Sunday, October 16, 2011
How to Make Hallacas - Venezuelan Christmas Food
The most important dish at Christmas in Venezuela is without doubt the hallaca, a cornmeal-dough pocket stuffed with a host of tasty ingredients, wrapped in a plantain leaf, and boiled.
Culinary legend has it that the hallaca originated from the tradition of the plantation owners giving the leftover scraps from their Christmas banquets to the slaves, who would use them to spice up the boiled cornmeal dough (known as bollos) that constituted their daily diet.
That's why, the theory goes, hallacas are stuffed with such an odd range of things, from chicken, beef and pork stew to olives, raisins, capers and even boiled eggs, depending on the family recipe.
Making hallacas is an elaborate process with many stages, and in Venezuela usually involves the whole family.
Luckily, Adriana Lopez, co-owner of Pica Pica restaurant in San Francisco, has made a very comprehensive set of videos showing how to make your own hallacas at home.
For more great recipes check out Adriana Lopez' blog: AdrianaLopezBlog.com