Nicaragua: Old Indian

After spending the afternoon around Rockville and having an eccentric Taiwanese meal, we decided to relax at home.  We both wanted something easy to make and more of a “comfort” food.  I decided to go ahead with Nicaraguan, no other reason than I already had a beer from this country in the fridge.

The beer I had was called Toña.  This cerveza is a golden lager, brewed in Nicaragua, that is pretty weak.  The beer was just okay but went well with the dish we made. [Editor’s note: I really like this beer! One of the better ones from Central America!]

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For dinner we made a cuisine called Indio Viejo (old indian).  As soon as I saw this it reminded me of one of my favorite Cuban dishes, Ropa Vieja. (old clothes).  The dish, however, was completely different but tasty in its own right.

The consistency of Indio Viejo is somewhere between stew and thick soup, and the orange of the achiote gives it a beautiful color. [Editor’s note: It reminded me of the inside of a nacatamale]. The ingredients confused me a bit as again, it wasn’t anything like Ropa Vieja.  The main ingredient in this dish was corn, a large amount of corn flour or Maseca.

I bought neck bone meat to put in a pot of boiling water and vegetables.  The meat was boiled for a few hours and then removed.  I shredded the meat off the bone and put to the side.

Bridget fried tomatoes, onions and peppers in some oil.  She then tossed the maseca with the veggies along with one of my evil enemies: achiote.  The evil red seasoning that stains everything I own, hence Bridget mixing this part.  The mixture was put on the stove top in a large pot.

It simmered for about 20 minutes and I dumped the meat into it when done.  We apparently made enough Indio Viejo for an entire Nicaraguan village.  It looked like we were feeding porridge to the local orphan children when done.

The achiote gave it a redddish/orange hue and the corn made it look like a thick stew.  I steamed some rice and fried a green plantain to go with the meal.  The rice was unnecessary as the Indio Viejo by itself was filling and plentiful.

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The dish was quite delicious and way too much was made.  Indio Viejo was a simple dish that didn’t need a whole bunch of pictures, just a simple final “ta-da.”

-Matt

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