Hanging out in Pinones

Pinones is a working community along the beach in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.  Founded by descendants of African slaves, today is a residential and commercial neighborhood  and a place to hang out, specially during the weekends with family and friends.  Here you can enjoy music and good food along the stretch of beach shacks and huts with typical food from Puerto Rico with influences from Africa and Spain.

Alcapurrias: a mix of taro roots, and green bananas fill with beef or local crabs

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Today the working community of Pinones, has grown and you can find vacations homes for rent or sale. And a new wave of more affluents residents looking for a place near the beach, has settle down.

Coconut milk masa fritter with local crab meat

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Fresh and pure coconut water

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People in line waiting for food

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Me and my BFF Patricia, eating bacalaitos (salted cod fish fritters)

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El fogon this is the cooking method use to do the cooking, mostly fritters.

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The beautiful beach “La posita”

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Coquito – Coconut Christmas Drink

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Coquito is a traditional alcoholic beverage, serve during Christmas Season in Puerto Rico. Similar to eggnog, but with rum.  Its  a combination of coconut milk, coconut cream, milk, spices, and rum.  Another variations of Coquito is called Ponche, similar confection that incorporate eggs yolks for a cream and rich texture.  There are  a lots of ways of doing Coquito, that vary from personal preference.  This is how I do it……

Ingredients:  3 c of  Palo Viejo Rum, I prefer this one because is a very strong and good rum, with lots of aroma and great to combine with sweets, but any other will do. 1 can 14 onz. Coconut milk, 1 can 14 onz coconut cream, 1 can 12 onz. evaporated milk, 1 can 14 onz. condensed milk, cinnamon bark and ground cinnamon, 1 small slice of fresh ginger, 2 star anise,  nutmeg, 1 vanilla bean, and a pinch of salt.  Note: the amount of rum is a matter of preference, I prefer to taste the sweets only at the beginning  and to have an strong alcoholic taste at the end.

Follow me:  Simmer the evaporated milk and the coconut milk, with the cinnamon bark, ginger, star anise, nutmeg, and the seeds of the vanilla bean plus the vanilla bean, and salt.  Simmer for 15 minutes and do not let the milks boil. Remove from stove and let it cool and steep  for another 15 minutes.  Strain, and add all other ingredients, mixing in a blender.  Refrigerate before serving and serve with a dash of ground cinnamon.  Salud….