Fricase Texipaceno: Running late this week with my recipe, but it will be worth the wait. It is an authentic dish from La Paz with a touch of Chef Trent and it is a bit on the picante side, not overwhelming however. This is actually the first Bolivian food I ever cooked while I lived in the States. I had just met my wife Rosario Castro Ortega (Now Chary the Zen Master) on date.com and as part of my “explore Bolivia” project, I of course, began with the food. I found this recipe online and altered it just a bit. Hope you try it. I know you will love it. Buen provecho!
1 cup of dried peppers (Aji en vaina, red or yellow, here in Bolivia. In the States or other countries you can use ancho chiles or your choice of peppers to taste according to the amount of fire you want the stew to have) Toast them in the oven first for flavor then grind in your food processor or blender. CAREFULL THAT YOU DO NOT BURN THEM WHILE TOASTING>>>WATCH CLOSELY. Also, they don’t have to be ground very fine. Measure after toasting and grinding. Do all this BEFORE you start your other preparations.)
1 cup of white flour
1 kilo (2 pounds) pork tenderloin or pork loin if you can’t afford that
3 tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil…olive oil is fine
One cup of onions feather cut (sliced very thin)
1 cup of green onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
¾ cup of white wine (this is the only Chef Trent touch. It combines beautifully, but if you insist on authentic, just omit it. He won’t be mad at you!)
8 cups of water
2 Beef bouillon cubes large (Caldo de Costilla in Bolivia, Maggi is best quality)
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of black pepper
I teaspoon of ground oregano
2 bay leaves (laurel in Bolivia)
¾ cups fine dried bread crumbs (pan molida)
Salt to tasteDirections:
1. Slice the pork loin into nice little steaks.
2. Put the flour in a bag and shake the steaks inside a couple at a time to coat.
3. Fry them a few at a time until nice and brown, caramelized, not burned nor barely cooked. They have to be perfect or your fricase will be a flop-a-se! Keep them on a platter aside until they are all done.
4. Add a bit of oil if pan seems dry and sauté your onions, green onions and garlic until transparent, stirring up the bits of flour and pork that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. You need these for flavor!
5. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan until boiling gently.
6. In the meantime have your water hot and the caldo cubes stirred in and dissolved.
7. Add it to the onion garlic wine mixture and stir well
8. Add all the other ingredients except the bread crumbs and salt
9. Cook partially covered, VERY gently for three hours, on low heat, on stovetop and let the smell drift through your house and those of your neighbors. (When your neighbors come over snooping around wanting an invitation to dine, you may ask them IF YOU LIKE THEM. If you don’t like them, turn the dogs loose on them! )
10. Last but so important, stir in the bread crumbs to thicken and salt to taste
11. Now ladle into large bowls and place in them, as Bolivians do, any of the following: A small ear of corn on the cob, a bit of cooked mote in Bolivia or hominy in other countries, a small or large boiled potato. In my La Luna Verde restaurant we place a molded 1/3 cup of white rice or sometimes the potato. Any or all of these is entirely up to you.
12. Sprinkle with a bit of chopped parsley and dive in!
(Note: If you feel guilty about the dog incident with your neighbors, you can send them the leftovers. That is, if there are any. Probably not, though!)
and La Posada del Sol boutique hotel in Samaipata, Bolivia. He contributes his favorite Bolivian recipes, restaurant reviews and food commentary on www.BoliviaBella.com.