Von Diaz’s Essential Puerto Rican Recipes The journalist and cookbook author, who grew up traveling between Atlanta and Puerto Rico, collects dishes that tell stories about life on the island, and the flavors that bring her back to it. Print article: Von Diaz’s Essential Puerto Rican Recipes – The New York TimesRead More →

By Von Diaz YIELD 16 servings TIME 1/2 hours Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks. Print this recipe: Pastelillos de Guayaba (Guava Cheese Pastries) Recipe – NYT Cooking Panaderías in Puerto Rico are magical. Their brightly lit glass cases are lined with fresh-baked bread and rich pastries, begging you to order too many. As a child, I clamored for pastelillos (also called pastelitos) de guayaba. The pastries typically have a flaky crust and are filled with a generous smear of concentrated guava paste — an embodiment of tropical Caribbean flavor — and often with cheese, served glazedRead More →

By Von Diaz YIELD 6 servings TIME 45 minutes Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks. Print this recipe: Yuca con Mojo Recipe – NYT Cooking Yuca is among the most commonly eaten viandas — the local word for starchy fruits and vegetables, such as plantain and taro — in Puerto Rico. It is the root of the cassava, an extraordinarily resilient plant that was the principal food of the Indigenous Taínos of the island. Among its many preparations, this is my favorite: boiled yuca doused in a garlicky citrus mojo dressing, my grandmother’s recipe. She never wroteRead More →

By Von Diaz YIELD 2 servings TIME 15 minutes, plus marinating Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks. Print this recipe: Chillo-Frito (Fried Red Snapper) Recipe – NYT Cooking Fishing is an extraordinarily complex issue in Puerto Rico. Much of the seafood eaten doesn’t come from the island’s own waters, in part because of arcane legislation that controls fishing rights. And yet, whole deep-fried fish is a staple on the island, particularly along the west and southwest coast. There, you’ll find red snapper, simply marinated in adobo, fried and served with tostones, avocado salad and white rice. It is,Read More →

By Von Diaz YIELD About 1/2 cup TIME 5  minutes Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks. Print this Recipe: Sazón Recipe – NYT Cooking Cumin-heavy sazón is among the most commonly used spice blends in Puerto Rican cooking, and is also popular throughout Latin America. This seasoning is an incredible cheat, and is typically found in the international section of most supermarkets. Commercial brands are flavor bombs pumped with monosodium glutamate — MSG — that can make almost anything taste better. While I’m not MSG-phobic, I do prefer making my own blends to control both the flavorRead More →

By Kiera Wright-Ruiz YIELD3 to 4 servings TIME10 minutes Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich. A staple dish throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, tostones are crisp, flattened plantains that are often served as appetizers and side dishes. Unlike sweet maduros, which are made with very ripe, almost black, yellow plantains, savory tostones are made with unripe green plantains. Tostones are fried twice: The first fry sears the cut sides of the plantains, establishing a base layer of color; the second fry ensures that every edge is golden and crunchy. Tostoneras, wooden tools designed to create the perfect tostone shape,Read More →

By Kiera Wright-Ruiz YIELD 4 servings TIME 10 minutes Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich. Tender in the middle and crisp at the edges, maduros, or sweet fried plantains, are served as a side dish throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Plantains change color as they ripen: They are firm when green and unripe, then soften as they turn yellow, and eventually, black. Like bananas, plantains develop more sugar as time passes. For the sweetest maduros, use blackened plantains — they have the most sugar, and will yield a more caramelized result. If you can only find yellow ones atRead More →

By Von Diaz YIELD4 servings TIME30 minutes Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Print this recipe: Mofongo Recipe – NYT Cooking Easily the most popular classic Puerto Rican dish, mofongo is flavorful, satisfying and layered with history. The ingredients and process reference the island’s Indigenous and African roots alongside Spanish flavors. While this preparation uses chicharrón or pork cracklings, you can easily make it vegan by omitting the pork and adding a little extra garlic and olive oil. The trick to great mofongo is to work quickly: Heat your garlic and olive oil mojo while your plantains are frying, and smashRead More →

Recipe from Carmen Valldejuli Adapted by Von Diaz YIELD6 servings TIME1 1/2 hours Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks. Print this recipe: Pollo en Fricasé Recipe – NYT Cooking The ultimate comfort food, this dish bears the mark of Spanish and French colonial influence, but takes a decidedly Puerto Rican approach. Bone-in chicken thighs are braised to perfection in a rich, oniony, tomato-based sauce with a lot of garlic, balanced with white wine and vinegar, and punctuated by briny olives and capers. Potatoes are added toward the end, for a satisfying meal. Like so many Puerto RicanRead More →

Sofrito Recipe – NYT Cooking YIELDAbout 2 1/4 cups TIME5 minutes Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks. Print this recipe: Sofrito Recipe – NYT Cooking Sofrito — a blend of garlic, onions, peppers and recao (culantro) — is the backbone of Puerto Rican flavor. Also referred to as recaito, it’s typically sautéed in oil as the foundation for sauces, braises, beans, stews and rice dishes. It’s also adaptable, and can yield a lighter, more verdant flavor if sautéed for 2 to 3 minutes, and a richer flavor if sautéed for 7 to 10 minutes and combinedRead More →