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Timbalero Mio Flores LOVES AUTHENTIC Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules y Pastelas

Yesterday, I caught up with my pal percussionist, Mio Flores to find out what his all-time favorite dish he loves... His answer: Authentic Puerto Rican Arroz con Gandules y Pasteles and he did not think long about his answer!

Below you will find some amazing videos from home chefs showing their families recipes and for the Pasteles, I went ahead and transcribed the recipe in the video, as there are many steps, to help you follow along.

Before the recipes, I also want to share where you can catch Mio and his Incredible All-Star Musicians are performing this weekend on Friday and Sunday: July 1 & July 3.

About Mio Flores, Pocket Percussionist, Born and raised in the Musical melting pot of Oakland California, Has been performing on stage since the early age of eight years old. Throughout his career he’s had the opportunity of Playing Percussion ,Performing and Working with headliners such as, The Whispers, Pete Escovedo, El Chicano, Confunkshun, Carlos Santana, and many more. Being in the music industry as long as he has, he’s worn hats as a Band Leader, Emcee/Host, Musical Director, and Production manager. He’s had the pleasure since 2015 as an Artist with Elevate Oakland, non-Profit as a hand drumming instructor with The Oakland Public Schools, presently at McClymonds High School.

Friday July 1: OAKLAND 1st. FRIDAYS presents Oaklands Own “MIO FLORES & A TASTE OF CALIENTE ALL-STAR BAND” featuring; GARY FLORES on PIANO ERIC RANGEL on TIMBALES CARLITO FRANCO on BASS/Lvocs BILL ORTIZ on TRUMPET JULIUS MELENDEZ on TRUMPET ANYHONY BLEA on VIOLIN MIO FLORES on Toca Percussion on Friday July 1st, 7-8:30pm Main stage 27th & Telegraph Oakland,Ca. Big Thank you to Del Rose Auto Insurance of Oakland for the sponsorship of Mio Flores Live Music @ Oakland First Fridays for July 1st.

Sunday July 3: @ Oaklands Rocky’s Market Brooklyn Basin ,Bringing SALSAZZ SUNDAYS 4-7pm with MIO FLORES & THE HABANAS ALLSTARS ,featuring: Carlos Ramirez on Bass/Lvocals Julius Melendez -Trumpet Benezra Tergis -Keys Juan Ceballos -Flute Anthony Blea -Violin Javier Navarrette -Congas Mio Flores -Toca Percussion special guests TBA *Door donation please, all proceeds go to musicians. SLAMMIN SUNDAY JULY 3rd.

Rocky's Market Brooklyn Basin (510) 496-1191

I found these amazing home chefs YouTube videos to share with you their

AUTHENTIC Puerto Rican dishes. The first is by Chef Mama Boo, showing you how to prepare Arroz con Gandules, try not to laugh and dance watching her throw down in her kitchen.

And I also share with you the delightful Max & Aracelia's Kitchen, showing you their multi-generation family recipe for Pasteles! Both videos and have step by step visual instruction on how to prepare these beautiful dishes, as much of cooking is handed down through an oral tradition. I assure you, come this holiday season, I will definitely be offering them on my Steph's Good Food menu!

Pasteles by Aracelia & Maximino Otero


  • 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder

  • 3 1/2 cups Achiote Oil (see below for how to make)

  • 1 cup Sofrito (see below for how to make)

  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 cup water

  • 7 pounds Yauita (Taro Root)

  • 4 pounds Green Cooking Bananas

  • 2 Green Plantains

  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk

  • 2 cans Sweet Red Peppers sliced thin

  • 1 can Stuffed Spanish Olives

  • 2 packages of banana leaves

  • 1 package of Paper de Pasteles (found in Latin stores)

  • Cooking Twine (HIlo)

Step 1: Prepare the Meat:

  • Cut pork shoulder into 1/4"-1/2" cubes

  • In a large pot, Combine 1 cup Achiote Oil and 1 cup Sofrito and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat

  • Add Cubed Meat and 1 cup of water

  • Cook for 30 minutes, until fork tender

Step 2: Prepare the Masa:

  • Peel the Bananas and Plantains

  • Put them in a bowl of salt water to prevent them from turning brown

  • Peel the Yautia

  • Grate Yautia, Bananas, and Plantains and add to large pot

  • Add 2 1/2 cup Achiote Oil

  • 1 cup Meat Sauce

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk

  • Combine together and ensure mixed well

Step 3: Assemble the Pasteles

  • Cut banana leaves in the 3" squares or enough to cover pasteles

  • Place banana leaf on a sheet of Paper de Pasteles (parchment paper)

  • Make sure banana leaf is clean

  • Brush banana leaves with vegetable oil

  • Place one serving size spoonful of masa in the middle of the banana leaf, and spread, leaving a little edge around the leaf

  • Add a generous portion of stewed pork meat on top of the masa

  • Place 2 green olives and 1 red pepper slice on the meat

  • Wrap the pastele by folding the paper (be sure to watch video)

  • Tie the pastele with cooking twine

  • Place assembled pasteles in a large pot of water, making sure all the pasteles are covered and cook in boiling water 45 minutes - 1 hour.

How to make Achiote Oil:

  • 1 cup Annatto Seeds

  • 3 1/2 cups Vegetable Oil

  • Bring seeds and oil to a slow boil until the oil turns dark red

  • Cool the oil and strain the seeds out

How to make Sofrito:

Ingredients and Process:

  • 5 green peppers seeded and chopped

  • 2 red peppers seeded and chopped

  • 4 cubanelle peppers seeded and chopped

  • 1 pack or about 12 aji dulce peppers seeded and chopped

  • 5 cups Spanish onions chopped

  • 1 cup of garlic chopped

  • 1 bunch of recao chopped

  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped

  • Once everything has been rinsed and seeded, in small batches blend them in either a food processor or blender. (They may have to be done in batches. Onions are great on the bottom, they give off a lot of liquid once blended.)

  • Refrigerate in a sealed container. Freeze in small containers extras that will not be used within the next two weeks

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