Soup

L’Chaim Puerto Rican Matzo Ball Soup

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So I never told you my story and how I published my book did I? Well I was a summer intern at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans from the University of Toronto and going through a divorce. Imagínate! and I was doing research for some exhibits I was curating and after finally listening to that inner voice I made an observation. Why isn’t there any research on the culinary history of Latinos in New Orleans? They are here and New Orleans is right at the Gulf of México….hmmmm so my nerdy journey began. When I finally published the book my dad said call your Godfather and ask for advice. So he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse lol.

My Uncle Rich gave me the best advice on negotiating my first book contract and is currently helping me to schedule a book signing at Busboy & Poets in Washington D.C. and some extra events that I am excited about! So I am dedicating this recipe to my Jewish Godfather who loves Matzo Ball Soup! I love it too but who doesn’t?

Lagniappe: In Ecuador and Puerto Rico they make a Caldo de Bolitas de Platanos that is riquísimo! Thanks Uncle Rich for your advice and making phone calls to help me promote my book!

Ingredients:

4 green plantains (unripe)
1/2 cup of Sofrito (Pesto a lo Latino, will post recipe)
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 whole cut chicken in 1/4
1 tbs. of Tomato Paste
1 lb of medium peeled shrimp
1/2 cup of Annatto Seeds
Olive Oil
1tbs. of Adobo Seasoning
1tbs. of Cumin
1tbs. of Paprika
1 tsp. of Sea Salt
1 ripe avocado
4 limes

Preparation:

Season chicken with adobo seasoning, paprika and cumin. In a large stockpot, sauté 2 cloves of minced garlic, sofrito and 2 tbs. of olive oil. Add chicken and brown for 5 minutes. Cover chicken with water and boil on medium low heat.

Peel plantains and cut plantains in half. In a sauté pan fry plantains until golden brown. Set aside on a paper towel and put in a large mortar.

In the same oil, lower the heat and add annatto seeds. Cook for less than one minute until the oil turns red. Drain oil in a fine colander. Cool. Add 1/3 cup of the Annatto oil to the plantains and 2 minced garlic cloves. Season with adobo seasoning, salt, paprika and cumin. Mash plantains with a pestle or with hands. Roll plantain mixture into medium size balls. Set aside.

Re-season soup and add shrimp. Cook for another 5 minutes. Cut avocado into slices and limes into wedges. In each bowl, add 4 plantain balls and pour soup over the balls. Serve with avocado slices and lime. L’Chaim!

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