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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Venezuelan Cuisine at Carajita

The other day, I had a guest from another island of the Canaries, Grand Canarias, who refused to have dinner at home because she wanted to have Arepas at the famous Venezuela restaurant called 'Arepera La Carajita'. She said that this is one cuisine which she misses the most in her town and whenever she crosses over to Tenerife, this is one-must-eat-at-this-restaurant for her every visit.

You will hardly miss this restaurant if you are driving from Puerto de la Cruz via La Vera towards north of the island. This restaurant is famous for its Venezuelan cuisine.

During summer, people prefer to sit outdoors, the plastic tables and chairs are placed quite close to each other and one cannot avoid peeping into their plates for the choice of their order. But during winter, people occupy wooden tables inside the tiny room where the walls are artistically decorated with paintings and artwork.

The menu card had varieties of dishes to choose from but it is mainly famous for Cachappa and fried or roasted Arepas.

A Cachappa is a kind of pancake is made from the batter of fresh corn, egg, milk, butter and sugar and it is stuffed with cheese, exotic vegetables or any non-veg filling.

Areperas is like a hamburger but not like bread. Maize dough is prepared and shaped into distinctive flying saucer shape. They can be baked, fried, cooked on a grill or boiled to give a crusty exterior. They are then sliced through the middles to make a pocket which is then stuffed with veg or non-veg filling.

I always like to order ‘Potato Brava’, served with freshly baked bread. Potato Brava is a typical Spanish tapas served in most of the bars. Fried or boiled potatoes are mixed in a freshly prepared tomato sauce. They also serve Brava Salchitas in which case sausages are cut slantwise and cooked in freshly prepared tomato sauce.

What I love the most in this restaurant is the avocado sauce and red pepper sauce, Initially they would serve sauces free with the meals, but because of its great demand, the restaurant now sell it separately. 

I always believe that if you like something, you should know how to cook.I love the sauces (Mojo) made at this place and as per rule, I learnt to make it too.

Avocado Mojo (Green Sauce)

6 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
1 green pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 hot green chili
1 Avocado
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped or coriander leaves
2 tsp. wine-vinegar or lime
2 small glasses olive oil

Crush the garlic with the salt. Slowly add in the green pepper, pounding until it’s all completely pulped. Add a tiny piece of the green chili, then add the chopped parsley/coriander leaves, add avocado and keep pounding. Meanwhile vinegar and oil are whisked together till they are frothy and then added to the sauce.

Mild Red Mojo

3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
1 red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 Small hot red chili
1 slice toasted bread, cut into small cubes
1 tsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. red wine vinegar/lime
2 small glasses olive oil

Method for making red mojo is same as making avocado sauce.

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