To start a good day, full of activities, everyone needs to eat a delicious and full of nutrients breakfast will cook or buy the most delicious thing that he can crave.
If we talk about Venezuelan food, a lot of different dishes are found for breakfast, that are sometimes also for lunch or dinner.
The most traditional serving that no one can miss is their arepa, at least once every three days, a Venezuelan eats their arepa with different fillings, but the most traditional or simple is with cheese and ham.
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Why “Petra” empanadas?
Empanadas will always make you smile and leave your stomach full, usually you can find them at any place in the open air and they are prepared in front of you.
Normally, from cheese empanadas to the strangest ones that can be made with beans, cheese and slices, which are known as “ domino empanadas ” the empanadas have many variations in their fillings, they can have infinity flavors, but their shape and dough is always the same.
Made of corn flour (harina pan) in the shape of a half moon, that is the typical aspect of empanadas. Logically the Petra empanadas have something unique, because we call “PETRA” to those people, usually women,
who is an expert preparing this delicious street food, and there is no exact recipe for sure, but there are recipes to make homemade empanadas.
What is an Empanada?
It is a fried dough filled with various things, normally, the procedure is to place an already oiled plastic and on it the ball-shaped dough is placed, it is squashed with a plate to have a large stretched circle,
the filling of our preference will be placed and the next step, very carefully, is to join two ends of the circle to form our half-moon, it can be sealed well with a fork or some other container so that the empanadas are well closed. It can be made fried or baked, but it is not traditional.
Where are Empanadas from?
Its origins, although not completely unknown, are difficult to determine, from stories from the last century to stories from not so long ago, the first thing that is talked about is when the colonizers came to discover these lands and they themselves brought that delight to our culture,
but there are also stories of filling the bread with vegetables or legumes of shepherds or travelers from all over the country and it evolved until what we know today as empanadas.
Its origin, although it is not exact, the only thing we have as certainty is that it is something delicious that you should eat.
Ingredients for 10 people
- 2 cups Flour Bread (cornmeal)
- 1/4 of Cup of Wheat Flour
- 5 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
Oil to stretch the dough and to fry
Stuffing to taste
- We put the water in a container with the salt and sugar, little by little we add the corn flour, we knead and then we put the wheat flour, it will be left to rest while the work area is prepared.
- On a flat surface we place a plastic, you can even use a previously cleaned bag, you must put the oil and we put it well.
- We make a ball with the dough, neither too big nor too small, the size of the fist will do, we wet our fingers in water and flatten them (you can help yourself with a plate to facilitate the work) we must be careful not to make it too thin or it can be broken by the weight of the filling.
- We place the filling (of our preference) in the center, if the filling is liquid it is recommended to let it cool so that it hardens as it can damage the dough, we close the edges joining two tips and flatten to finally give them the shape of a half moon, the we seal with a round container or with a fork.
- We remove and use the same bag for the next round, slowly lift and we will detach the plastic to put it in the hot oil. Let it brown on both sides and eat!
What is a Cachapa?
It is a tortilla prepared with corn, milk or water, salt and sugar, very similar to a pancake. It usually has a sweet taste. It is mainly accompanied with butter or margarine and a delicious cheese from the plain, personally I love it with “Guayanes” cheese.
What are Cachapas made of?
Usually it is a ground corn cake, that has cheese or papelón, cooked in the traditional budare, every Venezuelan knows it, but it is consumed mostly in the central region of the country.
That sweet and fantastic thin round corn cake is a transformation of flavors that is basically accompanied with a good cheese, better if it is made with ‘hand’ cheese and with a touch of butter.
Where are Cachapas from?
The origin is in the central Venezuelan region, they go back to the indigenous people who inhabited these lands, they themselves cultivated corn, and their culture worshiped corn as if its origin were divine.
- 450 grams of corn kernels (can be frozen or canned)
- ½ cup of milk
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoon of wheat flour (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 spoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt to your liking
The cheese of your preference (I recommend guayanes cheese)
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- We place all the ingredients, with the exception of the eggs and butter, in a blender preferably and we are going to crush until an intermediate consistency is obtained, neither liquid nor thick.
- At the end we add the eggs and the butter, beat one more minute. If it is very liquid, you can use a little wheat flour to thicken it.
- Pour the mixture into a container, cover it with paper or plastic food wrap, let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- We heat a pan or if you have a good budare you can use it (more recommended) we will put oil or butter on the surface.
- With a ladle we are going to pour the mixture into our budare or, failing that, into the pan, we must distribute it very well making a circumference of approximately 10-15 centimeters. They can be made smaller if you wish.
- We wait until it cooks, on the one hand, we will see that bubbles and holes begin to appear on the surface, it will turn golden underneath. That means that the mixture is drying, it is time to turn them over.
- When it is already browned on both sides, we remove it from the heat and remove it from the budare or pan, immediately we will spread our butter or margarine, we will put our cheese on top and you can fold it in half.
It is preferable to eat cachapa hot, so we go straight to the table with the flavor of Venezuelan food!
What is a Mandoca?
It is a traditional recipe from a state of Venezuela, it represents one of the many dishes of Zulia, it is a fried ring which is made of corn flour and can have papelón, ripe banana among other variations, that depends on who prepares them.
What are Mandocas made of?
The main ingredients are cornmeal (it can be precooked) and “papelon” which is basically a brown sugar.
There can always be several variations, as always, depending on the region, but they are also used ripe bananas and accompanying them with grated cheese, they are eaten hot with a little butter as well.
Where are Mandocas from?
Originally from western Venezuela in Zulia, this delicious is highly known, although there is no knowledge of where it arises, luckily it arrived in all parts of the country, perfect to eat for breakfast with coffee, with milk or at dinners accompanied by a soda.
Ingredients for two people
- 2 ripe plantains
- 100 grams of panela (chancaca, papelón)
- 1 kilogram of hard white cheese
- 1 cup of cornmeal (120 grams)
- 1 liter of oil
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 5 sachets of cloves
- 2 units of star anise
- Bananas will be cooked in their skin for 20 minutes, boiled with enough water better. If they are very large, they probably need a little more time. We check that they are ready by pricking with a fork in the center, they should be soft.
- We remove them from the water, we remove the shell very carefully so as not to burn ourselves. We leave them in a container to crush them with a fork.
- We put the cinnamon to soak in hot water, let it rest to cool and thus add it to the mixture. We add the ingredients to the banana puree and mix it very well. To make the process faster, we can grate the panela and dissolve it with a little water.
Tip: If you don’t have white cheese you can use the one of your choice.
- There should be a dough that you can take with your hands. To make the classic mandrel shape, we take a ball and roll it on a flat surface to make wands that are not very thin, we put the tips together so that they have the shape of a flower petal.
Tip: If you want them to be very crispy you can make them thinner.
- We will put it in a pot with oil (we try to make it enough) so that they are covered, when they are golden in color they can be removed. Mandocas are left to rest on a plate with absorbent paper and we will put our delicious cheese on top.
Tip: We hope that the oil is very hot so that they cook well.
They are ready, time to enjoy!