Cooking with Alyssa

I cook. Cooking is more than a matter of physical sustenance for me. Food is one of the last ways available to me for getting and staying in touch with my Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage, and I treasure each new bit of mastery I can attain. I am on a long journey of discovery, back-filling everything my parents failed to teach me and moving on to things even they never learned. There are few vehicles for memory more powerful than food.

Image of a rooster crowing in front of a Puerto Rican flag and surrounded by rural imagery. The rooster is of a fighting breed, with large spurs, and white in color with a prominent tail.
Para un Puerto Rico libre.

So, here are the recipes I’ve shared on this blog. As above, most of these recipes are my take on Puerto Rican and Cuban classics, with a few others that are part of my own history. Each of them is presented in the same format: a descriptive vignette and discussion of the dish’s history and origins, an ingredients list, suggested accommodations for common dietary restrictions, and the steps themselves.

Recipes marked with an asterisk (*) can easily serve as appetizers or side dishes.


Rice Dishes

Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Arroz con Salchichas (Rice with Vienna Sausage)

Cacerola Bayamo (Bayamo Casserole)

Frijoles Negros (Black Beans and Rice)

Mapo Tofu


Pasta Dishes

Macaroni and Cheese

Pasta a la Boricua

Spaghetti with Kiełbasa


Beef Dishes


Beef and Walnut Rendang

Frita Cubana Burger

*Papas Rellenas (Fried Potato Dumplings)

Sancocho (Puerto Rican Beef Stew)

Oxtail Stew


Pork Dishes

*Chuletas a la Jardinera (Garden Pork Chops)

*Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes)

*Cuban Pulled Pork

*Pork Tamales


Seafood Dishes

Salmon Almondine


Egg Dishes

*Tortilla de Papa (Spanish omelette)


Vegetable Dishes

*Johnnycakes (Corn Pancakes)

*Yuca Tres Maneras (Cassava Three Ways)


Drinks and Desserts

*Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)

*Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

*Gluten-Free Date Squares

*Mexican-Inspired Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies