Fried Chicken#4(Epazote Fried Chicken)/Pollo Frito#4(Pollo Frito Con Sabor Epazote)

Hello all! As you may well know, I try to use ingredients different to both myself and you, my followers.. This time I’ve been looking for the best way to use unusual herbs and spices.. This time I went to Mexico for inspiration, by using Epazote. Epazote is a herb used in bean dishes and some meat and fish dishes, to add flavour and take the flatulence problem away from eating beans. Click here for more information on Epazote

I decided that after some research, that I would buy some and use it-I bought some dried online. I also decided that due to the flavour of the herb, I would try to use it on chicken. I first tried it stewed, and the flavour was subtle, and was a cross between dill and mint, and slight floral accents. Then I decided that I would try the next chicken recipe in a batch of fried chicken, making this my FOURTH fried chicken recipe for Mariposaoro! Who can resist the lure of crispy chicken!! In this recipe I also decided to make a change from the regular cornmeal flour or even using wheat flour, using CASSAVA FLOUR (Or GARI to my West African Followers) instead. This has resulted in the most crispy, non oily, and tasty gluten free coating that I’ve used in any of my fried chicken recipes!


500 grams of Chicken wings, or other  chicken pieces, cleaned in salt water and drained.

Add a teaspoon or to, taste of each:

Cracked Black Pepper, Pimento(Allspice Berries), Garlic Powder


Hickory Smoke Powder, Sea Salt, Bay leaves and Epazote
Cassava Flour, Salt, and Cooking Oil
Cassava Flour, Sea Salt, and Cooking Oil

1-2 Whisked Eggs


Grind the seasonings and season the chicken. This is best done overnight for all the flavours to soak into the meat.

Chicken Wings Marinated with Spices incl Epazote, Close Up
Chicken Wings Marinated with Spices incl Epazote, Close Up
Marinated Chicken Wings Aerial View

 After allowing the meat to be at room temperature, set up your ‘flour’, egg, and meat stations. You can lightly add salt to the cassava.. Although you could just leave it as it is, due to the meat already being seasoned, especially for those on a limited sodium diet.

Chicken, Egg and Cassava Flour Stations
Chicken, Egg and Cassava Flour Stations

 Meanwhile, heat some oil in a shallow frying pan or skillet-The trick is not to deep fry here, only to seal the coating onto the meat (If you’re frying, cook on medium heat for at least fifteen minutes, until cooked through.). Alternately, you can minimize the fat content, by simply placing in the oven to cook with spray oil. It will taste the same! When the oil has heated add at least four pieces at a time, frying on a high heat for 4 minutes in total. Or at least until the meat has become golden and crispy like this:

Chicken frying in a pan-Remember this is only to seal the coating!
Chicken frying in a pan-Remember this is only to seal the coating!







Whilst doing this preheat the oven, to at least 200 degrees. place the meat on a baking tray:

Fried chicken done!
Fried chicken done!





Cook for at least 20 minutes, or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Serve with beans and rice, salad/salsa, and tortillas. Disfrutalo!!

Stewed Pigtails With Pepita Seasoning #2/Cola De Cerdo Con Sazón De Pepita #2

Hello all!! Like the previous post, Time To Make Lemonade, which details the onward struggle to turn Mariposaoro into a known and viable business; I have come up with how to showcase using my Pepita Seasoning on foods. rather than using it as a sandwich filling and dip. In this recipe, I am using my Pepita Seasoning #2 with pigtails, stewed with a few aromatics and served over rice. Oxtail could be a good substitute, but add the seasoning  in the last hour of cooking time, unless using a pressure cooker like I have for this recipe.


Around 1.5kgs Of Pigtails/Oxtails, washed in lemon juice and water and drained.

Cumin, Ground Ginger, Pimenton Dulce, Tomato Paste,Pepita Seasoning, and Ground Pimento.

