Blog Posts by Lili's Latin Kitchen

  • Abuela’s Famous Rice Pudding

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Arroz con lecheArroz con lecheAbuela used to sing a children's song called Arroz con Leche as she cooked desserts, pastries and her famous rice pudding. The smell of the sweet treat invaded the entire house making it almost impossible not to ask for a sample. And once the pudding was fully cooked, we still had to wait a few hours until it cooled down in the fridge. Finally, we were allowed to try the anticipated dessert after dinner…and it never lasted through the night.

    I always thought it was very difficult to make arroz con leche, until I conquered it with my sister Marcela a few weeks ago. There's no way of messing this one up!


    Pouring the milkPouring the milkIngredients
    (6 servings)
    1 cup rice
    ¾ cup water
    1 cup milk
    ½ cup condensed milk
    1 cinnamon stick
    ½ cup half & half
    ½ cup raisins

    Indulge in this dish after succulent pork chops with cilantro tzatziki

    Creamy and sweetDirections
    Place the rice in a pot set at low heat. Add the water, and let the rice cook for about 30 minutes or until the water has

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  • A Light and Crunchy Salad with a Twist of Limón

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Avocado saladIn Latin America, it is very common to add lime and salt to fruits and vegetables. Mango and radishes are two of my favorite lime-salted treats. My mom found this to be the only way I ate my veggies, so she began to add limón y sal to everything.

    My mom is a weekday-vegetarian by choice. She has a unique passion for vegetables, and through the years she's found delicious ways to satisfy her semi-vegetarianism. My all time favorite recipe is her avocado-lime, leafless salad filled with color and crunch. This is the same concept of fruits and vegetables with limón y sal, but she adds olive oil to make the salad less tangy. I make it at nighttime when I come back from work and want to eat something light, yet filling.

    Prepping the veggiesIngredients
    (4 servings)
    ½ red pepper, julienned
    ½ red onion, julienned
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    1 tomato, chopped
    ¼ cup carrots, shredded
    2 Hass avocados
    2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
    ¼ tsp. sea salt
    11/2 tbsp. rosemary leaves

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  • A Hearty Colombian Soup Rich in Flavor and Tradition

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    AjiacoSoups and stews are popular dishes in my family. Growing up, my parents had lunch gatherings at our finca (or farm) on weekends, and the entire family would come over for some delicious ajiaco, a traditional Colombian soup. My family made the soup in a large, clay pot, and cooked it slowly over firewood for four to six hours while everyone sipped wine, savored appetizers and listened to romantic music playing in the distance. By the time lunch was ready, it was already dinnertime. But that didn't matter, because everyone would gather at dusk to enjoy a steaming bowl of ajiaco around the fireplace.

    The key ingredient to the traditional ajiaco is a small potato called papa criolla, often found frozen in Latin supermarkets. While the soup cooks, the potato dissolves creating the desired creamy texture. Typically, we serve it with capers, and top it with a little bit of heavy cream for richness.


    Ajiaco ingredientsAjiaco ingredientsIngredients
    (20 servings)
    16 cups water

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  • Easy Hash Browns with a Chorizo Kick

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Hash browns with chorizoAs long as I can remember, Sunday barbecues have been like a religion for my family. Not only do we grill the usual steaks and sausages, but we also cook lots of side dishes to enjoy with the meat. Typically, we make rice, tostones, guacamole and yucca, but the one item that we never miss is papa salada. It's basically unpeeled, boiled potatoes which get salted right after removing them from the water.

    Usually we have leftover papa salada and chorizo, which then becomes the perfect Monday breakfast. My mom found a way of using these two ingredients in a delicious chorizo hash brown dish; she shreds the cold potatoes, and then adds chorizo to the mix. The chorizo adds salt and just enough spiciness to the potatoes. ¡Es perfecto!

    Chopped chorizoIngredients
    (1 serving)
    1 chorizo, chopped
    2 potatoes, unpeeled and cooked
    Cilantro sprigs

    Serve this recipe with my avocado breakfast salad for brunch


    Shred the potatoes (while still cold from the

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  • Bogotá-style Hot Toddy

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Vino caliente from BogotáBogotá is a beautiful city where temperatures stay mostly in the 60s or 70s year round. When the sun sets and the temperature starts to go down, it's common to see people ordering warm cocktails at bars and restaurants. In fact, one of the most popular drinks around is vino caliente (hot wine), a beverage found mostly in the city's art district.

    Last week, I was visiting family in Bogotá, and my friend Gio took me to a place called "La tienda de café". It's a lovely bar that serves traditional Colombian food and drinks. As soon as I looked at the menu, the first item listed was vino caliente. So, I immediately went up to the bartender and together we made the best hot wine I've ever had.


