DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

On this flag, blue stands for liberty, white for salvation and red for the blood of heroes. It features the national coat of arms and was adopted in 1863.
COUNTRY DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dishes Chimichurri Burger (vegan), La Bandera
Time45 minutes
Effort5/10
Rough Cost£5
COUNTRY DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Capital Santo Domingo
Population 10,878,246 (128th largest)
Land Mass48,671 km2 (128th largest)
Languages Spanish (official)
Religions 70% Christian (50% Catholic)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The Dominican Republic is a country on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. On this island is also the country of Haiti, which makes Hispaniola one of the only two Caribbean islands which has two different countries on it. However, the Dominican Republic is still the second largest nation in the Antilles, after Cuba and has the 3rd largest population. The island was inhabited by the native Taino people until Christopher Columbus landed, colonised and handed the land over to the Spanish. What followed was a long period of civil unrest but since 1978 the Republic has enjoyed a representative democracy and the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. It also has the fastest growing economy in the Western Hemisphere, in part driven by its famous gold mines and golf courses.

In Dominican culture, sport and music are especially significant. But of course, food is what we were interested in. Its cuisine is heavily influenced by Spanish, Taino and African styles. We also decided to veganize a classic Dominican Republic street food dish – the El Chimi or Chimichurri burger. These were so easy and absolutely delicious – bringing a fun simple twist to a classic burger. 10/10 recommend!

We also made the national dish of La Bandera, which is inspired by the national flag, with the beans representing the red, the salad the blue and the rice the white. La Bandera is a classic lunch dish and was a lovely dish!

El Chimi – Chimichurri Burger (vegan)

INGREDIENTS

  • vegan burgers (Tesco Plant Kitchen, £1.25 for two = BANGING)
  • baguette / brioche burger buns, sliced + warmed
  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced into rings
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely sliced
  • veg oil for frying
  • El chimi sauce: ketchup, vegan mayo, orange juice, Worcester sauce

METHODS

  1. Put the burgers into the pre-heated oven and cook for the specified time.
  2. Fry the onions and tomatoes together on a medium heat until soft, for about 3 minutes. Then add in the cabbage and wilt it down, seasoning with a bit of salt + pepper.
  3. Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. I based quantities off of taste.
  4. ASSEMBLE THE CHIMIs: spread the sauce on either side of the warm bun, put the burger in and top it with the fried veg, smoosh it together & NOSH!

La Bandera (vegan)

INGREDIENTS

For the Habichuelas Guisadas (beans)

  • 2 cups pinto / red kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce / 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 celery stalk leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup of squash (pumpkin if you can get it), chopped
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander

For the Ensalada Verde (green salad)

  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely sliced
  • Sauce: 3 tbsp vinegar mixed with 3 tbsp olive oil with salt + pepper to taste

For the Arroz Blanco (rice)

  • 1 large mug of rice
  • 1 3/4 mug of cold water (use the same mug as measuring the rice)
  • 1 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. To make the beans:
  2. To make the salad: mix all the prepared vegetables together and add the dressing, ensuring it is properly mixed in.
  3. To make the rice: make rice via your usual method!
  4. To serve: the idea is that you arrange the three dishes in the style of the Flag (bandera) with the salad and beans arranged in a square cross-section, separated via a cross of rice! Sprinkle with a bit of coriander and dig in – YUM!

Gracias and see you in the Dominica! M + B x

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