1/2 a Jar of Pepita Seasoning #2-This is a vegan friendly seasoning, created by me with a base of pumpkin seeds, onion, bell peppers, dried limes, rosemary and parsley.

Click here for Pepita Seasoning#2 recipe


Pepita Seasoning#2

1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger, Pimenton Dulce(Smoked Paprika), and Ground Pimento.
1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste


Firstly, put the meat into a pressure cooker, filling it until it just covers the meat. Cover, and if using oxtail pressure cook for around 45 minutes on high heat for  around 25 minutes, turning down for the remaining 20 minutes. If cooking the original meat, the pigtails, cook on high heat for 20 minutes, then on lower heat for 10 minutes.
Cooked boiled pigtails
Cooked boiled pigtails

When the meat is cooked, drain the water and set aside. In another pot, fry the seasoning in a small amount of oil, adding the spices and tomato paste. Do this for at least 5 minutes.


Afterwards, add the meat, and leave on a bubbling simmer in the pot for around 10 minutes, adding at least two cups of water or around 500mls.

Pigtails simmering

The end dish should have a lovely velvety sauce, which is thick and flavoursome.  Stir to prevent from sticking. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, cassava, and salad…. If you’re like me, perhaps some wine too! Disfrutalo!!

Pigtails, Rice and Salad with Wine




Spiced Tea Biscuits/Galletas Especiadas Con Té

Heeyyy!!! I haven’t forgotten you all, I’ve just had a rather busy month! I did a short course about starting up a business (Yes,Dinie dreams too!!), and been preparing for a major event.. I hope to let you know more as the weeks roll on! I hope you all can make it-Well,you London/U.K followers will most likely make it! And I hope you do!

In the meantime, I’ve been inspired and this time its the bakery menu that has a new recipe. They are spiced and fragrant biscuits, using Lapsang Souchong tea! Feel free to use any other tea of your choice.




100 grams of Plain Flour sieved
50 grams of Caster Sugar
100 grams of Margarine/Butter

1 Lapsang Souchong Teabags- This is a delicately smoky and fragrant flavoured tea, made by smoking tea leaves over pine leaves/bark.

1/2 Whole Mace shell(Or Mace Powder.)
1 Teaspoon of Sichuan Peppercorns


1 Packet of Dark Chocolate Chips
Pinch of Salt


Sieve the flour into a bowl, and add the sugar and other ingredients, including spices which should have been ground to a powder.



Rub together using fingertips, then knead the dough together lightly to mix the ingredients together. Then, add a few splashes of water to bind the mixture into a dough. This should not take long.  Make sure the sugar and margarine have combined very well before this last step.

Lightly flour a surface or clean dry chopping board,and roll out a small quantity of dough. Use cookie cutters to shape the biscuit dough,and place in a non stick baking tray. Bake for around 10-15 minutes on 180° in an electric oven. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve with.. What else.. Tea!! Disfrutalo!

Chocho, Avocado, And Parsley Salad/Ensalada De Chayote,Aguacate, Y Perejil

This is a cool, refreshing and easy salad to make with spicy foods or as a light dinner.



1 Medium Sized Avocado, scooped from its skin and roughly sliced.
1 Cupful Of Flat Leaf Parsley,roughly chopped.

To the top, Flat leaf parsley, the bottom coriander leaves.

2 Chochos-These are a vegetable used in Caribbean,South and Central American, and Asian Countries. It is a relative of the cucumber, and has a mild flavour, that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Take a look on Beryls Verve Chayote Page.

Half Of A Cucumber, with middle scooped out and sliced on a mandolin.. Or with a sharp cleaver! Take care when using both!

1 Crushed Garlic Clove
Juice Of One Orange
Splash Of White Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon of Liquid Smoke
1 Teaspoon Of Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Of Olive Oil

OPTIONAL: Chopped Onion and Goats Cheese.


