I have always wondered why some of our dishes have been relegated to obscurity. Perhaps is the humble provenance of those dishes, something we have written about before, that keeps them away from the refined table. Maybe it’s time the revolution reached the cupboards.
Jalao is one such humble dish that still languishes as colmado fare, and although a childhood favorite it never delights guests with its fresh taste and chewy texture. A shame really.
It’s funny how we strive to cook and serve some of our most complicated desserts, which become a source of headache and much forum chatter amongst our beginner cooks. If you are going for truly Dominican fare forget tres leches, or flan: they may be Dominican favorites but they are not unique to our cuisine. I suggest that if you are new to cooking you might start with the simple recipes; they might not impress your guests with your culinary prowess in the same way as a properly-made tres leches, but they will enjoy the simpler ones all the same.
And no, we are not being paid by the PC Foundation, it happened to be the honey I have, and it is darn good, organic and the money goes to a good cause. So there, buy it if you can find it where you live.
Can we perhaps re-discover these dishes, present them in a dignified manner and serve them with pride?
Is there any food that say "love" better than honey? I don't think so either. Make a bunch of these, and go around spreading sweetness and love around you.
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 2 cups dry coarse coconut flakes
- 1 cup of dark honey
- Pour the honey into a saucepan and bring to a "violent" boil over medium heat.
- Mix in the coconut and pour the mixture on the oiled tray. Cool to room temperature.
- Cover your hands with a bit of oil and make balls about 1.5" in diameter. Rest on an oiled surface. Serve at room temperature. For a bit of contrast you can sprinkle with coconut flakes.
To make coconut flakes follow the instructions in this link, bear in mind that you will need to stop the food processor before the coconut turns into flakes, there should be small chunks (about 1/4" pieces).