These Belizean recipes were compiled by a former expat living in Belize. They are quick and easy.
Belizean Stew Beans
Fresh Red Kidney beans
Oil – For best results use Coconut Oil.
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
* If the beans float, they’re not totally fresh!
Clean the beans and cover with two inches of water. Boil an hour. Add Onion, Pepper, and Oil. Simmer until tender, adding water as required to keep the beans well covered.
Soak the beans overnight, or bring water to a boil, turn off the stove and let the beans sit for an hour. Discard that soaking water and wash beans thoroughly. Heat pot, coat the bottom of the pan with a little oil, and refill with water. (The oil helps to prevent sticking. )
In addition to onion, add 1/4 to 1/2 diced small green pepper. Add 1 TBSP Chili Powder (Gebharts, if possible) Optionally, add 2 TBSP Tomato Paste. Add 2 Tsp chicken granules. (All of this adds lots of flavor and body to the beans.). Cook the beans until really soft. Turn off the fire, cover and let stand for an hour. In the tropics, the beans will continue to cook!
For Refried Beans: Coat the inside of an iron skillet or aluminum roaster with coconut oil. Add beans and cook until the mix begins to thicken. Smash up the beans with a potato masher, or in a blender / food processor. Add 1 can Salsa Casera, and continue to cook until the beans thicken to the right consistency.
NOTE: If you pour off the water on BLACK BEANS (Frijoles Negros) you will pour off most of the colour!! Don’t do that. Keep the water. Also, don’t put green pepper or tomato paste in black beans! If you have Apasote (a local herb), add this. It will make the beans taste better and have less gas.
Belizean Stew Beans and Rice
Belizean Beans and Rice are simply that. Beans, served over White Rice. Here’s a foolproof recipe for white rice.
1 Cup Rice
1 1/2 Cups Water
Add the rice to the water and bring to a hard boil. Turn down to a gentle boil and PAY ATTENTION. The water will cook down until it disappears in the holes in the rice. (The water will be about 1/4″ below the surface of the rice. If it’s lower than that, add a little water.) Turn the flame down as low as possible (I use a comal –a big aluminum disk– to cut the heat even more) and cover the pot. Cook, without looking, for 20 minutes. Turn off the fire. The rice can stand for up to 15 minutes more before serving. Serves 3.
Tip: As soon as you’ve served all the rice, run cold water in the pan. It will lift the stuck rice right off the bottom!
Belizean Stew Chicken
One chicken, whole or cut up
1 Packet (1 Tbsp) Chicken Granules
2 TBSP chopped Onion OR MORE!!
1 Ball Red Recado
Newer. If it’s cut up, pepper the chicken well and brown it in some oil. Take out the pieces and brown the onion. Make broth with the granules, add it to everything, and bring to a boil. In a little dish, dissolve the recado. (CAUTION: This will stain your clothes, fingers, towels, etc.] Use your fingers to work it into a paste or soup. It will wash off your fingers eventually. Add recado and cook chicken until it’s starting to fall of the bones. Use in other recipes or serve bones and all.
Tips: When the chicken is done, but not off the bones, separate the chicken meat from the bones, skin, and feet. Use the meat for Taquitos and other dishes.
These are a lot easier to make if you have a food processor If you have one of those, you just put the conch in and it beats it to smithereens. Without it, you have to lots of pounding and cutting, to get the conch to be tender. (Conch tastes like abalone, but it’s a lot tougher!!) Here’s the combination, courtesy of the Hospital Auxiliary Cook Book.
Step 1. Put all of this in the food processor.
1 lb Cleaned Conch (drop this in, a piece at a time, while the machine is running)
1 oz. sweet green or red pepper
1/2 habañero pepper (or equivalent Marie Sharp’s Habañero Sauce)
1 oz. tomatoes
1 oz. onions
Step 2: Sieve this together and then add to blend from Step 1.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Step 3: Add as much of this liquid to form a stiff consistency.
1. cup water
1 TBSP lime juice
Fry in deep fat by dropping spoonfuls. Fritters will be golden to deep brown. Big spoonfuls for a main dish; small spoonfuls for an appetizer. Dry on absorbent paper.
Serve with sections of lime, cocktail sauce and/or tartar sauce
2 Cups Flour
1/4 Cup Shortening
1 tsp Baking Powder (prove)
About 3/8 Cup Water
1/4 tsp Salt
Mix dry ingredients well. Cut in shortening with a fork until it disappears. Add water & knead until you have dough. (Add water, one tsp at a time, if it’s too dry.) Cover & allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut into six equal pieces and knead each piece until you can make a nice round ball. Coat the inside of a flat bottomed bowl with shortening. Flatten each ball into a round tortilla on the bottom of the bowl. (Sebastiani, our housekeeper, greases the countertop with Crisco and uses that.) Fry tortillas on a hot comal until they are slightly brown on both sides. The comal should be VERY hot, and if you cook too long, the tortillas will be tough.
These are perfect in place of plain old bread at breakfast. Use the recipe above, but form the dough into an apple turnover shape (triangular) and fry in fairly deep fat until they brown and puff up. Wonderful with honey or Gallon Jug jams.
You can fry the green ones in oil or fat, but they don’t taste like much to me! A plantain is an essential part of every Belizean meal. Here’s the way they taste REALLY GOOD.
1. Choose plantains that are really ripe. (If these were bananas, they’d be ready to throw away.)
2. Slice them into long skinny slices. There are lots of ways to do this, and I am still experimenting.
3. Fry them on the grill or in an iron skillet in a) real butter, b) extra virgin olive oil or c) margarine. Fry them until they are brown on both sides. This doesn’t take long, and they can burn or overcook if you don’t pay attention.
4. Serve them with sour cream. Plantains and Sour Cream is a dish fit for the gods. Fried Plantains are good; Plantains and Sour Cream are GREAT.
Boiled potatoes (red are best)
1 can Mixed Vegetables,
Heinz Salad Creme,
salt and pepper
Milk (canned or fresh)
several boiled and sliced eggs.
Slice & cube potatoes as preferred. Stir in Mixed Veggies & Salad Creme. If you can’t get Heinz Salad Creme, use Kraft Miracle Whip or Lime Mayonesa (see here) Moisten with milk until creamy & garnish with sliced boiled eggs.