For Easter weekend, many New Hampshire Latino families will bring their faith and customs to the table.
Many Christian and Catholic Latinos abstain from eating red meat every Friday in Lent, especially Good Friday.
Throughout Latin America, the cuisine tends to offer fish or vegetarian dishes, always with authentic ingredients, such as Latin American corn, Brazilian urucu, Puerto Rican coconut milk, Dominican beans or cream thick argentinian.
NHPR asked Latinos in New Hampshire what they cook for Easter using recipes they brought from their home country.
Gustavo Quiñe, who once taught us how to make causa de atún (tuna) for Thanksgiving, fondly remembers people eating fish at Easter in his native Peru. He says there are a variety of recipes and dishes on the Peruvian coast, but the most classic is cod.
He has lived in Derry for six years and still abstains from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. On Easter, he opens a bottle of wine and prepares a tuna stew for Easter. “My preparation is incredible,” he said in Spanish.
But what he likes the most is preparing a chickpea stew with chard on the side. This stew combines cooked chickpeas with sautéed bacon, onion, eggplant, garlic, tomato sauce and oil. The final version has a creamy texture.
Paula Maltais, a Peruvian who lives in Concord, makes a cod soup known in Spanish as chupedepescado. The base is fish stock, sautéed onions with garlic, evaporated milk and vegetables and legumes of your choice. Paula uses squash, carrot, eggs, potatoes and rice.
According to her, other great main course options include Peruvian causa, tilapiaceviche or lentil tuna cakes.
Jorge Arce, a WhatsApp listener who is also from Peru, recommended a northern cuisine known as malarrabia, famous in the town of Piura during Lent.
It is a plantain-based puree combined with onions, oil, yellow pepper tomato, annatto or annatto powder, and queso fresco. It usually accompanies meals. Arce has it with rice, beans, and any type of fish.
Lola Villegas, a small business owner in Nashua, is not only passionate about entrepreneurship, but she also loves the fresh foods of her native Puerto Rico. His hometown, Loíza, is famous for preparing caldo santo for Easter. This is a seafood soup that includes chunks of fish, such as salt cod or red snapper, and crabmeat or shrimp (or both). It is cooked in a coconut broth and combined with root vegetables like cassava, squash, plantain and sweet potato.
To do this, cooks skip the supermarket and prepare the dish from scratch, Villegas said. She remembers that in Loíza, most people collect coconuts from palm trees and prepare their own coconut milk for the soup. They look for all the freshest ingredients possible.
Coconut rice is served as an accompaniment to this main dish. It is also prepared with fresh coconut milk.
Our Spanish news producer, Maria, lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In his city, as in most Ecuadorian cities, the classic dish to prepare at Easter is known as fanesca.
Fanesca is a creamy soup that contains 12 different types of grains or legumes like corn kernels, lupine beans, chochos, etc., to symbolize the 12 apostles of Jesus, the group that Jesus gathered for the Last Supper.
The soup is topped with cod and other toppings like avocado, egg, empanadas, etc. Normally, this recipe takes a whole day to prepare, or even longer, but it’s the most acclaimed dish to share with the family at Easter (although Maria says Ecuadorians eat it throughout April).
One of our WhatsApp followers remembers that in his native Brazil, torta capixaba is a seafood pie that contains cod, prawns, shellfish or cuttlefish and more.
To make this dish the traditional way, it all starts with sautéed garlic, onion, oil, tomato and annatto powder combined with a seafood and fish stew in a pot in clay. After adding herbs like cilantro and parsley, it is mixed with beaten egg whites and decorated with more onions and green olives on top. In just 30 minutes in the oven, this pie would be ready to serve and enjoy.
On Easter, Roy Cáceres, a chef and tango singer who lives in Concord, remembers that people in his home province of Córdoba, Argentina, don’t eat meat either. The most classic dish is an Italian dish known as bagna cauda, something similar to fondue but with cream and anchovies.
“It’s a meal, a soup, a cream,” Roy said. “You can put it on vegetables, on potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, green peppers.”
He says that many immigrants from Italy settled in Cordoba, which is why the tradition was born. He confesses that he hasn’t made bagna cauda in the United States yet because the heavy cream here is different from the one he used in Argentina.
But he remembers some steps in the recipe, which feeds about four people.
Cáceres says to finely chop about 24 cloves of garlic and mix it with 16 anchovy fillets sautéed in oil or lard, and let them cook over medium heat for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until until everything is incorporated Then add 1 liter of cream and salt and pepper to taste. (You can read a full recipe here).
Finally, you appreciate it, he says.
WhatsApp subscriber Elsa Morel told us that the classic Dominican Republic Easter recipe is “a delicious after-lunch dessert.”
Habichuelas con dulce is a classic dessert from the Lenten tradition in the Dominican Republic. It is made with beans (habichuelas), milk, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, sweet potatoes, raisins and spices like cinnamon (you can even add pumpkin spice). The result is a creamy batter that can be topped with vanilla cookies.
Did we miss a recipe you love? Email the Que Hay team at [email protected] These articles are shared by partners of The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit collaborativenh.org.