more chopped cilantro - for about 45 min. Serve as a soup or with rice.

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