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TAMALES NEGROS (Guatemalan Black Tamales)

2 Tbs squash seeds, toasted
2 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted
1 chile pasa, toasted
1 chile guaque, toasted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 ounces bitter chocolate, melted
1/2 cup water
1 pound boneless chicken

2 pounds masa harina
6 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pound butter or margarine, melted

Prepare a smooth sauce in the food processor with all the sauce
ingredients except the chicken. Cook the sauce and the chicken
together in a covered pan over moderate to low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken and cut it into 2 inch cubes. Set aside the
chicken and the sauce.

Mix the dough ingredients together and simmer in a pan over low
heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mash is thick
and smooth. Set aside.

Aluminum foil cut into 12 inch squares (if you can find banana leaves,
this is what they use in Guatemala)
1 small dired pitted prune for each tamale
2 raisins for each tamale
2 pitted green olives for each tamale

Put 1/2 cup of the dough in the center of the foil sheet. Smooth
it out to a rectangle 4x5 inches and 1 inch thick. Top this with
2 Tbs of the sauce and 1 cube of chicken. Around the side gently
press in the prune, raisins and olives.

Fold the foil toward the center, seal it, then give the ends a
twist around to seal the ends. (If you found banana leaves, you
would fold it into a packet and tie with string). Cook in a steamer
over moderate heat for 1 1/2 hours.

To serve, unfold the foil and cut around the edges with scissors,
leaving the center part of the foil intact. It is your plate.
For banana leaves, cut string and unfold. Serve hot.

Serves 7 or 8


1/2 pound radishes (about 20)
12 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 cup of a mix containing 2/3 orange juice
and 1/3 lemon juice (or use Seville bitter
orange juice if available)

Trim and thinly slice the radishes. Combine sliced radishes with
remaining ingredients in a bowl and serve as a salad.

Serves 2-4

JOCON (Chicken in Green Sauce)

1 chicken, cut into serving pieces, loose
skin and fat discarded
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tortillas, sliced
1 Tbs pepitoria (squash seeds)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup cilantro, packed
1 cup sliced scallions, green part only
1/2 cup sliced tomatillos
1 to 2 tsp hot green chile slices
1 Tbs corn oil

Cook the chicken in the water with the salt
in a covered kettle until soft, about 30
minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Reserve broth and soak tortillas in it.
Toast the squash seeds and sesame seeds in a
dry skillet over moderate to low heat until
they turn a light tan color, about 10
Prepare sauce in processor. First grind the
squash and sesame seeds. Add the cilantro,
scallions, tomatillos, hot chile pepper and
1 cup of the reserved broth. Add the soaked
tortillas and process to a smooth paste.

Brown the chicken pieces in oil over moderate
heat for 5 minutes. Add the green sauce and
the balance of the broth, about 2 cups.
Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until
the sauce is reduced to a thick, rich, green

Serve warm.

Serves 4

(Cornmeal Dumplings Stuffed with Meat)

1 pound boneless chicken or pork
1 Tbs oil
2 cups sliced ripe tomatoes
1 chile guajillo, seeds and stem removed
2 Tbs water
4 cups masa harina
8 Tbs margarine, room temperature
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 tsp salt
Fresh green or dired cornhusks, wet

Cut the chicken or pork into 1 inch cubes and
fry in oil over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Set aside.
Process the tomatoes, chile pepper and 2 Tbs
water into a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Mix the masa, margarine, 1 1/2 cups cold
water and the salt together into a thick mush.
Put 1/2 cup mush in each wet cornhusk, push
and indentation into the mush, and add 1 Tbs
sauce and a chunk of meat. Cover the
stuffing with the mush and wrap the dumpling
into a sausage shape with the corn leaves.
Steam the chuchitos over hot water over
moderate heat for 1 1/2 hours.

Unwrap and eat warm or at room temperature.

(Guatemala Style Chicken and Rice)

3 lbs chicken pieces, skin and fat discarded
1 Tbs corn oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped ripe tomato
1 1/2 cups raw rice
1 cup sliced carrots
1/3 cup stuffed green olives
1 Tbs caper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup green peas
1/2 cup sweet red pimiento, cut into strips
1 hard cooked egg, sliced
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet brown the chicken in the
oil over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and the black
pepper. Remove the chicken and set aside.
In the same skillet with the chicken fat,
fry the onion, garlic and tomato for 2
minutes. Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes
more. Add the carrots, olives and capers and
mix everything together. Pour in the broth
and chicken pieces.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover
skillet and simmer until broth has been
absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add the green
Cover skillet with aluminum foil and punch 8
holes in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in a 300F oven for 30 minutes. Fluff
up the mixture once or twice during the
baking time.
Serve warm. Decorate the surface with the
pimiento strips and egg slices and sprinkle
with the cheese. The rice should be dry,
loose and not sticky. Serve with fried
ripe plantain slices, a salsa picante and
pickled vegetables.


