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My Top 25, Stranded Island CD'S

For a taste of Puerto Rico, try some of the recipes that I have included here. They are not difficult to prepare and are delicious. Please read thru the recipe and have your ingredients ready before starting. Buen apetito.
Planters Punch
Agua de Campo
Shrimp & Rice
Stewed Okra
Langosta Criolla
Green Plantain Soup
Pistachio Lamb Chops
Arroz con Pollo
Pinto Beans
Black Beans
Cream Cheese Flan
Coconut Flan
Coconut Ice Cream

I first had this drink in Barbados (1984), at a place called Rockley's Resort. In Barbados it was called, Bajan Monkey back then and i am sure it is still called that. I have discovered that the only real difference in this drink from the hundreds of other Planters Punch is that the Bajan Monkey has Falernum added to the mix. Otherwise it is basically the same drink. A note of caution; This beverage indeed has a PUNCH to it, so go easy. The word, punch is really a Hindustani word which means, 5. The word may have made it's way to Barbados with the 17th century Britons, who colonized the island and became the, cane "planters". They learned the word for punch in Indian and the method for making the spirit for it in the island. Hence, Planters Punch. A example of Imperial fusion. "One of bitter, two of sour, three of sweet, four of weak and five of strong". Enjoy - responsibly.
6 oz.       Puerto Rican Anejo rum 
2 oz.       Lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 oz.       Clear sugar syrup
6 oz.       Pineapple juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters 
Half-fill a tall Collins glass with shaved or craked ice, Mix all ingredients well and pour over the ice. Garnish with pineapple or orange sections. Insert a straw or two and serve. Delicious and potent.

A refreshing twist to the ever present glass of water. It is delicious as an aperitive, with your meal or on it's own as is. I often served this to guests in my home in Puerto Rico. A great way to start an evening meal, in particular when it's been a hot day.
1 gal. water
1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
1 orange, sliced thinly
1 lime, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch, fresh mint leaves, bruised
Combine all ingredients for 1-hour at room temperature. Serve. Buen Provecho.

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 lb snow peas, cut lenthwise into thin strips
1/4 cup Puerto Rican light rum
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium-size carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 cyo unsweetened coconut milk
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon lime juice


Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add snow peas and corrots and cook for two minutes stirring frequently. Add shrimp, ginger, salt and red pepper. Cook, stirring, until shrimp are pink and just firm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Stir in rum; cook 1 minute longer. Combine broth, coconut milk, lime juice and cornstarch in bowl until smooth. Add to shrimp mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil 1 minute. Stir in parsley. Serve over cooked rice.



These are found everywhere on the island. Either as chips or an entire fried plantain. They are like the Puerto Rican equivelant of potato chips. A hint to peeling the green plaintains is to chop both the ends off, and then cut it in half. Put it in a bowl of cold water and let it sit for a few minutes, then you can pull the peel off easier. (Otherwise it is a sticky mess and you have to cut the peel off).


2 cups corn oil
3 green plantains, peeled & cut in 1 in diagional slices

In a skillet, heat oil to hot but not smoking. Drop in the slices, a few at a time and brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and maintain oil temp. Place plantains one at a time between two layers of brown paper bags and flatten with a rolling pin to approx 1/4 in thick. Refry until golden brown on both sides. Serves 6.


      2 tb extra virgin olive oil
      3 lg garlic clove; peeled and
    1/4 lb smoked ham; diced
    1/4 c  scallion; sliced
    1/4 c  cilantro; roughly chopped
    1/2 c  olives, small; pitted
    1/2 ea lime; juiced
      1 c  tomato puree
      1 c  tomato sauce
      2 lb shrimp; peeled and deveined,
           - and
      3 lg plantain; green or 6 medium
    1/4 c  corn oil


Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the remaining stuffing
ingredients, except the shrimp, and saute over medium heat for 5 min.
Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Set aside.
Peel the plantains and cut them into 1/2" slices. Heat the corn oil in a
large skillet and fry the plantain slices until golden. Drain on paper
Mash 5-6 slices in a mortar with a little of the stuffing liquid. Fold
in 1/2 cup of the shrimp mixture and shape into a ball with your hands.
Repeat the process 5 more times.

Stewed Okra


1 1/2 pounds of fresh okra
2 tsp butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
8 med.sized ripe tomatoes
2 tsp.finely chopped fresh hot chilies
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper


In a 10 inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Put in onions and stir frequently, cook for 5 minutes. Add and stir in the tomatoes, chilies and garlic and cover for another 5 minutes. Add the okra, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cover simmer for 15 to 20 until okra are tender.

