Boricua Style Carne Guisada or Beef Stew

Carne guisada or beef stew is a very popular dish in Puerto Rico. One of my favorites too! It’s a very hearty dish, very easy to make and lefotvers taste even better the next day! It’s a complete meal all by itself, but we Puertoricans need our white rice!


3 lbs of beef stew meat
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
3 large potatoes diced
1 cup of carrots
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of olives
4 cubes of sofrito or 4 tablespoons You can watch me make sofrito here:
1 teaspoon of cumin and oregano
Adobo Goya to taste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3-4 cups of water
2-3 tablespoons of canola oil



  • In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2 – 3 tablespoons of canola oil at medium high heat.
  • Place the stew meat in a large bowl and season with adobo (to taste) cumin and oregano.
  • Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of flour and mix around. The flour will help bind the seasonings to the meat and will help thicken the stew.
  • Brown and sear the meat in batches and set aside.


      Place sofrito, garlic cloves and cilantro in the pot and cook for a few minutes.

  • Add the bay leaves, olives, the Sazon packet and tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the beef, carrots and 3 – 4 cups of water, enough to cover the meat in the pot.
  • Let the stew come up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 30- 40 minutes.
  • After 30-40 minutes, check the tenderness of the beef, and add the potatoes and continue cooking at medium low for 30 minutes or until tender.



 You can watch me make this dish here

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Green and yellow total opposites?

     When you go to the market and pick your fruits and veggies, do you know if they are going to be sweet, tangy, sour or tart by just looking at them? I wish we could have that ability! At least with a Plantain you can.

Plantains in various stages of ripeness.

They are a close cousin of bananas.They are a fruit, but it’s considered a vegetable. Plantains are bigger and firmer than bananas, their peel is thicker and they are lower in sugar content. Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions and can be eaten at different stages of ripeness.From green and firm to yellow with black spots and soft.When green. they are tough and starchy, similar to a potato or a yucca root.When yellow with black spots, they turn a little bit soft and midly sweet. When almost black, they are soft, sweet and with a unique flavor. The most important difference between a plantain and a yellow sweet banana is that you can’t eat plantains RAW. The plantain has to be cooked first!  
Plantains are available in most U.S supermarketsand are found in the produce section of your local supermarket. Look for firm plantains and avoid shriveled, squishy, or moldy fruit. You can ripen plantains by storing them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight, turning them every day. It will take at least 1 week for green plantains to fully ripen.
So what to do with them??
In Puerto Rico, alot of restaurants feature a classic dish called Mofongo. It’s a terrible name for something that is borderline heavenly. It’s the perfect mix of fried, crunchy, salty and over all AMAZING!
It was featured in an episode of “The Best thing I ever ate”. Guy Fieri was amazed on how these few ingredients could make such a flavorful dish!
Here are the ingredients to make mofongo:
2 or 3 large green plantains
Salt to taste
Black pepper
Canola oil for frying
Olive oil

And now watch my video on how to make it 🙂

Buen Provecho!!

Authentic Puerto Rican Cooking

I love to cook and try to as much as I can. Seriously. I enjoy preparing meals for my family to enjoy. So in 2013 I decided to try to cook as much as possible and I am posting on my Facebook what I cook for dinner every day. I try to cook fast, easy and healthy (sort of) meals. I just want to look back and see how much I have throughout the year. Some people think that Hispanic cooking is not healthy, full of fat and sodium. I try to use canola or olive oil and use as little as possible (except every once in a while when I fry chicken or pork)
Most of my cooking is Puerto Rican (duh! born and raised in P.R.) There are a few things that almost every Puerto Rican kitchen has.

A caldero is an aluminum pot with a tight fitting lid. They are relatively inexpensive; they come in different sizes and you can easily find them in stores. This 3 piece set is online at Target for $20.99

They are great for stews, rice and for frying. The trick to great rice in a caldero is that you have to season it. When new, pour enough oil in the caldero and heat it for several minutes. And NEVER EVER place your caldero in the dishwasher!! You will strip all the seasoning off of it.

Another must have is Sazon Knorr with Coriander and Annatto. It comes in little packets and we use it to flavor and color a lot of our dishes, like yellow rice.
This is my favorite sazon, Knorr.sasonknorr
It’s not easy to find, but the Sazon Goya is available in most stores.

One of the most important condiments in our cooking is adobo. Adobo is a blend of salt, pepper, garlic onion and other spices. We use it to season EVERYTHING. Honest!

Next is a Pilon or a mortar and pestle. It’s traditionally made out of wood and used to make sofrito, mash garlic and other spices and to mash plantains for mofongo. In front Is a rectangular wood block which is used to flatten fried plantains to make tostones (tostonera)

Since some of my friends on Facebook love the What’s for Dinner posts, I decided to make a cooking video. I made rice and beans with fried pork chunks. I use long grain rice and just bought pork chunks for stew at the supermarket. I use a caldero, sazon and sofrito. You will be surprised on how easy it is to make. You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients. In my prior post I show you how to make sofrito. It can also feed a small army. We are only 3, but hubby loves leftovers for lunch the next day.
Here are the ingredients for the Rice and Beans. Watch the video for the instructions!
2 cups long grain rice
1 can (16 oz) beans, any except black beans
2 heaping tbs sofrito
1 tsp ground cumin
1tsp dried oregano
1 packet Sazon Knorr (or Goya)
2 tbs canola oil
Salt to taste.
For the Fried Pork Chunks:
2lbs cut up pork meat for stew
Adobo Goya to taste
Unseasoned meat tenderizer

Like and share the video!

Sofrito for the Hispanic Soul

I haven’t posted in a while and for that I apologize 😦
I have been pretty busy these past few weeks. I made a New Years goal of cooking every day ( or almost every day) and I am posting my culinary concoctions on my personal fb page. I have been receiving a lot of compliments which is good.
I started making cooking videos for Youtube. I cook and the hubby takes and edits the video. My first video had to be of the base of most Puerto Rican cooking: Sofrito.
Sofrito is usually in most of my recipes. From rice, stews and even spagetti sauce! It’s very easy to make and it freezes beautifully. I use onions, cubanelle peppers, aji dulce, cilantro, culantro and lots of garlic.
Culantro is a completely different plant from cilantro. Although the two are cousins, they look nothing alike and are quite easy to differentiate by appearance.Culantro is also often called spiny cilantro and is not as widely available as cilantro. Check with your market’s produce manager if you do not see any in with other fresh herbs. It really makes a difference in the flavor of the sofrito.
Cubanelle peppers are long slender banana-shaped pepper that is considered to be a sweet pepper. Ranging in color from green to yellow or red, this pepper has a glossy outer skin that is smooth and firm in texture. Also known as Italian frying pepper, this pepper is mildly hot and very similar to an Anaheim pepper. If you can’t find cubanelle peppers, you can use bell peppers.
Ají dulce (Capsicum chinense) is a small, light green pepper that turns red if left long enough on the plant. In Puerto Rico, it is known as ají dulce or ajicito (sweet pepper and small pepper, respectively, in Spanish). In the Dominican Republic, it is also known as ají gustoso or ají cachucha (tasty pepper, and cap-shaped pepper, respectively, in Spanish). It has the shape and size of a habanero pepper without the intense heat. Unlike many other countries in Latin America, hot peppers are not commonly used in the cuisine of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, or Cuba. If you can’t find aji dulces, you can use mini sweet peppers, like these:
Ok done with all the scientific and technical stuff 🙂
Here’s the sofrito video.

Please like and share it!