(Beef in Tomato and Pepper Sauce)

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 clove garlic, chopped
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
3 pounds lean boneless beef chuck, cut into
1 inch cubes
10 ounces canned tomatillos
4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt, pepper
1/2 cup beef stock
2 stale tortillas

Heat oil in saucepan and saute onion, garlic
and pepper until onion is soft. Add meat and
everything else except tortillas. Add more
stock if needed so liquid barely covers meat.
Cover, simmer gently 2 hours until beef is
Soak tortillas in water, squeeze them out and
crumble. Add to casserole and simmer
uncovered until sauce thickens.

Serve with Arroz Guatemalteco.

VERDURAS EN ESCABECHE (Pickled Vegetables)

5 jalapeno chiles, each about 2 inches long
1 Tbs corn oil
2 cups diagonal 1/8 inch thick slices of
1 pound cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
1 cup slice onion
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
4 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup cider or white vinegar

Fry the chile peppers in the oil for 2
minutes to soften the skins. Remove the
chiles, slice them open vertically, and
remove seeds and fibers. Set aside.
Blanch the carrots, cauliflower, onion and
garlic separately in boiling water for 2
minutes. Drain well and mix them all
together. Put them into a glass jar or
stone crock.
Mix the thyme, oregano, bay leaves, salt and
sugar in the vinegar. Pour this over the
vegetables and mix well. Allow the escabeche
to marinate for 1 day or more before using.
The pickle can be refrigerated or stored at
room temperature in a cool place.


1 ripe plantain, with a yellow and black skin
2 Tbs oil

Peel plantain. Cut into 1/2 inch thick
diagonal slices.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and fry
plantains for several minutes on each side
until golden brown. Drain briefly on paper

Serve with fried black bean paste and

(Fried Black Bean Paste)

2 cups black bean puree
(canned refried black beans)
1 Tbs oil

Heat oil over moderate heat in skillet.
Add bean puree and mix well with wooden
spoon. Stir until puree thickens and liquid
Continue until mix begins to come away from
skillet and can be formed by shaking the
skillet to give a sausage shape.
Serve warm with tortillas, farmers cheese,
sour cream, bread or with all at once.

(Vegetable Salad in Squash Seed Sauce)

1 cup squash seeds
1 cup tomatillos
1 garlic clove
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2
inch cubes
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 cups diagonal 1 inch pieces of green snap

Toast the squash seeds in a dry skillet over
moderate to low heat for about 10 minutes
until light brown.
Toast the tomatillos and garlic in a dry
skillet over moderate to low heat for about
10 minutes, until the skins are slightly
Cook the potatoes in the water with the salt
until they are soft. Drain well and reserve
the liquid.

Cook the green beans in the salted water over
moderate heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Drain well and reserve the liquid.
Prepare a smooth sauce in a processor by
first putting in the squash seeds, then the
tomatillos, garlic and 2 cups reserved
cooking liquid. Strain the sauce and discard
the rough bits.
Toss the sauce with the potatoes and green
Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving.

Serves 6

ARROZ GUATEMALTECO (Guatemala Style Rice)

2 cups long grain rice
2 Tbs oil
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, celery,
sweet red peppers, finely chopped, and
green peas)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock

Heat oil in heavy saucepan and add rice.
Saute lightly until rice has absorbed the
oil, being careful not to let it color. Add
mixed vegetables, salt, pepper, and chicken
stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce
heat to low.
Cook for about 20 minutes until rice is
tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

Serves 6-8


PLATANOS AL HORNO (Baked Plantains)

2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 ripe plantains, with black skins
2 Tbs butter

Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Peel the
plantains and split them open lengthwise but
do not cut completely through. Sprinkle them
inside and out with the sugar mixture. Cut
dabs of butter into the slits.
Coat a baking dish with butter and add the
plantains. Bake in a 350F 20 to 30 minutes
until soft and brown.
Serve warm with fresh cream and honey.


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