Firstly, peel,core and was the Chochos. Then either blitz in a food processor, or slice with a mandolin or knife. Squeeze excess water from the Chochos using a tea strainer and lightly pressing the veg,with a spoon. The water should drain easily.

Wash the orange, juice it, and set aside with the oils and vinegar,whisked together with a fork.

Scoop the seeds from the cucumber, with a teaspoon. Slice on a mandolin or with a knife. Scoop the flesh from an avocado,and if desired, chop onion and goats cheese.

Add the dressing to the avocados to stop oxidation. Add seasoning,and combine the other ingredients. Assemble the salad on a plate,adding onion and goats cheese if desired. Disfrutalo!

Spicy Black Eyed Peas With Mushrooms And Pumpkin Greens/Guisantes De Ojos Negros Con Hongos Y Verduras De Calabaza

Here is another quick, tasty bean and pumpkin greens dish, this time with cloud mushrooms and in a rich tomato sauce. I served it as an alternative to meat sauce and pasta. If you wish, use different beans, and cheeses, or if vegan, use nutritional yeast powder/vegan cheese supplement.



250 grams of Black Eyed Peas, soaked overnight for 8 hours. Or use 1 can of black eyed peas.
1 Small Onion diced,
2 Cloves of Garlic crushed,
3-4 Cloud Mushrooms (These can be bought from a Chinese store. Presoak in hot water until softened.)
Half a Pack of Dried Pumpkin Greens (Ugu in an African store), or fresh greens/spinach.
1 Tin Of Tomatoes
Salt to taste.



1 Bay Leaf, 1 & 1/2 Teaspoons of Pimento Seeds,Dried Thyme,Cumin,Annatto Powder, and 1 Small Piece of Moruga Scorpion Chilli-This is an extremely hot chilli, from Trinidad, with an aroma and taste similar to dark chocolate,with warm nutmeg notes. Use milder chilli, if you’re not brave enough! Hahahahaha!!
Oil to sauté


Firstly,rinse the peas,and put them to cook in the pressure cooker with water cover covering over them by 2 inches. Leave on a high heat to pressurize for 20 minutes. Then turn down the heat for around 10 minutes or less.

Grind spices.

Then in a pot, boil the dried mushrooms and pumpkin greens, for 10 minutes, until they plump up. Drain and rinse free from grit. Chop onion and garlic:


Then chop the mushrooms:

Chopped Cloud Mushrooms

Then chop the pumpkin greens,after moving the stalks:

Ugu(Pumpkin Greens)

In a pan fry the onions and garlic, after around 5 minutes,add the mushrooms and greens,


then add the tomatoes and spices:


Leave to bubble gently until onions have softened and mushrooms have cooked for at least another 10 minutes. If the peas have cooked, quickly cool the pressure cooker(If using a manual one), by pouring cold water over the weight of the pot, until it stops hissing. Check the softness of the peas. You don’t want them too soft,but cooked and firm.

It would be advised to fry the onion at least, whilst the peas are cooking in the pressure cooker or earlier to save time.


The sauce and beans should be cooked for around 10 minutes,meanwhile boil some pasta. Check seasoning, and serve, if desired, with cheese,nutritional yeast, or vegan cheese. Disfrutalo!!

Finished dish

**This also makes a great breakfast dish alongside vegetarian sausages,eggs, or on top of toast.

Roast Pork With Black Cardamom And Dijon Mustard/Puerco Asado Con Cardamom Negro Y Mostaza Dijon

This is another Sunday roast pork dish,using mainly sharp, hot, mustard,and intensely citrus tinged,black cardamom pods. They are quite strong so use 2-3 pods at the most, so that they don’t overpower the meat/tofu/fish you are cooking.


3 Pieces of Black Cardamom,
2 teaspoons of Sweet Paprika,
Black Peppercorns,
and Dijon Mustard.

1-2 Cloves of Garlic crushed.
A Splash of White Wine Vinegar.
Around a tablespoon of Olive Oil.
Salt to taste-Use carefully,as mustard can boost salt content. Just a small amount.


1kg of Pork Shoulder or thereabouts.. It took around 3 hours.. This includes allowing for resting time for tender meat that’s easy to carve.



First, wash and drain the meat-I remove the strings on my meat. You can leave them on if you wish.

After draining, start grinding the spices for the meat. Place the cardamoms, paprika and peppercorns into a grinder. Grind into a powder, adding to the other ingredients in a small container. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt also. Add wet ingredients like mustard and vinegar.

It should look like this:


Mix thoroughly, and begin to season the meat and crackling.


Cook on 200° for around 20-30 minutes until browned. Turn down to 180°, covering with foil if desired. Leave to cook for an hour. Take off the foil, and turn up to 200° to make the crackling crisp.

It may help to remove the fat from the meat, depending on thickness of the joint. Add some vegetables. I had roasted brussel sprouts with mine. Sorry about the lack of pictures. If the meat is cooked allow it to rest,and crisp the crackling. If not quite done, leave in the oven for around 20 minutes more. Then check again.

Depending on thickness of fat, the crackling may take upto 30 minutes to crisp. Serve with vegetables of choice, rice/roast potatoes. It makes good leftovers for sandwiches! Disfrutalo!!

Clam and Lentil “Lhowder”(Chowder without potatoes!)/”Lhowder” De Almejas Y Lentejas(Chowder Sin Patatas!)

Clam "Lhowder", in a bowl

Hello all!!! I can’t believe I haven’t blogged for a month!! But don’t worry, I’m back and with an easy, low carb and low fat recipe. This soup, came almost as a eureka moment for me.

I had clams and I had yellow split lentils.. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I also didn’t soak the yellow lentils.. I decided to do soup.. A sort of chowder, but without the carb heavy potatoes and no cream!

This crossover fusion, uses traditional herbs like Tarragon and Thyme, along with warming spices like cumin.

Anyone who knows me,knows that I don’t really cook/like much soup, and cook ‘drier’ foods. But this is a good idea, for a quick meal when cooked in a pressure cooker.  This can serve as a starter for around 6 people, or more, depending on desired consistency, and servings. I base this on the fact that I used café cups!

I added no onions, but a little garlic for some flavour. Adjust to your taste.


1 bag of frozen Clam Meat- Use less if you feel so.

3 cloves of Garlic
Around 200g of Yellow Split Lentils
Vegetable Stock, to taste. Adjust water levels too.

Spice Mix:


1 & 1/2 Teaspoons of Black Mustard Seeds,Cumin Seeds,Ajwain Seeds,2 Bay Leaves, 1 Small Ghost Chilli. Grind all of these into a powder.

1 Teaspoon of Thyme and Tarragon, or to taste


Firstly, rinse the lentils, until the water is clear. Add to a pressure cooker pot, along with a crushed garlic clove, and enough stock and water to just cover the ingredients.

Put to pressurise for 20 minutes. After this, allow to cool by pouring cold water over the pot to cool it down. Put the pot in a clear sink, pouring cold water over it. When the weight stops hissing, pull the weight off and open the pot. Return to the stove, and check seasoning.


Add the other garlic cloves, and spice mix.

Then add the herbs.


Warm through for a few minutes and serve hot as a first course or as a main meal, adding vegetables and Quinoa. Disfrutarlo!!

Fried Chicken #3/Pollo Frito #3

Want gluten free and tasty fried chicken? Look no further because I’ve got yet another fried chicken recipe which is spicy,crunchy, and moreish!



1kg Whole Chicken, cut into around 8 pieces.

Spice Mix:
Garam Masala
Garlic powder
Sweet Paprika

Seasoned Gram (Chickpea)Flour:


Around 1/2 teaspoon of: Fenugreek, Chilli flakes,Pimento, Cumin Seeds,Cardamom pods, Salt, Coarse Black Pepper.

1 Cup or so of Gram Flour-This is chickpea flour, commonly used in South Asian cuisine, for sweet and savoury dishes.

2 Eggs whisked.

Oil for frying


Firstly, cut(or get chicken pieces!) and wash the chicken. Drain the bird, and season.


In a dry pan, toast most of the spices except the chilli flakes, salt and black pepper. When golden and popping, place all spices for the seasoned flour into a spice grinder. When blended, add to the chickpea flour.


Get your egg-flour-chicken stations ready:


Heat a pan a quarter of the way up with oil-you are aiming to seal the coating on the chicken. Not to fry it all the way through. If you choose to deep fry add more oil, heat on high, then fry on a medium heat, until deeply golden and juices run clear.

Dip the meat in the egg and then flour,dust and repeat the steps a second time. Seal the coating in the oil by frying, and place in a baking dish.


Repeat this for all of the meat. Bake in an oven on 180° for around 30 minutes or until cooked though and juices run clear, with no blood oozing out.

Serve hot with rice, carrots and beansprout,and alfalfa salad or mashed potatoes,greens, gravy,stuffing or any other side dish of choice.



Fried Chicken #2-,

Fried Chicken #1-

Onion Chicken-Pollo Encebollado

This is a quick recipe for those of us who have half a chicken or a few pieces of chicken!



Half to a whole 1kg Chicken of choice, with skin(Cornfed, Free Range,Organic or Grade A)

Half a cup or to taste of Crispy Fried Onions

Spice mix:
Fenugreek, Chilli Flakes,Rosemary,Annatto, and Salt, up to 1/2 teaspoon each, ground in a coffee/spice grinder. Add half a teaspoon extra for the whole chicken, particularly where the fenugreek and chilli are concerned. Omit the chilli if desired.


Firstly, wash and drain the chicken,sprinkle the ground spices and rub onto the meat. Set aside, and preheat the oven. Place bird in a roasting tray.


Pour the onions into a bowl, and stuff the meat under the skin, with the onions.


When you have finished, sprinkle some onions onto the skin. Sprinkle a little oil too.


Cook in an oven for 200 degrees for about 15 minutes, then turn down to 180 degrees, cooking for another 30 minutes. Or until juices run clear and the meat is tender with crispy skin.


Serve hot with side dishes of choice. Disfrutalo!

Kidney Bean And Pumpkin Green Potage

This was taken from last Sunday’s dinner, where I wanted to do something which wouldn’t spoil the taste of the vegetables or under flavour them, then it wouldn’t be enjoyable. So I came up with this using, coconut milk powder, and subtle spicing.



A Wedge of Spanish Onion,diced
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
2 Teaspoons of Annatto, Coriander, Smoked Paprika(Pimentón), and Chilli flakes(Or less).

1/2 Packet of Dried Pumpkin Greens(Ugu)-Buy from an African store or Amazon. You can buy fresh leaves from Fresh and Wild or other organic stores. For fresh greens,soak in salt water and then rinse to get rid of remaining grit. Use amaranth leaves/taro leaves as a replacement.

Oil to sauté
1 Can of Kidney beans(Red/White),drained and rinsed
4 Pieces of Black Fungus/Cloud Mushrooms/Wood Ear Mushrooms,
soaked in hot water,and then rinsed.

Coconut Milk Powder-

Pre-mix up to 3 Tablespoons of powder, with 200mls of warm water to make coconut milk.


Fry the onion, garlic and then after two minutes, the spices.


Fry until softened.

The greens and mushrooms should be presoaked and rinsed.



Add them after chopping, to the pan. Add the beans and then the coconut milk.




Leave to simmer for at least 15 minutes, and then reduce the mixture for at least 5 minutes more. Or until softened, if desired. Serve as a side dish or main meal!! Disfrutalo!!

Left:Roast Pork, Right:Veg Melange

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