Habichuelas Colorados con Calabaza Guisado / Red Kidney Beans with Calabaza Squash


HHabichuelas con Calabaza

Habichuelas Colorados con Calabaza Guisado is a  popular Puerto Rican side dish made with red kidney beans and a Caribbean squash called Calabaza. It is a hard skinned squash with orange flesh similar to Acorn or Butternut squash, either of which may be substituted in this recipe. The Calabaza squash, which is easily found in Latin markets, adds a slightly sweet and earthy flavor to the beans. Serve over cooked white rice to create a perfect a side dish for grilled, roasted or fried meats. 

Ingredients:

1/2 pound chunk of Calabaza

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped Cubanelle pepper (Italian frying pepper)

3 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 – 16 ounce cans red kidney beans (or if you have more time on your hands than I do, feel free to soak some dried beans)

1 – 8 ounce can  tomato sauce

Method:

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Peel, remove seeds and dice the Calabaza into 3/4 inch pieces.

HHabichuelas con Calabaza

 

Place the diced Calabaza into a sauce pan with enough water to cover the cubes add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and simmer for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the Calabaza reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

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Place onions, green peppers, garlic and olive oil into a small food processor and pulse a few times until a coarse puree is achieved.

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Place puree into a large thick bottomed saucepan and sauté for 5 minutes over low heat.

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Add remaining ingredients plus the cooked Calabaza  and the reserved 1/2 cup of cooking liquid to the sauce pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

HHabichuelas con Calabaza

No Need to Knead Pizza Dough


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This is the easiest pizza dough recipe you will ever try because the mixer does the kneading for you and it is also completely fool-proof. If you enjoy making pizza at home get your favorite pizza sauce and toppings ready to impress your family and friends. 

 

3 cups bread flour

2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

2 tsp. sugar

1 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 tbsp. olive oil (plus 1 tbsp. for coating dough)

 

Place flour and salt into bowl of stand mixer with a dough hook attached.

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Place yeast, sugar and water into a large measuring cup and stir. Set timer for 10 minutes.

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Add 2 tbsp. of oil to yeast mixture then pour it into the flour and with the mixer on #2 setting and set timer for 10 minutes.

Then remove dough from bowl and pour remaining 1 tbsp. of oil into the bowl. Then roll the dough into a ball  on the counter then roll it around in the bowl to coat the dough with oil ( this keeps the dough from drying out while proofing).

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Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

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Allow the dough to proof (rise) for 1 hour or until doubled in size in a warm place in your kitchen.

After 1 hour remove the dough from the bowl and you are ready to create your masterpiece.

This recipe will make 2 – 10″ thin crust round pizzas or you can roll out the dough into a 9″ X 13″ sheet pan and allow to rise for an additional 10 minutes before you begin topping for 1 thick crust pizza.

Traditional Puerto Rican “Pernil Horneado” – Roast Pork


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Pernil, Puerto Rican Style roast pork is a typically served for the Holidays, with “Tostones” (fried green bananas) and “Arroz con Gandules” (rice and pigeon peas) on the side. The whole trick to a perfect roast is low and slow cooking. Also do not cover the roast while cooking or the skin will not get crispy. Buen provecho.(enjoy)

 

1 – 8 to 10 pound picnic pork shoulder – (bone in)

3 tbsp. salt or 1 tsp. / pound

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dried cilantro

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. ground cumin

6 cloves garlic peeled

1 large green pepper (coarsely chopped)

1 medium yellow onion (coarsely chopped)

1 lemon or lime (juiced)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil

 

Wash pork shoulder under cold running water. Dry with paper towels and place on cutting board skin side up. Using a sharp knife cut through the skin to create a diamond pattern. Place remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree. (This marinade is called Mojo and is also used on steaks, chicken and fish) Place pork into a large Zip-lock plastic bag and pour the marinade from the blender into the bag and seal. The pork shoulder should then be marinated in the refrigerator for 2 days for maximum flavor.  Turn over the bag occasionally to move the marinade around.

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Remove pork from bag and shake off excess marinade and discard. Place the pork shoulder on a rack with the skin side up in a deep sided roasting pan. Wipe marinade off the skin using a paper towel (this keeps the marinade from burning while roasting the pork). Add 1 inch of water to roasting pan to keep pan juices from burning.

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Place the uncovered roast in oven and cook for 5 hours (30 minutes/pound) or if using a probe thermometer until roast reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. To test the pork for doneness I use a fork to pull away a piece of meat, it should shred easily. Now check skin for desired crispness. If skin is still too soft you can get crisper skin by raising temperature up to 400 degrees but watch it closely because it will  burn quickly if not watched. When desired crispness is achieved remove roast from oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Sofrito – Puerto Rican Green Gold


sofrito-tray_thumb.jpgSofrito is a mixture of peppers, onions, garlic and herbs that is used as a flavoring in many Puerto Rican rice, bean and meat dishes. I always keep a supply in my freezer. Sofrito recipes are like finger prints no two recipes are the same, this is how my family makes it.

Sofrito Recipe:

2 large green or red pepper – stemmed, seeded and chopped

24 Aji Dulce peppers stemmed, seeded and chopped or 2 Cubanelle peppers stemmed, seeded and chopped*

2 medium onions (large diced)

6 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

4 leaves culantro (optional)

1/2 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil

 Place all ingredients into a food processor and process for 10 seconds.  Save sofrito by freezing in ice-cube trays or plastic cups then placing them into large zip-lock freezer bag for future use. Sofrito is a great marinade for grilled meats and for seasoning bean dishes. I measure about 1/4 cup in each plastic cup.

