Sunday, May 30, 2010

Canary Islands Day

   Every May 30th, the Canary Islands celebrate "El día de Canarias", or the Canary Islands day.  This is to commemorate the creation of the first democratic parliament governing the 7 islands.  The government takes part in extensive celebrations throughout the archipelago.  People take over the streets dressed as "magos canarios", or typical folk clothing, and they dance in the town squares where local orchestras play  traditional folk music.  There is also a wide array of popular foods, like "papas arrugadas con mojo", the infamous "wrinkled potatoes with green mojo", "garbanzos compuestos", cheek peas in sauce, or the islands' famous "gofio", a flour sometimes made out of wheat and others made out of corn, that locals mix with milk and honey and they shape it like a ball, cut it, and eat it as if it was bread.  This is the day when tourists get an accurate display of what the Islands culture is all about.
    Today, is that day.  And I, have no better way to celebrate it with you all, than to share the recipe for this "wrinkle potatoes with green mojo."  For those of you that never tasted these potatoes,  I recommend you to try and make them, because the flavor that you get in your mouth is worth it.  And, if by any chance you go to the Islands, do not skip this dish, taste it, and if you have time tell me all about it.
Wrinkled Potatoes

  • 2 pounds of red potatoes (1 kilo)
  • 3 cups of kosher Salt, or Coarse Sea Salt
     Fill a big saucepan with water, add the salt and cook it on high heat.  Clean the potatoes and add it to the pan.  Lower the heat to medium.  Cook until the potatoes are firm but tender.  After approximately 30 minutes, introduce a fork in one of them to check if they are cooked trough.
    After the potatoes are done, drain all the water from the saucepan and, once more put the pan in the heat to dry up the potatoes.  Move them constantly to prevent from burning.   The potatoes are ready when they start to show a white crust all around.  This is the salt that covers them when all the water dries up.
    While the potatoes cook, it is time to make the "mojo verde."  This sauce is mainly made out of cilantro, herein the green color.

  • 1 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
     First, start by smashing the garlic in a mortar (a bowl for mixing or pounding).  Then, add the cilantro
and mix it well until it looks like a paste.  Pour in the cumin, the salt and pepper and give it a stir.  Finally, add the olive oil, stir, and then the vinegar.  Mix all well and pour it onto a bowl.

  This is how it should look if you have them together.  Enjoy it and as Canarians say: Que le aproveche! Which translated means Bon appetit!

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