Embracing the culture, traditions and people of Belize is very easy to do when you visit the country. The people of Belize are humble, hard working and open to sharing their traditions and cuisine to those who are willing to listen and learn.
This is what this blog is all about. Sharing the recipes of Belize with you. The simple recipes that will be featured are from an incredible woman, whom we grew to love as she was our cook during one of our visits to Belize. Her name is Ms P and every dish she served was a food lovers dream come true!
Belize Recipes – Black Relleno (well, Red Relleno)
Ahh…Christmas in Belize! The warm Caribbean breeze and sandy beach will be a wonderful place to start a new Christmas tradition! We can’t wait! Next year we will be able to enjoy celebrating Christmas in our new house. In the meantime, we can embrace the Belizean culture and Christmas traditions, here at home.
Along with the many cultures and languages in Belize, there are many different ways to celebrate Christmas. I was most interested in the celebrations in Dangriga, which is a town about thirty minutes away from Sanctuary Belize.
Fifty years ago, groups of dancers would perform dances like the Waltz, Fox Trot and Quadrille. These great dancing parties would start on December 24 and carry on till December 31. These dancing parties or Grand Balls, were part of the Christmas socializing for teens to thirty year olds (and for those who felt like they were teens again).
For today however, the Grand Balls are only celebrated on December 24 and December 31.
This next recipe is a traditional dish served on either Christmas or New Years Day. The recipe is called Black Relleno and calls for “Black Recado” spice, I had to improvise as I only had “Red Recado” spice:
- 1 – 4 lb whole chicken
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 11/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2-3 epazote leaves, crumbled (use 2 tsp of coriander as a substitute)
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper (these are the sweet peppers & you can use any color you wish)
- 2 lbs lean ground pork or beef (your preference)
- 2 raw eggs
- 3 hard boiled eggs, whole
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 hard boiled eggs, whole
- Cheese cloth bag
- 1 square of black recado spice. Dissolve this in 1 cup of boiling water.
Rinse the chicken in lemon juice and water (or vinegar and water). Rub the chicken with black pepper and a little salt. Place in refrigerator for later. In a large frying pan, sauté onion, garlic, oregano, epazote until the room fills with wonderful aromas. Add the sweet peppers and sauté for another minute. Add ground pork, cook until the meat is well done. Remove from heat and let cool until warm to the touch. Mix in two raw eggs, completely.
Now the fun starts! Place one whole hard boiled egg into the chicken, spoon some of the pork mixture in, add another hard boiled egg and more pork mixture. Layer the stuffing this way until chicken is full. Tie the chicken closed and set into a large pot.
Using the cheese cloth bag, stuff the bag in the same manner as the chicken until all the pork mixture and hard boiled eggs are used. Tie the bag closed and place in the large pot next to the chicken.
Pour the dissolved black recado into pot, add enough water to cover the chicken. Boil for an hour until the chicken is cooked.
Remove chicken from the pot, place into roasting pan. Add your favorite dry spice and brown it in the oven.
Remember to add a pinch of love!
Merry Christmas and all the best in 2013!