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Building Love Amongst Cultures takes people on a culinary exploration through extraordinary cuisine. With so many cultures present around us, BLAC has a flair for igniting the senses promoting food options from the different cultures that is easy enough for you to try yourself. Subscribe to receive email alerts for new recipes to come.

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Fried Dumplings

Pop's Seafood Stuffing

written by: Kaveria Lezza


How to bake??

Not all stuffing is stuffed in birds!

American stuffing has been proudly regional, gracing holiday menus as stuffed turkeys and hams since the 1800s. Some Puerto Ricans swear by their Mofungo or Rice and Beans, and Southerners swear by their stuffing - or dressing so to speak. Southerners often use a cornbread stuffing that originated by a dish called "kush" cooked by slaves brought from North and West Africa. In various places like the Northwest, holiday stuffing can include Native American wild rice or oysters coming from places like New England. 

New England's Oyster Stuffing is very popular: stuffing mixed with oysters. However, Pop's Seafood Stuffing is a twist to New England's Oyster Stuffing: stuffing mixed with crab meat, shrimp, and crawfish tails. This dish has been a hot commodity during the holiday season for years to come and highly requested by church members, family, and friends. 


3 8oz cans of crab meat
1 32 oz bag of jumbo shrimp
1 12 oz bag of crawfish tails
1 bag of unseasoned dressing
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp old bay
Pinch of minced garlic
Half red pepper
1 shallot
2 tsp butter


Preheat oven on 350F

1. Add butter to pan on medium heat and add bell pepper, garlic, shallot - cook for 5 minutes

2. Once done, add to blender with chicken broth and blend 

Note: Keep the pan and cook the shrimp to a light pink color

3. After blending, add mixture, heavy cream, and seasonings to a pot and warm. Do not boil.

4. In another bowl mix crab meat and dressing.

5. Add warm blend and shrimp to crab meat and dressing and mix.

6. Cook on 350F for 30-35 minutes or for drier dressing cook for 40-45 min

Thanksgiving Dinner
Shrimp, Clams & Oysters

Plantain Mofongo

written by: Kaveria Lezza

I had the opportunity with the military to explore Puerto Rico for a month. I traveled all over the island from San Juan to Ponce to Guanica. I spent many, many hours at the beaches and conversing with the locals at restaurants and bars. The locals take extreme pride in their heritage and culture and the food is really good there. 

Plantain mofongo is made from fried green (unripe) plantains mashed together with garlic and crackling pork rinds or chicharron. The plantains are sliced and fried until tender and mashed with garlic paste and pork cracklings. The mixture can either be formed into balls or a half dome shape. Mofongo is traditionally mashed in a mortar and pestle, but a potato masher will suffice. 


Plantain Mofongo - Puerto Rico

Morter and Pestle

This dish adapted its heritage from African cuisine as enslaved people brought the dish foo foo or fufu to the Caribbean. This dish is made in the same manner from various mashed starchy vegetables like yams, cassava, and plantains. Mofongu can be a side dish or the main course - your preference, and can be stuffed with protein: chicken, shrimp, rice, or beans.  

Mortar and Pestle


  • 2 cups of vegetable oil, for frying

  • 3 medium green, unripe plantains

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 6 oz pork rinds or cracklings, crushed (or other protein of your choice)

**This recipe can be substituted with healthier options such as olive oil, lean meats, and using an air fryer instead of a deep fryer!**

  1. Gather ingredients.

  2. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a frying pan or deep fryer to 350F.

  3. Peel the plantains and cut into 1-inch rounds while the oil is heating up.

  4. Fry the plantains until golden and tender (~ 4-6 minutes)

  5. Remove the cooked plantains from the pan or fryer and allow to drain on paper towels.

  6. Put the garlic paste in a mixing bowl or mortar and add the fried plantains. Mash until blended.

  7. Add the protein and continue to mash and mix until the ingredients are well integrated.

  8. Shape the mofongo into balls or.

  9. Shape the mofongo into half-dome shape by using a small condiment bowl as a mold and pushing a portion of mofongo down to the bottom of the bowl and level off with the back of a spoon.

  10. Use the spoon to scrape around the bowl and remove the mash in a half-dome shape.

  11. Serve hot and enjoy!

  12. OPTIONAL: After shaping the mofongo, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on it and cover in aluminum foil

  13. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until it starts getting brown.


*Check back for more recipes!*

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