My uncle married a lovely woman from Honduras and she taught me a thing or two about cooking foods and drinks from Central America. Here are some recipes! I hope you make them and enjoy!

NACATAMALES



Ingredients
- Cornpowder
- Pork
- Pork Butter
- Chopped Onion
- Garlic
- Salt and Pepper
- Cooked potatoes: cubed
- Raisens
- Olives
- Cooked Rice (Optional)

Prep

For the Dough:
If you're using raw corn:
Boil the corn one day before to make the tortillas so they get cooked even more. Wash and leave them in water. Crush them with a mortar and pesil but leave them a little watery.

If you don't use raw corn:
You can use cornflour and just add water.

When you boil the dough, do it with salt (make sure it's not too salty) melted pork butter, and a little bit of sugar.
Cuando se cuece esta masa, con sal (tiene que puntear el sabor de la sal para que no quede tan salado, manteca de cerdo derretida y un poquitito de azúcar. Make sure the dough is the right consistency to be wrapped up.


The Meat:
Marinate the pork meat in pieces with the ribs, onion, sweet chiles, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, hot chile, etc. Cook until the meat gets tender.


Blend onion, sweet chile, tomato, and garlic. When they get liquified mix in a little bit of dough that you prepared already and las cebollas, chiles dulces, tomates y ajos; después que estén licuados revuélvalos con un poco de la masa and add salt, pepper, and chile as you like.


Wrap:
If you want to wrap the tamales in plantain leaves you can just buy them at the store and boil them until they turn a blackish color. Then wrap them up trying not to break them.


Prep the Tamale
In the center of the sheet or foil put a tablespoon of dough according to the size you want the tamale, make a hole, add a message. Once they are wrapped they can be cooked, then later tie them with a mezcal string.

Cooking
At the bottom of the pot but something to support the tamales, then add leaves and place the tamales in layers. Cover with water. In three hours or so can be cooked with high heat.

BALEADAS



(Honduran flour tortillas with beans and cheese)

A quick and satisfying breakfast or evening meal, baleadas are thick flour tortillas folded over a variety of fillings. The most common filling for baleadas is a simple mix of beans, cheese and the Honduran-style sour cream known as mantequilla.

More elaborate fillings include meat, eggs and avocado. Customize to your taste. For a fast snack, you can use store-bought flour tortillas. But for authentic flavor, make your own. It's easy!

4 to 6 servings
Ingredients

Flour tortillas (recipe below) -- 8
Refried beans -- 2 cups
Crumbled queso duro, cotija or feta cheese -- 1/2 cup
Mexican-style sour cream (cream agria) -- 1/4 cup

Method

Heat an ungreased griddle, comal or skillet over medium flame. Meanwhile, heat up the refried beans in a saucepan, stirring in a little water.
Place a tortilla into the skillet and heat it on both sides to soften it up. Place the tortilla on a serving plate. Smear some refried beans on one half of the tortilla, sprinkle it with some crumbled cheese and drizzle it with a little sour cream. Fold the tortilla in half over the filling.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas and serve hot.

Variations

Other Baleadas Fillings: Scrambled eggs; cooked and seasoned ground beef or pork, sliced avocado, pickled jalapeños, or repollo coleslaw (see curtido recipe).
Tortillas de Harina (Homemade flour tortillas): Flour tortillas in Honduras are a little thicker than those of their Mexican friends to the north. Making your own at home is easy, but it does take a little time. You'll fall in love with the results:
Flour -- 2 cups
Baking powder -- 1 teaspoon
Salt -- pinch
Water or milk -- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Butter, lard or oil -- 3 tablespoons

Mix together the flour baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the water or milk to form a dough. Work in the butter, lard or oil until smooth. Add more liquid or flour as needed to form a smooth dough that isn't too sticky.

Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Heat an ungreased comal, griddle or skillet over medium flame. Cut the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Roll each ball out into roughly an 8-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.

Place a dough round onto the hot comal and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the tortilla has browned spots and is lightly puffed. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough rounds.

SOPA DE CAPIROTADAS



FOR THE CAKES
2 cups dry doughflour for tortillas (MASECA)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups dry cheese (Queso Seco)
1 -1 1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup cooking oil
FOR THE STEW
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 1/2-3 tablespoons dry masa harinas for tortillas (MASECA)
Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix 2 cups masa harina and the cheese. Add the eggs and 1 cup water. Mix with hands until the dough holds together and is not dry. If the dough seems too dry and will not hold together when formed into a ball then add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches this consistency.
2. Take a small amount of dough (about 1/4 cup) and form into a ball the size of a small egg. Flatten balls with your palms and shape into patties about 3 inches wide. Set aside. Cover patties with a wet paper towel while you are shaping the rest of the patties to prevent from drying out.
3. Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan. Add patties and fry on each side until golden brown, about 2 mins per side. Place on paper towel to drain and finish other patties.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium-large pot over medium high heat, heat up the 1 tbspn cooking oil. Add all the veggies EXCEPT for the cilantro and saute until translucent. Add chicken stock and cumin. Slowly WHISK in the 1 1/2 tbspn of the masa harina to thicken it. You can add more masa harina to the stock if you whould like it thicker. Bring to a rapid boil then lower the temp to medium. Add the cilantro then add the patties in one by one. Do not mix or stir the pot to much because you could break the cakes up. Taste soup to make sure it does not need salt. Usually the saltiness of the cheese salts the soup enough.
5. Simmer for about 20 mins or until desired thickness of the soup has been reached.
6. Typically served in a large soup bowl over white rice with a side of lime wedges.

