Betsy Arvelo

Betsy Arvelo

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 20:14

Oregano - Dominican

Dominican Oregano (Lippia Micromera) , also known as Jamaican Oregano, is a very important spic in Dominican Cooking. It is a different plant than the regular oregano used in the USA and used by Italians, which is much milder. Dominican Oregano is a bush that grows about 3 feet tall and has small white flowers. I have never seen it in the wild in the DR, but, I understand that the wild version also can have pink flowers.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:10

Eggplant - Stewed - Berengenas Guisadas


1 large eggplant

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium pepper, chopped

About 5 capers

About 1 teaspoon cilantro

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt pork, bacon or ham to taste (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

About 2 tablespoons coconut, olive or peanut oil

About 1 tablespoon recaíto (recipe)


Peel and cut eggplant into 1 inch cubes. Place in salted water for about 30 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
 Saute onions, peppers, capers, ham and recaíto until done. Add eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and ½ cup water. Cook stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until it has the consistency of chutney. Serve hot as an entree or cold with Melba toast as a dip.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:48

Yuca Soufflé


About 2 pounds yuca
Milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste (it is hard to say how much because it depends on the yuca and how much milk it will take.
1 pound Monterrey Jack, or Havarti cheese
2 eggs, separated


Follow instructions for mashed yuca. When mashed, add milk, butter, and pepper. Add grated cheese. Beat in egg yolks.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:21

Yuca - Fried - Arepitas



1/2 lb yuca, peeled and grated in the larger side of the grater for arañitas, or the smaller for arepitas.
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds
1 egg
oil for frying. I like peanut oil but you can use the ones you like. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:23


Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:48

Eggplant Souffle - Souffle de Berenjena


1 stewed eggplant

2 eggs separated

½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

¼  cup Parmesan cheese


Stew eggplant as directed but without the ham. Remove from heat.

Place in food processor or mixer and mash. Add egg yolks and cheeses. Beat egg whites until dry and fold, very gently. The idea is to let the egg whites fill the mixture with air bubbles. If you mix it in or stir it in, it breaks up the bubbles and the souffle never rises.

Pour onto oiled or buttered souffle dish and bake for about 20 minutes at 350°F. or until it rises and top is golden. Take out carefully so that the souffle doesn't cave in. 

Serve as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:10

Batata - Arepitas - Fried Sweet Potatoes

These were my favorites when I was a kid, along with fried yucca. They are sweet but not too much, and not like the Sweet potato fried that are now popular. They are not made with yams.


Slice Batatas about 1/4 inch thick. Fry in hot oil until golden. Sprinkle with salt and paprika. Serve.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:08

Batata Cake - Torta de Batata


2 pounds Sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons salted butter

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

¼  cup dark, island rum

½ cup milk

4 eggs

Grated rind 1 lime

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg, ground

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder


Peel and slice the sweet potatoes and cook with enough water to cover until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and mash.

While still warm mix in the butter, sugar and rum. Beat in the eggs, 1 by 1. Then add the milk, grated rind and lime juice.

Sift together the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder and mix thoroughly into the sweet potatoes.

Pour into a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour in a 350°F. Oven or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cook for a few minutes in the pan then turn onto cake rack to cool.

Makes 1 loaf cake.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:05

Batata Bread - Pan de Batata


2 cups boiled, mashed batata

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon lime rind
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼  teaspoon ground clove

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

½ cup coconut milk (not the water)

½ cup butter

3 eggs
Raisins dusted with flour


1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter or milk

Mix all ingredients, beating well so the mixture is very smooth. Empty into a greased mold.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  Remove and glaze with a mixture of egg yolk, sugar and butter or milk and bake for another 30 minutes.

Sunday, 10 January 2021 16:55

Spinach Quiche


Click here for Betty Crocker pastry




1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded (you can do cheddar and Swiss also.)
1 cup half and half
4 eggs, beaten enough to mix
1/2 package frozen spinach or equivalent fresh.
pink of salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine cheese, and spices. Cook spinach. Drain well so it doesn't make a soggy quiche. Combine half and half and eggs.

Arrange cheese and spinach in pastry, pour in the liquid mixture over the cheese and spinach.

Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Notes: It is a good idea to cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. After 30 minutes, remove foil and continue baking.

You can make this quiche with cooked broccoli, bacon, ham, Canadian bacon. Add whatever you like.

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