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Five Easy Honduran Dishes for Christmas

Photo by: Hector de Pereda/flickr.com

Christmas is right around the corner and once again, we will all be gathering around the dinner table with friends and family to celebrate with a feast of main platters, side dishes and desserts. Most people will prepare the same old side dishes they have eaten for years such as green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. Well this year, why not surprise friends and family by serving side dishes with a Honduran twist?

Honduras is a republic located in Central America. It has a population of just over 8 million people and is known for its production of sugar cane, coffee, bananas, and the export of clothing in the international market. Honduran cuisine includes many common staples found in Latin American kitchens such as rice, beans and tortillas. It also includes the use of sweet plaintains as a side in place of potatoes and incorporates coconut into many authentic dishes. To satisfy every palette this Christmas, I interviewed Hector Bustamante, owner of El Catracho Restaurant in New York City, who picked five delicious and easy to prepare Honduran side dishes that are sure to “wow” everyone around the dinner table.

 

Baleadas

“Baleadas are usually served in Honduran homes for breakfast or as a snack. The prep time is usually about 5-10 minutes depending on how many people you are serving,” says Hector Bustamante. All you need to prepare baleadas are flour tortillas, refried beans and cheese. To see the full recipe click here.

Oven Baked Sweet Plantains

“Platanos maduros (sweet plantains) are very easy to cook. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, bake them,” recommends Bustamante.  Taking only 20 minutes to prepare and cook, sweet plantains or sweet bananas as they are sometimes called are a delicious and easy to make side dish this Christmas. To see the full recipe click here.

Coconut Rice and Beans

“In Honduras, we use coconut in a lot of our cooking. It gives the food a whole new flavor as well as a creamier texture. We use it to cook seafood, beans, soups and we also use it to cook rice and beans. If your family eats rice and beans, or even if they don’t, they’re going to really enjoy Honduran coconut rice and beans,” says Bustamante. This dish originated from the rainforests of Honduras and is prepared daily as a side dish by the Garifuna people of Honduras who mainly live in the coastal towns of Tela and Ceiba. To see the full recipe click here.

Ceviche

“Ceviche is a dish that Hondurans usually serve as an appetizer or as a side to a meal. It is very easy to make and is usually the first thing to go at the dinner table. Some of the ingredients that we use are fresh fish, lime juice, vegetables, herbs, and of course, coconut milk,” says Bustamante. Although the prep time for this dish is only about 35 minutes, make sure you prepare it with enough time to chill it in the refrigerator for 6 hours. To see the full recipe click here.

Pupusas

“Pupusas are a very popular dish in Honduras. A pupusa is a thick corn tortilla stuffed with your choice of cheese, beans, meat or whatever else you want to stuff it with. You can also add some red onions or cabbage soaked in lime as a salad that is served on top of the pupusa for added flavor,” says Bustamante. Pupusas only take about 15 minutes to prepare, including the time it will take you to make your own tortilla. To see the full recipe click here.

There you have it. 5 easy ways to spice up your Christmas with a Honduran Twist.

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.