Tofu or White Fish Salad (Ensalada de Bacalao)

This dish is part of La Cocina de Leslie’s Food of the Month Club. The theme is side dishes and the round-up is this Friday, so check it out if you need to decide on what you’re serving for friends and family over the holidays.

Tofu or White Fish Salad (Ensalada de Bacalao)

Firm tofu OR white fish 1 lb. cooked (The fish can be boiled or dried. Traditionally the fish is codfish, it is not breaded, and it is not seasoned unless it is dried and salted.)

Basic vinaigrette

Spanish sweet onion 1 large, peeled

Garlic 2 cloves, peeled

Red bell peppers 2, washed, stemmed, and seeded

Avocado 1

Cherry or grape tomatoes 13, washed

Corn 1/2 cup

Pimiento stuffed olives 1/2 cup

1. In a blender, blend the vinaigrette with the onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Use that as the salad dressing. If the taste if too strong for you (it is for me), mix it with 1 cup of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise.

2. Stir dressing immediately before serving.

Salad DressingFish Salad

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Vegetable Salad (Serenata)

[Un]Happy Krampusnacht! Since it’s a holiday, I chose to post a salad with a festive name: serenata (serenade, as a the serenade of flavors). This dish is part of La Cocina de Leslie’s Food of the Month Club. Be sure to check out all the side dish submissions December 15.

Vegetable Salad (Serenata)

Choose two or more of these (1 lb. each, boiled and diced): green banana, plantain, yuca, yautía, malanga, potato, batata boniato, breadfruit, yam (ñame), common sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), pumpkin, and/or squash (The most commonly used for serenata are potatoes and yuca, in which case you would use 1 lb. of red potatoes and 1 lb. or yuca. I used 1 lb. russet potato and 1 lb. common sweet potato.)

Basic vinaigrette

Spanish sweet onion 1 large: peeled

Red bell peppers 2, washed, stemmed, and seeded

Cherry or grape tomatoes, washed 26

Avocado 2, diced

1. In a blender, blend the vinaigrette with the onion and bell pepper. Use that as the salad dressing. If the taste if too strong for you (it is for me), mix it with 1 cup of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise.

2. Stir dressing immediately before serving.

Salad DressingRoot Vegetable Salad

Tofu or Octopus Salad (Ensalada de Pulpo)

Since the last Monday of the month is New Year’s Day, I’m going to omit that day and post a second time this week instead on Krampusnacht (December 6). This dish is part of La Cocina de Leslie’s Food of the Month Club (this month is devoted to side dishes).

Tofu or Octopus Salad (Ensalada de Pulpo)

Firm tofu OR octopus 1 lb. cooked

Basic vinaigrette

Red onion 1/2 of one large: peeled

Garlic 1 clove, peeled

Red bell pepper 1/2 of one: washed, stemmed, and seeded

Corn 1/2 cup

Pimiento stuffed olives 1/2 cup

Cilantro 1 tbsp, washed and coarsely chopped

Dried bay leaves 2

1. In a blender, blend the vinaigrette with the onion, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, and bay leaves. Use that as the salad dressing. If the taste if too strong for you (it is for me), mix it with 1 cup of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise.

2. Stir dressing immediately before serving.

Dressing for Ensalada de PulpoOctopus Salad

Cinnamon Syrup (Miel de Chancaca)

Happy Orisha Day!! Stay tuned for another post tomorrow for Day of the Dead!

Cinnamon Syrup (Miel de Chancaca)

Traditionally, this syrup is used for drizzling on top of picarones (click for my picarones recipe)Miel means “honey,” but there is neither honey nor other nectars in the syrup. Chancaca is the Peruvian word for unrefined cane sugar (aka piloncillo). I tried using brown sugar and molasses (the standard substitute for unrefined cane sugar), but that gave the syrup a strawberry-flavored cough syrup taste. However, it tasted good once I used ordinary brown sugar. I don’t recommend trying dark brown sugar, because that’s another form of unrefined cane sugar (piloncillo/chancaca comes in a conical shape that you slice pieces off of).

Brown sugar (not dark brown sugar) 1 1/4 cup

Red wine 1 cup

Orange juice 1 tsp

Lemon juice 1 tsp

Ground allspice 1/4 tsp

Ground cloves 1/4 tsp

Ground cinnamon 1 tsp

  1. Heat all ingredients on medium-low until warm, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. This syrup can be as thick as honey, because not all versions use alcohol, so if you want this recipe to come out thick, add cornstarch.
  2. Serve warm.