Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What is it?!

The queen-mum is back from her latest foray, this time to foreign southern climes of the Puerto Rican persuasion. She sent this photo, which I thought bordered on mean. But as I loved looking at it anyway, how mean could it be? So pretty. . . . and yes, we were also invited. . . .

Anyway, she came back with her usual largesse from the local markets. Knorr makes instant garlic cubes! [who knew?!] But apparently they sell them only to Spanish speaking countries. That's ok. I like my garlic in garlic paper. You know, the regular papery garlic cloves in the original, natural package. I have a whole ritual I go through, selecting and preparing them. Somehow it wouldn't be the same to take a little cube out of a box, no matter how cute the box!

Speaking of packaging, this - um - can - stopped me in my tracks. It's enormous! Probably 6 or 7 inches across, and very colourful, as you see. A tuna can on steroids.

Facundo, Pasta de Guayaba. Thankfully, the translation is right next to it: "Guava Paste."

Guava paste? Why would anyone want guava paste?!

It turns out that this is a very popular item in Puerto Rico. They eat it with cheese and for dessert. It's apparently very sweet. They use it as the filling to stick two little cookies together. Further research shows endless cake, pie, pastry and empanada variations, but also pork and chicken options!

Here's a recipe from Bon Appetit for a Guava-stuffed Chicken with caramelized mango and here a Food & Wine recipe for guava-glazed pork tenderloin with cilantro jalapeno salsa.

And how about this as a dipping sauce for Pinchos de Cerdo - Skewered Pork?

1 cup guava paste (about 12 ounces)
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons dark rum
salt and other herbs to taste. . . . (combine in small saucepan and heat through, stirring)

I also came across one Anger Burger, who wrote an amusing and in-depth study of the stuff, with lovely pictures. I warn you, Anger Burger's language is. . . . "angry". For those of you squeamish about the odd expletive not deleted, do not go there. For those of you who wish to see what Anger Burger did with his [her?] guava paste resulting in what she says was the best *&^)$%@@ pastry ever, click on this link: "guava paste, you shut up!".

Peaches were involved.

But I'm thinking that dipping sauce, on a seared pork tenderloin. . . . .

Meanwhile, the can looks pretty in the kitchen.

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