    This Vino Caliente recipe includes Grand Marnier and cinnamonIngredients
    (1 serving)
    2 oz. orange brandy
    1 oz. triple sec
    3 oz. fresh orange juice
    4 1/2 oz. merlot
    1 cinnamon stick
    ¼ lime
    Sugar to taste
    ¼ orange wedge

    Try this recipe with my cilantro and

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  • Quick and Easy Tuna Ceviche

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Tuna Coconut CevicheMi hermana Natalia lived with her husband in a sailboat for a few years. During her travels, she was exposed to the culinary world of the Colombian coast- an area known for its abundance of fresh food. She learned everything from the proper way to barbecue seafood onboard to making meat conserves while at sea that lasted up to three years. One of my favorite dishes was her easy-to-make tuna and coconut ceviche, common in Baru, a small island off the shore.

    During my last visit to her house in Bogotá, I asked her to make that same tuna dish. With pen and paper in hand, I carefully took note of the recipe and ingredients expecting this to be a long and complex process. To my surprise, thirty minutes into the cooking we were already serving dinner. Enjoy!

    Diced fresh tunaIngredients
    (4 servings)
    3 limes, juiced
    1 lb. fresh tuna, diced
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1/2 cup shredded carrots
    1/2 small white onion, julienned
    1 red bell pepper, julienned

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  • A Detox Drink Without the Suffering

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Detox smoothieDetox smoothieGrowing up, mi nana made exotic juice blends I refused to drink. She chased me down for hours with juice in hand until I finally gave in. But once I took the first sip, I always asked for more. Sometimes she'd blend spinach and guava, or pineapple, garlic and celery. Over time I learned not to ask what was in the juice because it all sounded very weird to me.

    Every January, she made a detox beverage that was delightful, colorful and delicious mixing papaya, orange, carrot, ginger and honey. Besides being the perfect morning juice, it is packed with vitamin C, giving your metabolism a great kick start. Nana made this smoothie at least once a month, but after eating all that rich holiday food, it was on the family's menu every day for a full week. ¡Bienvenido 2013!

    Main ingredientsIngredients
    (1 serving)
    3 oranges, juiced
    3 oz. papaya
    ½ cup shredded carrots
    1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
    1 tbsp. honey

    Try this recipe with my healthy avocado-egg salad


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  • Fig-infused Rum Cocktail

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Fig infused cocktail Fig infused cocktail

    I lived in New York while I studied film; Union Square holds a year-round farmers market on Tuesdays. While in the summer the market is usually filled with fresh fruits and herbs, in the winter it carries lots of jams, dried fruit and ciders. I loved to stop by after school, and buy an apple cider to warm up. Sometimes the cider vendor offered a delicious rum and fig infusion that was served over ice; it has a particularly floral aroma that blended perfectly with the fruit flavor. I never came across the drink again after leaving the Big Apple.

    Rose herbs Rose herbs

    During a recent business trip to Paris, I stumbled upon a lovely store filled with teas and infusions of all sorts. I came across rose infusion that brought back the memory of the fig drink. I had to buy it, and attempt my own version of the cocktail.

    Try this drink with my holiday buñuelos

    Figs muddled with rum over iceFigs muddled with rum over ice

    ¼ cup water
    1 tbsp. rose herbs
    1 tsp. brown sugar
    1 fig, get one slice and

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  • A Jelly Roll Fit for Three Kings

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Brazo de ReinaBrazo de ReinaEvery January 6th, we celebrate "Día de Reyes" in Latin America to commemorate the visit of the Three Wise Men to the Christmas manger. It's the culmination of the holiday season, and for many, the last day of vacation before going back to school and work. On this date, we exchange gifts and cook a traditional meal that includes a rosca or baked sweet bread.

    In my family, we call our rosca "Brazo de Reina", a pastry roll filled with strawberries and dulce de leche. The most challenging part of this dessEggs beat to stiff peaksEggs beat to stiff peaksert is rolling the fillings inside the bread without breaking it, but I've got a very specific technique that involves using a wet towel to roll it. It will actually take very little time to make it, from beginning to end, giving you more time to enjoy with your family.

    Try this dish with my Colombian eggnog


    (6 servings)
    6 eggs, separating egg whites from yolks
    6 tbsp. sugar
    6 tbsp. baking powder

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  • Pork Chops with Cilantro Tzatziki: Greek Food with a Latin Touch

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Pork chops and cilantro tzatziki Pork chops and cilantro tzatziki

    Hoping to avoid the summer crowds, I traveled to Europe this past September; the weather was fabulous and the tourist madness had dissipated. I started in Madrid, where I stayed for a few days enjoying some excellent tapas and wine; then, I moved on to Prague and Paris. I found my favorite spot in Greece, though. In its quaint island of Santorini, famous for its sunsets, charisma and exquisite local food, I took in the sights and cuisine.

    During my tour of Imerovigli, I discovered a restaurant overlooking a volcano called "La Maison". cucumber and cilantro chopped cucumber and cilantro chopped And what a place it was! The attention was unimaginable, the sunset view arresting, and the food was absolutely exquisite. I ordered lamb chops with tzatziki sauce, which is Greek yogurt blended with cucumber, lime and dill. The lamb chops were juicy and tender, cooked to perfection- a true culinary experience!

    Cucumber and Greek yogurtCucumber and Greek yogurt

    A few days ago, I was craving that very meal and headed to the supermarket to find similar

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