Braille Monitor                                                    January 2009

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The recipes this month come from members of the NFB of Puerto Rico.

Gelatin with Cheese
by Dorali Santiago

Dorali Santiago is the mother of Kemuel Pérez, an eight-year-old blind child.

2 large packages gelatin dessert of different flavors
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

Method: The day before, prepare one package of the flavored gelatin according to package directions and pour into a pan or mold that is large enough to accommodate the final dessert. Early in day stir one cup of boiling water into the two envelopes of unflavored gelatin in a bowl and allow to stand for at least two minutes to soften and dissolve completely. Pour into a blender with the condensed milk and cream cheese. Blend until the cream cheese dissolves completely. Pour the cheese mixture over the set flavored gelatin and refrigerate for at least four hours, or until firm to a light touch. Meantime prepare second package of flavored gelatin and set aside or chill slightly, but do not allow to set. When the first two layers are set, pour the liquid gelatin over the top and return to the refrigerator to set completely. To serve, loosen edges and dip mold into hot water for about ten seconds. Invert mold on serving plate and shake gently to free the dessert. Repeat the hot water bath till the mold loosens. You may wish to chill the mold on the plate again before serving.

Tomato and Cheese Salad
by Dorali Santiago

3 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cups lettuce or cabbage, torn in bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 slices fried bacon, crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Mix all ingredients in a crystal bowl, and the salad is ready to serve.

Quail Stuffed with Rice and Pigeon Peas
by Mayra Fred

Mayra Fred is the mother of Yatska Díaz, an eleven-year-old blind child; both are members of our affiliate.

1 can of pigeon peas
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, peeled, chopped, and seeded
1 tablespoon achiote coloring (1/2 cup tomato sauce may be substituted)
1 tablespoon olives
1/2 tablespoon capers
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup rice, uncooked
Salt to taste
2 ounces smoked ham, chopped
1 1/2 cup water
2 quails
Garlic salt to taste

Method: Season the quails to taste with garlic salt and set aside. Pour the water into a pot, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. In another pan pour olive oil and heat to moderately high temperature. Sauté smoked ham. Add onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, and simmer for a few minutes. Add capers, olives, achiote coloring, and pigeon peas. Mix well and let cook for two to three minutes. Add the rice and boiling water. Mix thoroughly. Cook slowly until the liquid has evaporated. Stir, cover, and cook until the rice is tender. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange quails in a baking dish and bake for twenty minutes. Take the quails out of the oven, stuff them with the rice and pigeon peas, and return them to the oven for fifteen more minutes.

Note: Quails can also be stuffed with mofongo--mashed boiled green plantains seasoned with olive oil and garlic. Some people in Puerto Rico prefer this dish for Thanksgiving dinner. Goes well with any vegetable salad, mashed potatoes, or potato salad. One quail serves two people.

Coffee Flan
by Vanessa Torres

Vanessa Torres and Tomás CintrónVanessa Torres is the wife of Tomás Cintrón, a longtime NFB member and a tenBroek Fellow.

4 eggs
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/3 cup coffee

Ingredients for glazing caramel:
1 cup sugar

Method: Place the cup of sugar in a nonporous, heavy metal saucepan or skillet over moderately low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts completely (caramelizes). Continue cooking until sugar reaches the desired color, from light to dark. Do not burn. The whole process takes about ten minutes. Caramelize the mold by pouring the liquid sugar into an eight-inch round mold at least three inches deep. Move the mold in a circular pattern in order to cover the bottom with the caramelized sugar. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 325 or 350 degrees. Beat the eggs lightly, just enough to blend them. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Strain this mixture and add the coffee. Pour flan mixture into the caramelized flan mold and place it in a larger pan of hot water or bain-marie. Bake for about an hour or until it is firm to the touch or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let flan cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for about three hours before serving.

Peanut Butter Línbers
by Nitza Martínez and Alvin Díaz

Alvin DiazNitza and Alvin are a mother and an eight-year-old blind child who recently joined our affiliate.

1 large can of Carnation evaporated milk
1 evaporated milk can of water
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar or sugar to taste

Method: Mix all ingredients well in a saucepan. Stir over moderate heat until the peanut butter melts. Remove from heat and let cool for about ten minutes. Pour into four-ounce plastic cups. Freeze for at least two hours. Our delicious Línbers were named for Charles Augustus Lindbergh, the U. S. aviator, who made a stop in Puerto Rico in his first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in 1927. Some of the traditional flavors are guava, tamarind, soursop, mango, coconut, orange, and other tropical fruits. They can be made by freezing the mixture in plastic cups or in an ice cube tray. They are so easy to make that your kids can help you make them. Great for hot days. This recipe fills nine four-ounce cups.

Rum Shrimp Stew
by Lydia Usero

Lydia UseroLydia Usero is a founding member and first vice president of our affiliate.

2 pounds shelled and deveined raw shrimp
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 yellow onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 fresh cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup Puerto Rican rum (or substitute)

Method: In a mortar grind the pepper, garlic, onion, salt, cilantro, olive oil, and vinegar to make a paste. Combine the shrimp, tomato, and rum in a deep skillet and add the paste. (You may add a small amount of water, if the liquid of the tomato is not sufficient.) Cook for three to four minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp. Note: Serve over any type of rice. It goes well with tostones, patties of mashed fried green plantains. Try them, you will love them. Serves six.

Puerto Rican Stew (Sancocho)
by Odette Quiñones

Odette Quiñones is a founding member and hard worker in our affiliate. She is the loving mother of our first vice president, Lydia Usero.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 cups corn kernels (frozen may be used)
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 green plantains, peeled and quartered
2 yautias, peeled and cubed (a tropical tuber like a yam or potato)
1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 pound pumpkin, peeled and quartered
1 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 pounds cubed stew beef
1 pound cubed pork shoulder
2 1/2 quarts cool water
Salt and ground pepper to taste

Method: Heat the oil in a deep kettle and add peppers, garlic, and onions. Cook for two to three minutes. Add the meat, cilantro, celery, and oregano. Cook for fifteen to twenty minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Then add water to cover the other ingredients. Cook for two and a half hours or until the meat is tender. Note: For a thicker soup mash some of the vegetables and stir them thoroughly into the liquid. Sancocho is great for cold days. It goes well with garlic bread or our scrumptious tostones. Delicious. Makes ten to twelve servings.

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