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

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Crab Rangoons with Sweet and Sour Sauce


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Did you ever wonder what was in the neon red colored sauce that comes with your order of Crab Rangoons? Today I decided to find out, so I headed out to an Asian market and picked up a bottle of Sweet and Sour Sauce and I started to read. After reading the label and removing all of the ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce I realized how easy it would be to make at home with no artificial colors and no preservatives. Once I was done making the sauce I had a new dilemma, dipping sauce and no Crab Rangoons! So after a little bit of trial and error and a few wasted wonton wrappers I was filling and folding my own. If you love Crab Rangoons, I know you will enjoy this recipe.

Crab Rangoon
8 ounces cream cheese
1 can – 4.5 ounces crab meat
2 sliced scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
One egg yolk +1 teaspoon water (beaten)
One package wonton wrappers
Vegetable oil for frying

Combine cream cheese, crab, scallions, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and sugar then set aside.

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Remove one wonton skin from package and place on counter so it looks like a diamond.

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Brush edges of wonton skin with egg yolk.

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Place 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on center of wonton skin.

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Bring bottom point to top while sealing edges.

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Alternate folding method:

Pinch left and right points.

imagePinch top and bottom points.

imagePush all points towards the center and seal the top.

imageHeat the oil to 365 degrees. Fry the  Rangoons for  about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

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Sweet and Sour Sauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons catsup
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Chill before serving. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Budin – Puerto Rican Bread Pudding


Budin

I had a request for a recipe from an old friend of mine (Belinda Alfonso Sandstrom). Back in about 1991 we took a trip to visit her grand father and we brought him a some of my mom’s bread pudding. He took one bite and said it reminded him of the bread pudding he had as a child in Puerto Rico. This is one of my families “Heirloom Recipes”. Try this recipe and it will become a favorite for your family.

3 loaves of “3 day old” French or Italian bread / cut into small cubes
2 cans of Carnation Evaporated milk plus 2 cans of water
1 quart of milk (regular milk, not fat-free)
2 tbsp. Vanilla
3 cups Sugar
1 Tbs.Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisins
1/4 lb. butter (1 stick) – diced into small pieces
extra cinnamon for dusting

Directions:
There should be enough bread cubes to make a mound in a 10″ x 15″ baking pan.

Pour the 2 cans of Evaporated Milk over bread, refill each can with water and add to bread. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, sugar and 3/4 of the diced butter.

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Mix all together real good, making sure the sugar is well dissolved into the bread mixture.

Let stand for 15 minutes to allow bread to soften and soak up most of the milk. The texture should be a slightly wet mush. Use the remaining butter to dot the top of the entire mixture.

Then lightly sprinkle the top with more cinnamon. DO NOT MIX. Place pan in oven and bake at 350 degrees, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. or until knife inserted comes out clean. Top will have crispy chunks that you can’t help but to sample! The bread pudding itself will become firm once it cools off.

Hope you enjoy…it’s delicious

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Flan – Puerto Rican Egg Custard Recipe


Finished Flan

This is a family “Heirloom Recipe” that my mother has been making for as long as I can remember. Flan is a Spanish caramel cream custard that is popular in Puerto Rico and many other Latin American countries. This is a simple yet elegant dessert you must try!

 

Special equipment;

Bundt pan

  • Bundt pan
  • Deep roasting pan
  • Round platter slightly larger than the Bundt pan with raised edges

Ingredients;

  • 5 extra-large eggs
  • 1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1- 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 12 oz. whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • enough hot water to fill roasting pan 2 inches high

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

ingredients

Assemble all of the ingredients.

eggs in blender

Place eggs in the blender and whip for 15 seconds.

milk in blender

Add sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk to the blender. Then use empty can of evaporated milk to measure whole milk. Add the whole milk to the blender and whip for 30 seconds. Set aside.

sugar in the pot

Place sugar in  a dry sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat.

sugar partially melted

After 5 minutes sugar will begin to clump up. Break up clumps with a wooden spoon.

caramel

Continue to cook sugar until it liquefies and turns a light caramel color. Don’t go too dark or it will get a burnt flavor.

pouring caramel

Pour caramel into Bundt pan.

spreading caramel

Using a wooden spoon, spread caramel half way upsides of pan including tube.

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Place coated Bundt pan into roasting pan.

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Pour custard mixture into Bundt pan.

pouring water

Place roasting pan with Bundt pan into pre-heated oven. then pour hot water into roasting pan. About 2 inches high. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

un sticking flan

After removing from the oven allow to cool for 15 minutes then using a thin knife separate top edge of flan from the pan.

tilt pan

After flan has cooled tilt pan back and forth until you can see the caramel oozing up the sides of the pan. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or over night.

cover pan with platter

Place the inverted platter on top of the Bundt pan. Now comes the fun part. Holding the platter tight against the Bundt pan flip the pan over being careful not to lose the liquid caramel.

flipped flan

Note: After removing Flan from the pan there will be some hard caramel in the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry you can boil some water and pour it in the Bundt pan and it will melt away.

Sofrito and Red Kidney Beans


sofrito tray

Sofrito is a blend of peppers, onions, garlic, spices and herbs used to flavor the food from Puerto Rico and many other Latin American countries. I always keep some in my freezer. When I make up a batch I freeze it in small pre-measured containers so it is ready to go when I am making rice and beans. I also use it to marinate meat.

This is the basic recipe I use to make my sofrito.

  • 2 large green peppers (coarsely diced)
  • 2 medium onions (coarsely diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree for 10 seconds. Spoon 4 tablespoons  of mixture into small plastic cups or into hole of ice cube tray and freeze. After freezing I place the cups or cubes into a large freezer bag until ready to use.

To make Red Kidney Beans I use :

  • 1 plastic cup of sofrito or 1 cube from ice cube tray
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans Red Kidney beans (do not drain liquid)
  • 1 – 8 oz. can tomato sauce

Place sofrito and oil into medium sized sauce pan over low heat until thawed. Then raise the heat to medium low and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add beans and sauce to pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over white rice.

Espero que disfrute de esta receta.

(Translation: I hope you enjoy this recipe.)

2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Shrimp and Crab Salad


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This recipe is an old family favorite that I will credit to my mother. My mom makes it whenever she invites friends for a party. But it is so good that I find any excuse to make it.

1 lb. cooked shrimp peeled and diced

1 lb. Surimi (flake style imitation crab) diced

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1/4 cup finely diced celery

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp old bay seasoning

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with assorted crackers.