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Sancocho De Gallina (Colombian Chicken Soup)
Sobrebarriga (Colombian Flank Steak)
Colombian Arepas
Ajiaco Bogotano


Sancocho De Gallina (Colombian Chicken Soup)


-1 1/2 Quarts chicken stock 
-1 Yucca root, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
-2 Plantains, peeled, halved, and sliced into thirds lengthwise
-2 Red potatoes, peeling optional, cut into chunks
-3 Whole skinless chicken breasts, quartered with bones left on
-2 Lemons, juice of
-1 Teaspoon cumin
-6-8 Scallions
-1 Bunch cilantro
-Salt and pepper to taste
-For the Roux
     -2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
     -2 Tablespoons butter

In one cup of the chicken stock, simmer the scallions, cilantro, and cumin for 5 minutes. Set it aside until it is cool, then process in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth, green-colored puree to be added to the final soup.

In the remaining 1 ¼ quarts of chicken stock, simmer the quartered, skinned chicken breasts. Skim off the scum that results and discard. The chicken will take about 1 hour to cook.

As the chicken is simmering, add the cut up, peeled yucca, and the cut up potatoes. Continue to skim off the scum after the yucca and potatoes are added.

30 minutes prior to the end of cooking, add the cut up plaintains.

10 minutes before completion of the cooking phase, add the processed scallions-cilantro-cumin mixture and the juice from the 2 lemons.

Combine the flour and the butter for the roux and microwave for 30 seconds. The result should be a yellowish sludge.

Add the roux to the soup and stir to blend well.




-1/2 lb. All-purpose flour
-1/4 Cup water
-1 Pinch salt
Ingredients for Arequipe (Cajeta):
-4 Liters milk
-2 lbs Sugar

Place the flour in a bowl and slowly add the water while stirring until it becomes a very liquid mixture (similar to pancake mix).

In a machine to make obleas (similar to a waffle maker except that it is flat) pour in the center of the hot plate one tablespoon of the mixture, then flatten it with the other hot plate.

Let it toast a bit, then remove the circle from the plate.

Do the same for the next circle, and so on until the mixture is finished.

You need two circles to make one oblea.

Arequipe (Ariquipe):

Combine the milk and the sugar in a large saucepan and let it simmer while constantly stirring with a wooden or heavy plastic spoon, (do not use metal as it will cristalize the milk) until you see the milk changing colour to a nice light brown. Its consistency should be thicker at that time. It needs to be stirred for about 3 to 5 hours. You have to be very patient because the stirring has to be constant so it won't stick to the pot.

Then let it cool down before tasting or spreading it on the oblea.

Making the oblea:

Place one circle on a plate and spread as much arequipe as you want over it. Place another circle on top. The oblea is now ready to be eaten.


Sobrebarriga (Colombian Flank Steak)

-2 lbs. Flank steaks, trimmed of all fat
-1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
-Fresh ground pepper
-3 Teaspoons vegetable oil (for marinade)
-1 Cup coarsely chopped onions
-1/2 Cup diced celery
-1 Teaspoon minced garlic
-4 Small tomatoes
-3 Teaspoons oil (for frying)
-2 Cups water
-12 Ounces beer
-1/2 Teaspoon salt
-1 Teaspoon ground cumin

Marinate the meat overnight with the salt, pepper, vegetable oil, onions, celery, garlic, and tomatoes.

The next day, heat 3 tsp oil over high heat in a heavy Dutch oven and add the steak; brown it quickly on all sides without burning.

Transfer the steak to a plate and sauté the vegetables until they are soft but not brown.

Return the meat to the Dutch oven. Pour in the water and beer and bring to a boil.

Cover the Dutch oven and cook slowly for about two hours until the meat is tender. The last hour of cooking add the final ½ tsp of salt and the 1 tsp of ground cumin.

Finally remove the flank steak and put on an oven-proof plate. Top with onions, etc., and brown under the broiler.


Colombian Arepas

-1 Cup precooked white cornmeal
-1 Cup water
-1 Tablespoon butter
-Salt, to taste

Bring water to a boil and add it to the corn meal, stirring thoroughly. Add the butter and salt to taste.

Form into several flat tortillas (4 to 6 inches diameter, 1/8 inch thick) and roast over a low charcoal fire or on a wire rack over the burner of your stove.

Serve hot with butter and fresh white cheese.

Ajiaco Bogotano

1 (3 lb.) chicken, cut into small pieces
2 qt. cold water
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. thyme
1 T. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 lb. tiny boiling potatoes, peeled and halved
5 ears corn, cut into 2-inch rounds
1 C. plus 2 T. heavy cream
2 T. capers, drained and rinsed in cold water
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced or cubed

In a heavy 5-quart pot, combine the chicken and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface. Add the onion, bay leaf, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Transfer the chicken to a platter. Remove the onion and strain the stock through a fine sieve. Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. But the chicken meat into strips. Return the strained stock in the pot to a boil over moderate heat; add the potatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash them against the side of the pan until the soup is thick and fairly smooth. Add the corn and chicken and simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the tenderness of the corn.

To serve, pour 3 tablespoons of cream and 1 teaspoon of capers into each of 6 deep soup bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls and float the avocado on top. Serves 6.


Updated: 16 June 2008


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