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Community Cocina: Christmas Coquito, Arroz con Dulce, y Tembleque

Community Cocina workshop attendees posing for a group photo with bottles of coquito in hand.

Last night marks yet another truly powerful evening shared with the incredible folx that came out to share space with us last night as part of our ongoing Community Cocina program. Not only did we walk away from the space with new blossoming friendships and delicious recipes, but we each took home our very own mini-bottles of coquito, courtesy of Breaking Bread with Mira and QLatinx. Thank you to the Orlando United Assistance Center for opening their doors and allowing us to bring a little holiday magic this December.

As part of last night's Community Cocina program we learned about the rich and vibrant history of Puerto Rico; we discussed the cultural significance of Reggaeton and it's influence on the world; and, we held space and time to explore the impact that Hurricane Maria has had on the island of Puerto Rico and the lives of its citizens, many of whom have been forced to evacuate due to unlivable conditions and a lack of support. Chef Yamira Johnson noted that "by the end of 2017, nearly 200,000 of our people will have fled the island and resettled in Central Florida in search of new opportunities, new connections, and new hope for their futures and families." Chef Johnson reminded us that in these disastrous times it is so important that we all extend love and support to nuestra familia and turn that compassion into action.

We have to open our doors and create opportunities for our people to be empowered, educated, uplifted, and to give them the tools to thrive. -- Yamira Johnson, Breaking Bread with Mira

With Chef Johnson's powerful reminder about the strength found in being with community and the hope that springs from sharing space, she led us into our next phase of the program where we worked together to put together the evening's menu (and foster new beautiful interconnections in the process). In case you missed on last night's program, never fear; our awesome volunteer team captured some great photos and we included the recipes below.

Arroz con Dulce

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

  • Cook Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups of rice

  • 1 cup of water

  • 4 1/4 cups of coconut milk

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 ounces ground ginger

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar

  • 1/2 cup of raisins


  1. Rise rice in cold water. Combine water, 4 1/2 cups of coconut milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium size caldero.

  2. Reduce heat to moderate, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook until rice is completely dry, without stirring.

  3. Add sugar and raisin, stirring slowly, and bring mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes, without stirring.

  4. Add reserved 3/4 cups of coconut milk and stir. Turn heat to moderate and boil for about 30 minutes, or until rice dries again. Stir occasionally to avoid rice from sticking to the bottom of the caldero.

  5. Remove spices. Spoon rice into a flat serving platter. Allow rice to cool at room temperature and chill in refrigerator.

  6. Garnish with raisins, cinnamon sticks, or powdered sugar.



  • Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 14 ounces of coconut milk

  • 3/4 cup of sugar

  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon, for garnish


  1. Stir coconut milk, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Spoon a few teaspoons of the coconut milk mixture into a small bowl and stir cornstarch into the mixture to dissolve; pour the combined mixture into the saucepan.

  3. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly; cook until smooth and think, at about 5 minutes.

  4. Pour the coconut milk mixture into molds, covering each with plastic warp and refrigerate until cold and firm.


Coquito Puertorriqueño

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 28 ounces of coconut milk

  • 28 ounces of coconut cream

  • 32 ounces of coconut water

  • 24 ounces of evaporated milk

  • 1 cup of water

  • 14 ounces of condensed milk

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg

  • 1 tsp brown sugar

  • 4-5 fresh cinnamon sticks


  1. Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate.

  2. 1 cup of white coconut rum can be added per gallon, this recipe makes 1 gallon.

About Community Cocina Community Cocina is a multi-cultural education series that seeks to analyze the history and culture of the Latin American, Central American, and Caribbean regions by understanding their roots and exploring them through their music, language, and cuisine.

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