August 8, 2012

Wednesday's Chow - Champurradas

This week's guest, Paty Jager offers us a South American treat, drawn from research for her newest book Secrets of the Mayan Moon.  Read Paty's blog on Switching Genres While Sticking to What you Know.

I’ve not made this recipe. I borrowed it from my friend Cynthia Rothwell a Guatemalan who helped me with my book Secrets of a Mayan Moon. She has a wonderful blog where she reveals interesting information about her country.

Champurradas are under the category of what we call 'Pan de Manteca'. For breakfast a snack people say let's get pan de manteca and under that category fall various types of bread, cortadas, batidos, conchas, conchitas, batidas, besos, etc, and hojaldras, champurradas, etc, the latter group being 'pan de manteca tostado' (toasted). I knew that basically all are done with the same dough variations mainly on the shape, topping and time in the oven. The name Pan de Manteca should have hinted that the main ingredient is manteca (lard, shortening)....



5 ounces of shortening
5 ounces of sugar
A handful of soft flour (not the normal gold medal kind)
Sesame seeds


Mix the first three ingredients, make a ball and flatten the ball to the size and thickness you want the champurrada to be. Sprinkle with sesame seed.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350°F. 

This can be eaten with beans or dunked in coffee.

 As you can imagine, Cynthia was a wonderful resource for me while writing my book. She also read the book and helped me with the Guatemalan dialog.

I have the characters eating local fare and enjoying the fruit of the country.


Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.


“The duffel on the seat has food.” Tino’s attention remained on the road as they wove their way through shacks made of anything the occupants could get their hands on to keep out the heat and rain.

Isabella focused her attention on the food in the bag rather than the hungry-looking children. Her heart ached to roll down the window and dole out the food to the unhappy faces. Her father always found fault with her generous—though he called it tender—heart.

Her fingers wrapped around a warm foil package. She pulled out the foil, then bananas, mangoes, and avocadoes she found nestled together in the duffel.

“Keep digging. There should be queso fresco wrapped in a banana leaf.” Tino’s gaze strayed from the road to the pile of food she’d placed on the seat beside her.

“There’s enough food in this bag for the town.” She found the leaf bundle. Her fingertips grazed something cold and hard. Curious, she ran her fingers over the object.

A hand gun.

Shivers slithered up her arm and centered in her chest. If Tino was part of the group who used her to transport passports, he wouldn’t have allowed her access to the bag with his weapon, would he? She shot a glance his direction as her heart raced. He was relaxed, unconcerned about her rummaging in his bag and finding the gun. In the jungle, it made sense a guide would have a gun. Her racing heart slowed, and she chastised herself for thinking he was anything other than the guide Virgil hired.

His voice registered as he reached toward the bag.

Isabella jerked the bag back, but not before he plucked a banana. Air squeezed out of her lungs. She didn’t know which would have been worse, him reaching for the gun or finding her clutching the weapon.

“W-what?” She worked to focus her mind on what he said and not the unhealthy direction her thoughts had spiraled.

“We need enough food to get us from here to the dig. It could take two to three days depending on the rains.” He stared at her, one dark brow raised in question.

Could he tell she’d found his weapon? Should I just come out and ask him about it? Bravery had never been her strong suit, but directness—she had that by the boat load. She slipped her hand back into the bag and withdrew the gun.

“What is this for?”

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Kindle, and Smashwords 

1 comment:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Do you think this is the South American versopm pf the rhyme's North American ol'e South "shortnin' bread?"