International Dinner #36: Venezuela


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Venezuela! Looking through cuisine for Venezuela I saw so many things i was quite keen to cook, but settled on these dishes and they were within the realms of familiarity – but different enough to maybe cause some resistance amongst the tribe… Sam did ask to help with the deep frying of the Tequeños, and Ethan was very well behaved on a weekend shop for ingredients, and we got the whole dinner made and finished before their theoretical bedtime, so everyone was still in a good mood and not overtired…

frying(SML) Tequeños(SML)Cheesy(SML)

Tequeños (Deep fried bread and cheese sticks)

I must admit when I first saw this dish I thought “Man, that’s a lot of cheese!” But turns out it wasn’t too bad, plus it was bound to be a hit with ‘Cheese Boy’, Ryan. I actually didn’t think it would be that tasty, but I’m pleased to say I was wrong, and we have a few frozen to fry up another day!

Really simple to make. A slightly sweet dough, rolled thin and wrapped around small sticks of cheese – then deep fried.

Ryan ate them no problem – in the end he stated “I love them so much, I can’t eat anymore” not quite sure what that means! Even Sam who is not much of a cheese eater due to a dairy allergy when he was younger had one and enjoyed it. Ethan was the only hold out – he was just in a mood where he wouldn’t even have a taste – pity, but that meant more for me!

Sam’s rating: 10/10
Ryan’s rating:

Pan_de_Jamón(SML) Pabellón_Criollo(SML)

Pan de Jamon (Ham Bread)
Pabellón Criolllo (Shredded Beef, Black Beans, Rice and Fried Plantains)

It’s just turned December so I felt justified choosing a Christmas bread as part of the dinner, plus, it looked interesting – I mean, Ham, Raisins and Olive is an interesting filling for a bread. I was a good buttery dough. Rolled flat and then the fillings layered on and rolled up to form a loaf. Simple enough and yet visually appealing once you cut into it. I really enjoyed the bread, Sam took out the olives as he only likes black olives (noted for next time – however the green and red is much more festive), Ryan was a little more picky – literally – picking out all the fillings, even though he likes ham! and raisins! Ethan munch away, but he doesn’t eat crusts (or skin as he calls it!)

The sweet and salty went well together, and the next day the ham was more like prosciutto – bonus!

There were quite a few tasty looking Venezuelan mains – but I settled on this one because it had ingredients the boys would recognised prepared in a different way. The beans would be the only thing they might get stuck on – but as long as they gave them a go! The shredded meat was very tasty, and tender – but you get that when you’ve simmered something for an hour and a half.

How’d the boys go? Well… not too bad. Straight off the bat both of them said they didn’t like the beans (I served them separately from the rice for them), it could have been the colour, but I was kind of expecting that. But they did eat all there meat, and most of the rice, I forgot the fried plantains until halfway through the meal, the boys really didn’t want theirs fried, so I just gave them uncooked bananas which they ate no problem – surprise surprise!

All in all it was very nice, and apart from the length of time to prepare and shred the meat I think we would have it again.

Sam’s rating: 8/10
Ryan’s rating:
Sam’s rating: 7/10
Ryan’s rating:


Arroz con Leche (Milk Pudding)
literally translates to Rice with Milk

I’ve been wanting to make a rice dessert for the boys, so they can see that rice can also be a sweet food and not just a side to the main meal, and this recipe looked like the ideal chance, and it looked interesting and tasty. Really simple to make, but again a lot of time on the stove boiling away, we had 3 gas burners going at once for this international dinner.

When they discovered it was rice they were really averse to the idea, Ryan screwed his face up – “this is rice?” It’s mainly milk I replied… To his credit he did try a couple of mouthfuls but then pulled out the “I’m too full” excuse. Sam ate half of his and then said he’d like to save it for tomorrow because he too, was too full. And well Ethan… he ate it – but insisted he only wanted “Just the brown bit” Haha! Just the cinnamon topping, well he got the topping, but my wife made sure that there was a good helping of rice in under that brown – and he ate it no problem – until we ran out of brown!

Main thing – they all tried it.

To me it was just a little too sweet, I’d reduce the amount of sugar in it – and I might adjust it a little and post the recipe.

Sam’s rating: 6/10
Ryan’s rating: