Dinner in Macondo: Winter Weekend Recipes

From the 2016 Winter Weekend: One Hundred Years of Solitude

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100 Years of Solitude bookOne of the highlights of each year’s Winter Weekend is the Friday night meal evoking the culinary traditions of that year’s book. In 2016, we visited the mythical Colombian town of Macondo from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Bowdoin College’s Dining Services put together a delicious feast of Colombian specialties, the recipes for which are reproduced here.


Coffee hour


Panderos are cookies prepared with almidón dulce (sweet cassava starch or yuca flour). Originally from the Valle del Cauca region, they are sold by the highways there, in the Viejo Caldas area of the country, and the rest of the Andean highlands.

1 3/4 cups sweet cassava starch
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup grated panela
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp Aguardiente or aniseed liqueur
4 tbsp lard, shortening, or butter
Extra starch or flour for rolling

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the starch, sugar, panela, baking powder, and salt in the food processor and mix for 10 seconds, Add the egg, Aguardiente, and the fat of your choice, and process for 2 minutes.

2. Remove the dough from the processor and place on a work surface sprinkled with starch of flour. The dough will look very shiny; if you have trouble rolling it, add 1 tbsp more starch and mix by hand.

3. Turn 2 or 3 times until you have formed a log. Cut into 4 pieces and roll each one into a log 1 inch wide by 10 inches long. Cut into 1-inch squares and mark each cookie with a fork pressing horizontally.

4. Butter a baking sheet and place the cookies on it. Bake for 15 minutes. The cookies will look pale on top and lightly golden on the bottom.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.


Salchichitas en Coca-Cola (Wieners in Coke)

These small appetizers are normally prepared with the party-size wieners that are sold in Colombia (like U.S. cocktail franks, not canned Vienna sausages.) They can be prepared with regular hot dogs; just cut them in half before crosscrossing the ends. This is a typical Caribbean coast dish; we like to mix sweet and sour flavors in many of our dishes.

12 hotdogs (wieners) or 24 “cocktail franks”
12 cups (3 quarts) Coca-Cola

1. If using full-size hot dogs, peel and cut wieners in half to yield 2 small wieners. Crisscross cut the ends of the cocktail franks or the hot dog halves.

2. In a medium, heavy pot or caldero, place the wieners adn the Coca-Cola. Boil over medium-high heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the Coke has reduced to a dark caramel, and the wieners have opened up at the ends.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.


Cazuela de Mariscos (Crustacean chowder)

This dish is the perfect romantic dinner for two. I also like to add pieces of quartered plantain at the beginning of the recipe. Use a whole plantain that is neither green nor completely ripe, one you bought green and left unrefrigerated for two days. It will be just a little sweet and taste like nothing you have ever had before.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup grated red bell pepper
2 pounds raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1/2 pound raw squid rings, cleaned
1/2 pound píangua or clams, cleaned
1/2 pound raw conch pieces or oysters
1 1/2 fish bouillon cubes
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp color or Sazon Goya with Saffron
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
4 cups coconut milk
2 cups milk
4 tbsp flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp minced parsley

1. In a large, heavy pot or caldero over medium-low heat, place the oil, onion, red pepper, seafood, bouillon cubes, garlic, color or saffron, salt, and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes.

2. Mix the coconut milk, milk and flour together to a smooth consistency. Add them to the pot; simmer over low heat for 15 minutes more.

3. Next, add the wine and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle with cilantro and parsley to serve.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.

Pernil de Cerdo (Fresh leg of pork)

1 fresh leg of pork or ham (12 lbs. approx.)
2 cups orange juice
1 cup diced  onion
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup lime juice
8 cloves garlic minced
2 tbs. thyme leaves
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs. salt
4 bay leaves
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1. Crisscross the meat with a sharp knife. Mix all the other ingredients as a marinade; leave pork in it overnight in fridge. Bring to room temperature and rub with salt. If it is boned, tie with string to hold in place while cooking. Cover with  foil and bake at 325ºF for 20 mins. per pound, about 4 hours. (Before placing in oven, mix the marinade with a cup of water and pour in bottom of pan.)

2. While cooking, prepare glaze: Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 mins. 1 cup Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 4 tbs fresh thyme, 2 tbs. grated orange peel, 2 tsp. whole cloves, 2 tsp. minced ginger, 2 tsp. pepper.

3. Remove foil from meat, brush with glaze, cook uncovered 10 mins. more per pound, about 2 hours. Add more water to bottom of pan as needed. Internal temperature should reach 160º-180º. Let rest 30 minutes. before carving. Make a sauce from pan drippings (fat removed) and a little flour. Yields 20-25 servings.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.

Habichuelas Guisadas al Estilo de la Costa (Colombian-style green beans cooked in milk)

3 tsp salt
1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small white onion (about 5 ounces), finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 scallions, white and some green parts, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole milk

1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tsp salt, then add the beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain again and set aside.

2. Crush the garlic and remaining 1 tsp salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle; set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and scallions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the green beans and milk, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and brin gto the table immediately.

Recipe from Gran Cocina Latina by Maricel Presilla.

Arroz con Coco Blanco (White coconut rice)

Coconut rice is very popular on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Colombia. This rice is typically served with fish and other types of seafood. In the city of Cartagena de Indias, it is eaten almost every day instead of the plain white rice that is eaten in the rest of the country.

1 tbsp oil
2 cups rice
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 cups coconut milk

1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.

2. Add the rice, sugar, and salt, and stir for 2 minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.

4. After about 7 minutes, or as soon as you see the rice on the surface and most of the liquid has evaporated, cover the pot; reduce to minimum heat and cook covered for 20 minutes.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.

Plátano Asado (Oven-baked plantains)

2 very ripe plantains
2 tsp butter, softened
2 tsp sugar

1. The plantains for this dish have to be very ripe, the peel almost black, but still have to be firm to the touch. When you press them gently, they should not feel mushy inside; if they are, the taste will be rancid and overripe. If you buy green plantains and wait for them to ripen it might take a week or so. Do not refrigerate them or they will not ripen well. It is better to buy plantains fully ripe or only a couple of days before, as this ensures they haven’t been refrigerated and will ripen fully without getting mushy.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the ends of the plantains and peel; leave whole.

3. Place in a baking dish. Spread the butter all over the plantains. Cover tightly with foil.

4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. When you remove the foil, the plantains should look golden, and feel cooked through the center.

5. Sprinkle the sugar all over the plantains and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until the sugar has melted and they look lightly browned.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.



Sancocho Costeño

8 pounds beef ribs, cut up
2 free-range hens, cut in serving pieces, without skin
6 tablespoons lime juice
2 1/4 cups minced scallion
1 cup chopped kale
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup minced aji dulce (sweet green peppers)
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp color or turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 chicken bouillon cubes
4 tbsp salt
3 pounds peeled yuca or cassava
2 peeled green plantains
3 pounds russet potatoes
2 1/2 pounds peeled ñame
1 1/2 pounds peeled pumpkin
2 pounds corn on the cob (4 ears)
3/4 cup minced cilantro, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp whole allspice berries
2 unpeeled ripe plantains, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups white rice, cooked to yield 6 cups, for serving
Sliced limes, for serving

1. Wash the beef and hen pieces well. Rub with 3 tbsp of the lime juice and drain. Place in a very large bowl; add 1 1/2 cups of the minced scallion, the kale, carrot, peppers, garlic, black pepper, color, cumin, 1 bouillon cube, and 1 1/2 tbsp of the salt. Rub all the seasonings into the meats, and set aside for 2 hours.

2. In a large stockpot, place the seasoned beef and chicken and cook covered over high heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking.

3. Add 10 quarts of water to the meats, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside.

4. In the meantime cut the yuca, 1 of the green plantains, the potatoes, ñame, pumpkin, and corn into pieces about 2 inches by 1 inch; grate the other green plantain and set aside.

5. When the meats have simmered for 1 1/2 hours, add the yuca and the plantains to the pot and cook covered for 30 minutes.

6. Next add the remaining 2 1/2 tbsp of salt and 2 chicken bouillon cubes, the potatoes, ñame, pumpkin, corn, 1/4 cup of the minced cilantro, celery, and the allspice. Continue to cook for 45 minutes more.

7. Add the ripe plantains and 3 tbsp of lime juice, and keep simmering for 30 minutes more. (You can also cook the ripe plantains in water separately so that your soup doesn’t taste too sweet and then add them right before serving.)

8. Finally, add the remaining 3/4 cup of minced scallion and 1/2 cup of the minced cilantro and simmer for 15 minutes.

9. Serve the meats and vegetables on different platters, the broth in another serving dish, and white rice, lime slices, and minced cilantro on the side.

Recipe from Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.