Sopa de Mondongo



This simple, nourishing stew of tripe and vegetables is found in innumerable variations throughout Latin America and around the Caribbean. On the islands of Aruba and Curaçao it is known as sopi mondongo.

Ingredients
Beef or pork tripe, cleaned and trimmed of fat -- 2 pounds
Lemons, halved -- 3
Salt -- 2 teaspoons
Water -- 2 quarts
Oil -- 3 tablespoons
Onion, chopped -- 2
Green or red bell peppers, chopped -- 2
Garlic, minced -- 3 or 4 cloves
Oregano -- 1 tablespoon
Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
Cassava (yuca) or potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks -- 1 pound
Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks -- 1 pound
Green plantains, peeled and cut into chunks -- 3
Cabbage, coarsely chopped -- 1 head
Cilantro, chopped -- 1 bunch
Salt and pepper -- to taste

Method
Add the tripe, lemons, salt and water to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high flame. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the tripe is tender.
While the tripe is simmering, heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and add the onion and bell peppers. Saute for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and oregano and saute for another minute. Finally add the tomato and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the tripe to a cutting board, reserving the broth. Discard the lemon halves. Cut the tripe into bite-sized pieces and return it to the broth, along with the sauteed onions, peppers and tomatoes and the cassava or potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains and cabbage. Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Variations
You can skip Step Two if you like and just add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, oregano and tomato to the pot with the rest of the vegetables.
Meats: you can add other meats to your mondongo. One of the more popular is a pig's or cow's foot. Cook it with the tripe, then remove the skin and gristle and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and return it to the pot with the other ingredients. Beef brisket or chorizo is also sometimes added.
Vegetables: most cooks use whatever they have on hand. Try winter squash (calabaza), taro, small cobs of corn, carrots, chayote squash, celery. You can also stir in some garbanzos or white beans. Puerto Ricans often add olives, raisins and capers. Colombians add an extra dose of cilantro


TORREJAS



Syrup

2 to 3 piloncillos (piloncillos look like brown sugar cones. In fact their flavor is very similar to that of brown sugar.)
2 cinnamon sticks (you can find them in the same area you find piloncillo. I find it to be a lot cheaper if I buy the Mexican cinnamon sticks or any Latino brand. Plus I like the flavor more.
2 to 3 whole cloves
pinch of salt

Torrejas

Several Mexican bolillo rolls (or if you are in an area, like me, where there is no place to find Mexican bolillo you can use a large French bread loaf or something similar.)
2 eggs
oil to fry (I use vegetable oil)
For the syrup you need to boil about two cups of water in a large pot. Add the cinnamon sticks and continue to boil until the water turns a nice brown see-through color.

Add 1 more cup of very cold water. Return to a boil. Add two or three whole cloves. Continue to boil and add another cup of very cold water.

When it boils again, then add 2 to 3 piloncillos (this really depends how sweet you want it. I used only two and it was very sweet). Continue to boil until they dissolve completely. Y listo.

For the torrejas you will need to separate the egg yolks and egg whites.

Beat the egg whites with a hand beater until spongy and firm. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat until they are mixed well.

Cut the bolillos, or bread, into slices of about two inches thick. Dip each slice in the egg mixture and then into a very hot pan. Cook completely and turn over. Pat the cooked pieces with a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Serve syrup in a soup bowl, add the torrejas and a disfrustar!

Ah yes, you will need a spoon.

Yum.

Enjoy your torrejas!

Atol de Elote



Atoles are very popular beverages with roots in Mayan cuisine. They are a sort of thick drink often eaten with a spoon. Atol de elote is based on fresh corn (elote) and has a wonderfully fresh flavor. For ultimate effect, serve it in a bowl made out of a dried calabash gourd.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
Yellow corn on the cob -- 6 to 7 ears
Water -- 4 cups
Sugar -- 1/3 cup, or to taste
Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
Cornstarch (optional) -- 3 to 4 teaspoons
Ground cinnamon -- for garnishing
Method
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut enough kernels off the corn cobs to make 3 to 3 1/2 cups. Then scrape the cobs with a knife to remove all their milk. Place 2 1/2 cups of the corn in a blender along with 2 cups of the water and puree well.
Strain the pureed corn through a sieve into a medium saucepan and discard the solids. Stir in the remaining corn kernels, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.
Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until lightly thickened. If the atol doesn't thicken to a creamy consistency, mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and whisk into the simmering liquid until it is just thick enough to coat a spoon.
Pour the hot atol into mugs or small bowls, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and serve hot with a spoon to scoop up the corn kernels.
Variations
Frozen corn can be used in a pinch, but the flavor won't be nearly as good.
Notes
Because the corn used in Central America is starchier, you may have to add the suggested cornstarch to achieve the lightly thickened consistency.

HORCHATA



Ingredients

1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
5 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
Directions

Pour the rice and water into the bowl of a blender; blend until the rice just begins to break up, about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours.
Strain the rice water into a pitcher and discard the rice. Stir the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar into the rice water. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

Bon Appetit! Buen Provecho! Enjoy