5 Main Dishes

de Puerto Rico

Carne Guisada PuertoRiquenna

1 tablespoon
vegetable oil

2 lbs trimmed beef top round steak, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup sofrito sauce (or to taste)
6 fresh cilantro leaves

4 cups water (or more)

1 beef bouillon

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon whole dried oregano, crushed

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 lb carrot, cut into rounds

1/2 lb potato, peeled and cubed

5 stalks celery, cut into rounds

salt (to taste)

Fried Plaintain

  • 2 plantains
  • 2 cups oil (for frying)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt

Flan de Vanilla

3 whole eggs

3 egg whites

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 can of evaporated milk

1 can of condensed milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3/4 cup of sugar

Arroz con Gandules

2 cups grain rice (rinsed)
4 to 5 cups of hot water, or beef broth- appx.
½ cup sofrito
16 ounce can of gandules
2 tablespoons of alcaparrado (cappers and olives mixed together)
1 packet of Sazon with achiote
1 can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons of oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Pescado con Mojo Isleno


  • two tablespoons white vinegar
  • one half cup extra virgin olive oil
  • two yellow onions
  • manzanilla olives (green or spanish olives)
  • three 8-oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • one jar pimientos
  • two bay leaves
  • one and one half cups water


  • two to four white fish filets
  • one clove peeled garlic
  • adobo for seasoning
  • two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Adobo can refer to either a sauce or a seasoning mixture. The dry seasoning is the principle seasoning ingedient for meat, poultry and fish dishes when it comes to Puerto Rican cooking, as well as many other Caribbean cultures. Adobo is a blend of garlic, oregano and other spices. It is inexpensive and can be found in your grocery store's ethnic foods aisle. Not only is it perfect for pescado con mojo isleno, but it can spice up any meat dish in your favorite recipes as well.


Sazon is a seasining sal commonly used in Latin American cooking. It consists of garlic, salt, achiote and cilantro. It is sold in individual packets in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store.


In Puerto Rico the term "cubito," when used in cooking, refers to a chicken buillon cube. While this ingredient may be neither unfamiliar nor exotic to the average cook, its Puerto Rican name could be very misleading. "Cubitos" are easily found in every grocery store, and are sold in inexpensive boxes of indivudal packets or "cubes".

Recaito and Sofrito

According to Carmen Aboy Valldejuli's book "Puerto Rican Cookery," sofrito is a combination of ingredients used as flavoring to give a distinctive taste to many native dishes. This combination typically consists of garlic, peppers, tomatoes, onions and herbs in Caribbean or Latin American cookery. Recaito is another combination of vegetables and herbs, similar to sofrito but with a cilantro base. Both are available in the ethnic aisle in a dry form or in the ethnic section of your grocer's freezer.

Pork BIts

Continuing with the piggy theme, we move on to pork bits. But this isn't so much a dish as a culinary best practice. Puerto Ricans can't get enough pork; if you've spent more than a day on the island, you'll probably have heard about lechon, or roast suckling pig. But the chow-down on the other white meat doesn't just end with the parts you love. The tail, snout, ear, and skin are all choice cuts of meat, and it's not hard to find one or more of them on a menu of a typical Puerto Rican eatery. One popular item on a local menu is patitas, or pigs' feet in creole sauce.