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*Aji Dulce Peppers are small peppers that resemble a Scotch Bonnet pepper but they are a sweet not hot. Cubanelle peppers are also known as Italian frying peppers.

PUERTO RICAN STYLE ARROZ CON POLLO (CHICKEN AND RICE)


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If you asked 10 Puerto Ricans “What do you ask your Mother to cook when you go to visit her?” I’ll bet 9 of 10 will say Arroz con Pollo!”  As I cooked this recipe and the aromas filled my kitchen, memories of my mother filled my head. I could see her in the kitchen browning off pieces of chicken while I was trying to steal a few of her olives and she would chase me away with her wooden spoon saying “You are not to big to get a beating.” Then we would both start to laugh. Good memories are what my “Heirloom recipes” are all about.

Arroz con Pollo Recipe:

6 chicken wings

6 chicken thighs

salt and pepper

3 tbsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. sofrito (see recipe below)

6 cups chicken broth

1 – 8 oz. can tomato sauce

16 pimento stuffed olives

3 tbsp. capers (rinsed)

4 cups long grain white rice

Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees F

Season the chicken parts liberally with salt and pepper.

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Heat oil in a thick bottomed Dutch oven or caldero over medium heat. Brown chicken a few pieces at a time for about 5 minutes a side.(Chef’s note: don’t fuss with the chicken while it is browning, when the chicken is ready to be turned over it will be easy to turn over and will not stick to the bottom of the pan) When chicken is browned remove from pot and set aside.

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Drain pot of rendered chicken fat leaving 1 tbsp. of fat behind in the pot. Leave the browned bits in the bottom of the pot because they will add flavor. Add sofrito to the pot and cook for three minutes.

Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, olives, capers, rice and reserved chicken to the pot and bring liquid to a boil in an uncovered pot over medium heat.

Once boiling reduce heat to low and stir pot only once. If you stir rice too much it becomes sticky!

After about 5 to 10 minutes the rice will absorb most of the liquid in the pot. When the liquid  is just below the top of the rice, cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and place the pot into pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.

Remove pot from oven and allow rice to rest for 5 minutes  before removing lid. To serve fluff rice with a fork.

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Sofrito Recipe:

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1 large green or red pepper (large dice)

12 Aji Dulce peppers seeded and chopped or 2 Cubanelle peppers seeded and chopped*

2 medium onions (large dice)

6 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)

1 jalapeno pepper

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 cup cilantro leaves

2 leaves culantro (optional)

1/2 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil

 Place all ingredients into a food processor and process for 10 seconds. Reserve 4 tbsp. of mixture for above recipe. Save remaining sofrito by freezing in ice-cube trays then placing cubes into large zip-lock freezer bag for future use. Sofrito is a great marinade for grilled meats and for seasoning bean dishes.

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*Aji Dulce Peppers are small peppers that resemble a Scotch Bonnet pepper but they are a sweet not hot. Cubanelle peppers are also known as Italian frying peppers.

Happy Hollandaise To You


Happy Hollandaise

I have always had a “Love – Hate” relationship with Hollandaise sauce.  As much as I love the rich  and creamy lemon flavor when it came to making Hollandaise sauce it would come out either too thin or it would curdle. So after a long search I found a recipe on-line that did not require using a double boiler. This recipe uses a blender to make the best Hollandaise sauce I have ever eaten. Now I have a “Love – Love” relationship with this velvety sauce. I serve it over asparagus, sea food, crab cakes or eggs Benedict. “Happy Hollandaise to you and to all a good sauce.”

Original recipe by Chellebelle.

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1/2 cup butter

Directions

  1. In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.
  1. Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high-speed, remove center cap of blender lid and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It will thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm for serving by placing the blender container into a pan of hot water.

Here is a link to a video that shows how easy the whole process is:

http://allrecipes.com/video/4559/blender-hollandaise-sauce/detail.aspx?prop24=RD_VideoTipsTricks

Spinach, Sausage and Goat Cheese Pizza


 

 

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This pizza is just like specialty pizza you pay 20-25 dollars for only with this recipe  you get 2 for $10 and this recipe is so easy. By making it at home you get all the kudos from your friends and  family and you can tell them “Awe it was just a little something I whipped up”.  Have fun and I hope you enjoy.

This recipe makes 2 – 12″ Pizzas

3 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup warm water

1 packet yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil + additional oil to coat pizza

8 oz. sausage (casing removed)

thin tomato slices – enough to cover Pizza

2 cup sautéed spinach and garlic (use 1 cup / pizza)

8 oz. goat cheese (use 4 oz. / pizza)

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 Place the bread flour and salt into bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

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Put water in a large measuring cup.  Add yeast and sugar to the water and stir to dissolve.  Set timer for 10 minutes to allow yeast to proof.

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Add oil to the water mixture. Pour liquid into mixer bowl.  Set mixer on number two and knead for exactly 10 minutes.

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Remove dough ball from mixer bowl then put a drop of oil into bowl of mixer. Then roll the dough around in oil to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1 hour. Dough should double in size. Cut into two balls. Each ball makes a 12″ pizza.

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Use a large skillet to cook sausage until the pink is gone and it begins to brown. Breaking up all large clumps. Place sausage into a strainer or on paper towels to drain off excess fat and set sausage aside. Use 1/2 of the sausage per pizza.

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Using one of the 1/2 balls roll out to a 12″ circle for each pizza. Brush top with olive oil  (this keeps the dough from getting soggy from the tomatoes) up to 1/2 inch from the edge, then cover with sliced tomatoes.

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Then cover with spinach.

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Cover with the sausage crumbles.

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Finish with mozzarella and large crumbles of goat cheese.

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Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven on a pizza stone for 15 – 20 minutes.

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