lunes, 19 de abril de 2010


I was killing dead hours around the internet, when I found this Video, It is a simple recipe, and it is true, we use this for barbecue, among other things. 

We have traditions in here, when we get all together, let's say with the family, you end up in a place crowded with relatives, that maybe you haven't seen in a while (or those you've been seeing for too long), we eat. What do we eat... Well... Most of Venezuelan would say: Meat!... or well... Like we like to call it: Parrilla!. You might be wondering why. I have, and I've been talking to my friends, just to know the reasons they use to make this awesome plate (or, like you call it: Barbecue).

Most men told me that it is how it is done (Yeah, I know, they are not too specific, but I did not surrender there and kept asking). Then I asked why did they liked the Parrilla (barbecue) and they told me that they just like the flavor of the meat when it is cooked over the fire or coil. It is about taste. Is it about that primitive instict? Well... I don't have the resources to make a deep investigation, so... I can't go in that right now... But in the future, I'd love to do it. When I asked what was the side dish, I found out that they don't really care, or didn't care TOO much. It is about the meat. That's it. Again, I had to go deep on them, so I asked what did they eat like a side for their meat, some said that they liked fried or boiled "Yuca" (Cassava), salad (consisting in lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cucumber), "Bollitos de maíz dulce" (Those are little boiled buns of sweet corn, in tiny peaces of corn leaves), and of course, Arepas.

After this, I asked women about the same topic. Most of them said that they liked the parrillas, but just a tiny little portion of meat, and a lot of salad, with maybe one piece of cassava, and one piece of sweet corn boiled buns. I asked them if they liked "parrillas", and most of them answered that they liked it, but not too often, and they rather to eat smaller portions. So, for most of the women I asked, the meat is not the main ingredient or food when it comes to Barbecue, it is about the side dishes. Cool fact, isn't it? (I love meat, personally, and I eat more meat than salad when it comes to barbecue... no wonder I'm gaining weight!).

Something I realized about both, men and women, they all said that the Guasacaca is a side dish, and not just a simple sause or gravy, it is an essencial part of the barbecue.

It looks like this:

Want to know an interesting fact? When I asked who cooked the Barbecue, they always answered with: My dad, husband, boyfriend, brother, uncle, etc. Why is that? The meat most be cooked by a man in the family. 

When I realized that, I started thinking... Well... who makes the cassava, the arepas, salad and side dishes? The man of the family? No. The woman. Or a group of women. Who season the meat? the woman. Who cleans the dishes? the woman. Hmmm... pretty unfair, isn't it?

Ok... coming back to the subject, the guasacaca it's so traditional, that we eat it even with the empanadas (this is a plate I will talk about later), and there's some people who might eat it with their hot dogs. And yes, it is a very tasteful thing. It is made with avocados, and I know it is a fruit, but we eat it as a vegetable. We use the avocados in salads mostly. But this sauce WILL make the next barbacue you make, a BIG hit. Trust me.

Oh! I almost forgot, here you can watch how to make it... It's very simple and easy, anyone can make it. And If you don't have a food processor, you can use the blender. I have and the sauce gets even creamier. 

Thanks for reading!

sábado, 10 de abril de 2010

Ají Dulce (Sweet Pepper)

Have you ever tried Venezuelan food before?, If you have, then you know that particular taste it have, if you haven't, then this is the entry for you (if you want to know more about the wonderful Venezuelan food).

This are Ajíes Dulces (Sweet Pepper)
Don't they look pretty? Like tiny little peppers, and they actually are... They have a particular taste, and they actually aren't that spicy, and I've heard about those tiny little bombs out there that just cut your tongue, and the rule about peppers are usually true: The smaller they are, they use to be hotter, and spicier, so keep that in mind, and don't mixed this kind with the hotter one... they are very similar, and take that from someone with experience (yes, me... burnt my mouth, even my lips with a tiny little chili).

So, how come Venezuelans love this kind of pepper to cook?
Actually, I have no idea... And I can't really say why it is so common in the market, and you kind find this in every single house, but I can swear it has an important reason.

Some wise guy told me once, that If I wanted to know a city, I had to go to their market. And I've been going to the market with my dad since I was a little kid... He showed me how to select vegetables, fruits, herbs, and everything you might need to cook (He even taught me to pick fish, meat and chicken), And I always noticed that in the popular markets; besides you have to wake up at 4 am, to be there at 5am and get the good stuff; there is always tons and tons of Sweet Peppers, and most people always bought at least a dozen. That actually indicates that they cook using a lot this particular ingredient, but don't get me wrong... they don't use it like an actual ingredient... they use it like a Condiment!!! In soups, stews, gravy, sause, grills, everything!

Soon I'll post a recipe about this... I promise!