Pastel del chucho

Pastel de chuchoPastel de Chucho is one of the typical foods of Margarita and Coche islands. It is a Caribbean dish that delicately combines sweet and salty flavors. It is a sort of lasagna made up of fried plantains (tajadas), and fish stew with chili pepper (ají dulce) and annatto (onoto).

Next, we will introduce to you a variation of the original recipe that incorporates bechamel sauce, cheese, and potatoes.

But first, we must prepare the fish stew using ray or school shark as they are fish with firm, greasy white meat:

Ray or school shark stew

You will need:
- 1 kilogram of ray or school shark, cooked and flaked
- Chicken or fish broth
- 2 chopped onions
- 6 chopped chili peppers (ají dulce)
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- Annatto (onoto), salt, and pepper.

Firstof all, lightly fry the garlic, onions and chili pepper lightly. Combine the onoto, the fish, and the broth in a pot, and then cook until the liquid has been reduced. Finally, add salt and pepper.

Now to make our Pastel de Chucho:

You will need:
- Ray or school shark stew
- 4 ripe sliced and fried plantains
- 3 cooked and sliced potatoes
- Bechamel sauce (butter, flour, salt, pepper, and milk)
- American cheese slices

First, grease an oven tray (e.g. Pyrex dish). Add one layer of plantain, one of cheese, fish, bechamel sauce, and then another layer of plantain, bechamel sauce, and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180 °C. Serve when it is still hot.

This is one of the recipes that we make in our Venezuelan cookery course in CELA on Margarita Island.