Langosta Criolla
Braised Lobster in Chili Sauce

2 uncooked 1½- to 2-pound Maine    2 c sofrito (recipe below)
                             lobsters, split in half length-           1 tsp
                           finely chopped fresh hot
                             wise                                           chilies
                           3 T annatto oil (recipe below)           1 tsp salt
                           1 c dry white wine                 
Remove and discard the gelatinous sac in the head of each lobster and the long intestinal vein attached to it. Then scoop out and set aside the greenish brown tomalley (or liver) and the black caviarlike eggs (or coral) if any. Chop off the tail section of each lobster directly at the point where it joins the body. Twist off the claws and gash the flat underside of each large claw with a large, heavy knife. Cut off and discard the small claws and the antennae.

In a heavy 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over high heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the lobster bodies, tails and large claws and, turning them constantly with tongs, fry them for 3 or 4 minutes, until the shells begin to turn pink. Transfer the lobsters to a large plate or bowl.

Pour off all but a thin layer of oil from the skillet, add the wine, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sofrito, chilies and salt, and return the lobsters and any liquid accumulation around them to the skillet. Turn the pieces about in the sauce to coat them evenly, reduce the heat to moderate, and cover the skillet tightly. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, basting the lobsters from time to time with a large spoon.

Just before serving, rub the reserved tomalley and coral through a fine sieve with the back of a spoon directly into the sauce. Simmer the sauce for a minute or so longer, stirring gently, then taste for seasoning. To serve, arrange the lobster pieces attractively in a large, deep heated platter and spoon the sauce over them. Serves 2.


Green Plantain Soup / Sopa de Platano

  • 2-3 green plantains
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 6 cups beef or chicken stock 
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • broad leaf cilantro, chopped
Garnish: grated parmesan cheese

Peel the plantains and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Soak them in cold, salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry. In a heavy frying pan, saute the plantains and garlic in oil until they are tender, about 15 minutes. The pieces will be gold colored and will brown a little. Drain well on paper towels, then crush with a pestle or mallet until they break into bits.

Heat the beef or chicken stock in a large saucepan and add the plantain. Occasionally stir the plantains to break them up in the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, adjust seasoning and stir in the cilantro, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro


4 Prime or Choice, lamb chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil divided
3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup  Breadcrumbs
1 cup Pistachio nuts, unsalted and crushed
2 Shallots, sliced thinly
2 Garlic cloves, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons, dry Vermouth
6 tablespoons Demi-glace
1 cup Parsley, finely chopped
2 sprigs Rosemary fresh, chopped
2 sprigs Basil fresh, chopped
Preheat oven to 450oF.  Trim excess fat from the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet until almost smoky. Place lamb in skillet and sear on all sides until golden brown. Remove lamb from skillet and place them on a large flat dish. Brush the chops with the dijon mustard on all sides. Sprinkle the chops with some bread crumbs. Place the pistachios on a plate and press the chops into the nuts, coating each side. Place chops in a roasting pan and roast lamb to desired doneness (about 10 minutes for rare; 5 minutes longer for well-done). While the lamb is in the oven, prepare the sauce: Heat a small saute pan and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, the shallots, garlic and vermouth. Let the alcohol evaporate and add the demi-glace, parsley and the salt and the pepper to taste.  Stir and heat for about 2 minutes. Remove lamb from the oven, divide chops evenly among the four dinner plates and sprinkle with rosemary & basil. Drizzle sauce around the lamb and serve.


SOFRITO - Tomasa Colon


1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch (long leaf) culantro

1 head of  fresh garlic, peeld

2 green bell peppers, seeded

1/2 cup aji dulce (small sweet peppers)

1 cup of onion

1 tbsp. dry oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 water


Add  the first 8 ingredients in a blender. Pour half the water and blend. If needed add more water a little at a time. Just enough to blend all ingredients. Remove and place in a glass or ceramic container. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed.




Arroz Con Pollo

3 cups of short or long grain rice (rinsed)
2 lb's of chicken parts (skinned)
4 1/2 onces of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of alcaparrado
2 teaspoons of salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Sofrito
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
4 cups of boiling water
1 packet of sazon with saffron

Wash the rice, drain and set aside. In a large dutch oven. Brown the chicken parts with the oil, 5 minutes each side. Remove from the pot and set aside. Leave the chicken drippings inside the pot and add all the other ingredients except for the rice, water and chicken. Mix well in medium heat and cook the sofrito for 5 minutes, taste to see if there is enough salt. Add the chicken and rice to the pot and mix well. Add the boiling water until the water is about 1 inch above the rice, mix well again. Don't cover the pot until the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed use a wooden spoon and gently stir from bottom to top. Cover and lower the heat to low for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender.





(1) 15 - 16 oz. can of Pink / Pinto beans
(1) 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/4 red pepper (bell), sliced in strips the length of a toothpick, and the width of 2 toothpicks
1/4 cup of onion, sliced as the pepper above, or diced
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
6 Tablespoons of Sofrito (3 oz.)
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of water
1/2 tsp salt
1 dash of black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder (to taste)

1 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro, as garnish


1- In a deep sauce pot, simmer the peppers and onion in the oil for 5 minutes while stirring. (medium-low heat)2- Add the sofrito, the tomato sauce and the garlic. Simmer another 5 minutes on low heat.3- Add the rest of the ingredients: the beans (and their broth), water, the salt and the seasonings. Stir to completely mix ingredients.4- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn heat off as soon as the beans start to boil. 5- Cover and let sit approximately 10 minutes before serving for the flavors to incorporate.6- Serve with white rice and garnish with a pinch of the cilantro.


1/2 lb Black Beans
1/2 cup Xtra Virgin Olive oil
1 lrg Spanish Onion, sliced thinly
1/2 lb Cooking Ham, diced
4 tbsp Red wine, dry
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/8 tsp Oregano, dry
1/2 tbsp Sugar, brown
2 Bay leaves
4 oz Red Pimentos, thinly sliced
1. Place beans in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover by about 1-inch. Cook at medium heat for about 1 hour. Stir gently from time to time. Add water as needed.

2. To the saucepan, add the next 8 ingredients and bring heat to LOW. Simmer gently for about 3 nours or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add a small amount of water as needed. The beans are done when a spoon is dipped in the sauce and it comes out coated and flowing slowly off of the spoon. Garnish with the pimentos and ----Serve this with some white rice, ripe avocado, Pan de Agua and good company, and you have yourself a HIT!! I can almost smell those beans right now. Buen Provecho.


Cream Cheese Flan / Flan de Queso (serves 6)

As a chef I have had the chance to try hundreds of versions of this sensous dessert. This recipe is a culmination of years of testing, and tastings. The main body to this dish is silky and very smooth literally melting on the palette. The taste is just the right blend of caramel, cheese and custard. If you like, add a dash of cognac to it just before serving. Tremendous dessert.

1 cup sugar
1 - 8oz. package cream cheese, softened 
4 medium eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mold, metal bowl or pot, place 1/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons water then mix it well. Cook this on medium heat on your stove until the sugar turns amber and caramelizes to a soft stage. Swirl the caramel around the mold, totally covering the interior.

In a blender mix all ingredients together. If you need to, do it in batches then gently hand mix the batters in a bowl. Carefully pour into prepared pan and bake at 350º in a "baño de Maria" (bain marie) for about 50 minutes or until golden. Test with a fork, it should come out clean. Remove from oven, cool and refrigerate at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, run a wet knife along the inside perimeter of the ramekin, invert the ramekin upon a serving dish and gently rap the tiny bowl to release the custard. Garnish with mint, and/or a dash of cognac. Serve.


Flan de Coco / Coconut Flan


1 can of evarporated milk
1 can coconut cream
1 can of condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of sugar (for caramel)
1/2 cup water(for caramel)


In a saucepan over medium heat cook the sugar with the water until carmelized.Then coat your flan pan with the caramelized sugar.Then in a blender mix the remaining ingrediates all-together. Pour into the flan pan.Put the flan into bon-marie, and cook in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.Remove it from the oven and let cool off, before putting it in the refrigerator.

Coconut Spice Ice Cream


1/4 cup sugar
2 cups coconut cream
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coconut (finely shredded)
1/4 cup coconut flavor Puerto Rican Rum (Capt. Morgan Parrot Bay)
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Mix sugar, 2 cups of coconut cream, add the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, shredded coconut, coconut flavor Puerto Rican rum add in the nutmeg and vanilla and cinnamon. Transfer the mixture to a Ice cream maker. Freeze garnish with sprinkle of almonds mint leaf and stick of cinnamon.