Category Archives: Mint

Indio Viejo- “The Old Indian”


Since becoming a food blogger, I have managed to net some pretty sweet gigs. In one of those gigs, I am acting as a guest chef trying regional food recipes for an international resort operating out of Costa Rica and Nicaragua then blogging about it. Although I have yet to get the privilege of venturing to either of those lands, I feel as if I am starting to know them, at least from a culinary perspective, as a result of my projects.

The history of the Nicaraguan culinary art dates back to the pre-Colombian times, as do the names of their most well known plates. Back then, during colonial times, the peculiar, creative, and varied Creole menu was the result of the union of these two races. Rich with multi-cultural heritage, the regional cuisine, ranging from soups and meats to a diversity of sweets, is well known for the vast selection of interesting ingredients which are used.

Indio Viejo is a meat dish prepared with onions, garlic, sweet pepper and tomato. In addition, some tortillas are put into water and then ground until they form dough. The meat is shredded and then fried with vegetables, the dough, and orange juice. When combined, the dish turns into this hearty and interesting stew.

Nicaragua's Indio Viejo literally means "Old Indian", a soup-like dish with vegetables and ground corn, which Nicaraguans traditionally cook for Holy Week.

Indio Viejo

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 pounds of beef (such as flank or skirt steak)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 tsp achiote paste
  • 1 bunch (about a cup) of fresh mint, minced
  • juice of 3-4 sour oranges (substitute juice of 2 oranges and 3 limes)
  • 1 cup tortilla dough
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Add one of the onions to a preheated saucepan and saute until soft. Add the meat, orange juice, and enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (about two hours.)
  2. Remove meat and onions and allow to cool.
  3. In a food processor (or a bowl) add tortilla dough and a couple cups of water. Blend until there are no lumps.
  4. Add tomatoes, onion, peppers, achiote paste, and tortilla dough mixture to the simmering broth. The tortilla dough should thicken the broth significantly. Keep stirring to prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Shred the meat with a couple of forks or your hands and add to the stew as it is thickening.
  6. Just before you are ready to serve, stir in the mint and the rest of the juice.

Serve with a sprig of mint and fresh tortillas.

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Filed under beef, Meat Dishes, Mint, Oranges, stews, Tomato

Fresh Mint Ice Cream


Fresh Mint ice cream at TAG

Ingredients:

1 Cup whole milk

¾ cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch of salt

2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves

5 large egg yolks

Preparation:

Warm the milk, sugar,1 cup of the cream and salt in a small saucepan. Add the mint leaves and stir until they are immersed in the liquid. Cover and remove from the heat. Let steep at room temperature for one hour.

Strain the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan (the milk will be a nice shade of emerald green).Press on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavor as possible, then discard the mint leaves. Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.

Rewarm the mint-infused mixture. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the sauce pan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through a strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Freeze in an ice cream freezer about 45 minutes to an hour, until ice cream is set. Chill in a freezer for at least two hours before serving.

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Filed under dessert, Herb, Ice Cream, Mint