According to Wikipedia, the term Hispanic is used to denote a link to Spain, whether it is a culture or a group of people. This is why the people of the countries and islands who were once ruled by Spain are labeled Hispanic today. As these geographical locations encompass a large variety of customs, traditions, cuisines, and music/art forms, the Hispanic community is a diverse group which cannot be limited to a stereotype.
Of course, my bias tends to lean toward Puerto Rico. The fact that SuperHubby is Puerto Rican couldn’t have anything to do with that, could it? ;) Over the past eleven years, I have learned a lot about that beautiful island and its people. In case you didn’t know (and I’m always amazed at how many do NOT know), Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth, just like people from Connecticut, Tennessee, Utah, etc. They do not need a “green card” or a passport to travel, live, or work in the continental United States. Okay; I’ll step down from my soapbox now….
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog over the past couple of years, you are aware that I cook a lot of Puerto-Rican influenced cuisine on here. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I am reposting one of our favorite recipes here.
One of the first things I learned to cook is Puerto Rican style yellow rice. It is a basic dish, and varies slightly depending on the cook. Usually, I just “eyeball” it, so when I decided to post this recipe, I had to stop and measure the ingredients as I cooked. Again, this is one of those things that can vary according to your tastes, so don’t get too hung up on being exact.
1 packet GOYA® Sazón with Coriander and Annatto (con Culantro Y Achiote)
1 packet GOYA® Chicken Bouillon
1 Tbsp. GOYA® Frozen Recaito, thawed
½ C. tomato sauce
2 C. water
2 C. medium-grain white rice
1 Tbsp. diced ham
2 Tbsp. alcaparrado
To effectively cook rice, you need to find just the right pot in which to cook it. I use a caldero, which is the traditional cooking pot used for cooking rice and other foods in Puerto Rico. Basically, it's a Dutch oven.
Heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add the next 7 ingredients.
When the water comes to a boil, add the rice.
Turn the rice down to low.
When the water has evaporated until it is level with the rice, add the ham and alcaparrado, stir once, put the lid on and turn heat as low as possible.
Let rice simmer approximately 20 minutes. Now, you don't want your rice to be too wet. This should not be a sticky rice; but, of course, you don't want it to stick and burn. The only way this will work is to LEAVE THE RICE ALONE!! This is very difficult for me. My usual approach to cooking is to hover over the stove, checking, stirring, sometimes even praying. With yellow rice, you can't do this. Well, you can pray, but you need to do it from a distance. I have learned that when I turn it down and put the lid on, it's best to just leave the room. Really. You have to do this.
Now, as for alcaparrado, it is a combination of olives, capers, and pimentos. If you can't find it in your store, don't sweat it; just use pimento stuffed olives. If you can't find the packets of chicken bouillon, again, don't worry. Just use a chicken bouillon cube. It's basically the same.
music to cook by . . .
Until next time, Happy Cooking! :)
“On a national level there is a tendency to portray Latino culture as a monolithic entity, which is a really inaccurate way of seeing ourselves. There is as much diversity and uniqueness within the Latino culture as there is in any other kind of American culture.” - Benjamin Bratt, Peruvian Indigenous/American actor
Here on the blog and here at home we are experiencing a lot of changes right now. At home, we are in the process of selling our home in Florida and and moving back to Kentucky. As you can imagine, the decision to move and change our lives has been a difficult one. We met one another here in Florida, our memories are here, and we built a life together here. And having to leave our youngest son and his wife and baby is heart-wrenching. But we know we are ultimately doing the right thing and everything will work out in the end.
And here on the blog, I am in the process of changing the look of the blog and possibly moving the entire thing. So, in between packing to move, I am working on the blog changes. What this means is that there is no spare time. We have been surviving on sandwiches quite a bit lately. Fortunately, I haven’t packed the slow cooker yet.
SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 C vegetable broth
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
3-4 boneless pork chops
Adobo to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients. Pour into slow cooker. With tip of sharp knife, make small cuts in chops. Season with Adobo. Cook on HIGH 3-4 hours. Baste occasionally with sauce.
Recently, someone asked me if I had any low-carb recipes to post. I knew that within this library of cookbooks I could find something, and if all else fails, old recipes can always be changed. I’m going to try to start posting at least one low-carb recipe a week (key word: TRY). It wouldn’t hurt us to eat a little healthier around here, so I welcome the challenge. While I’m doing this, I’m going to look at going back to a lower fat menu as well. Low carbs will help us lose weight, and because of my family’s coronary history, it would be nice if we slowed down on clogging the ol’ arteries. I’m not saying we’ll change our entire diet or my entire blog, but even the occasional change will help a bit. Hopefully this new leaf will last longer than the time I tried vegetarianism. I think I made it 24 hours.
I found this recipe in a Weight Watchers cookbook left over from one of my good intentions a few years ago. As usual, I made a few changes. Some were necessary because of what I had vs. what their recipe called for, and some were just because it suited me. And I omitted the carrots (yes, I said carrots!) from their recipe because I believe that putting carrots in chili is culinary blasphemy. If you want the carrots, feel free to put them back in. Just don’t tell me about it. : )
The changes I made didn’t make a huge difference in the calories/carbs/fat per serving, and I didn’t worry about the fiber, protein, sodium, or cholesterol count. One change at a time…..
In cast iron skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes. Add seasonings and cook additional 5 minutes, continuing to stir. Add beef, breaking up with wooden spoon while stirring. Cook until meat is browned. Add mixture to large saucepan. Pour in tomatoes, beans, and water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve immediately.
Each serving: 35g Carbohydrates
MUSIC TO COOK BY
Until next time, Happy Cooking! : )
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn