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
Don’t you just love comfort foods? It’s that time of the year when people start setting the table with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or soup. All of those things are good, but oh! a good pot roast. At least, that’s it for me. But not some ol’ bland, dry pot roast with little or no seasoning. How about what I consider to be Puerto Rican style pot roast? There are different versions out there; here is mine. And BTW, I used the slow cooker. Did you think I would do anything else? : )
PUERTO RICAN POT ROAST (CARNE MECHADA)
2-3 lb beef roast Adobo, to taste Vegetable oil 1 Tbsp GOYA® Recaito 2 green bell peppers, sliced into strips 1 onion, sliced into strips 1 tomato, chopped 1 packet GOYA® Sazon 1-8 oz. GOYA® Spanish-style tomato sauce 1 c beef broth 4 c cooked white rice
Pouring enough vegetable oil to cover bottom of cast-iron skillet, heat to medium. Add Recaito and stir 1 minute. Season roast liberally with Adobo. Place in skillet and brown evenly on all sides. Remove roast to slow cooker and cook on low setting. Pour packet of Sazon over roast. Add peppers and onion to skillet and cook on low heat 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour contents of skillet over roast, add tomato sauce and beef broth and cook on low for 7 hours. Stir broth mixture and add tomato chunks. Cook on low an additional hour. Remove roast from slow cooker and set on cooking board to cool 1-2 minutes. Slice roast and arrange on white rice. Place vegetables around roast slices. Serve additional broth on side.
MUSIC TO COOK BY
Until next time, Happy Cooking! : )
Be careful of the words you say. Keep them soft & sweet, Because you never know, from day to day, which ones you’ll have to eat. -K.McCarthy
It’s Memorial Day, the first official day of the grilling season. Don’t get me wrong; we grill all year. But summer is official. So we started off the season with Dr Pepper Can Grilled Chicken. Some people make their own chicken can stand, but we bought ours at Wal-Mart.
In the pictures below, you may notice that the can is a Throwback Mountain Dew can. We had a 2-liter bottle of Dr Pepper, and Jorge had just finished pouring a can of Mountain Dew, so he poured the Dr Pepper into the Mountain Dew can. I’m sure this will be viewed as a sacrilege by fans of both drinks, but that’s the way we roll around here.
DR PEPPER GRILLED CHICKEN
1 whole chicken
1 can of Dr Pepper
1 packet Goya Sazon con Culantro Y Achiote
Goya Adobo con Pimiento
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Spray chicken lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Rub Sazon into chicken skin. Season inside and outside of chicken with Adobo and paprika to taste. Pour half of Dr Pepper into glass with ice; you can drink this while grilling. : ) Place can into chicken can stand (I just realized how funny that sounds) and secure chicken onto can. Assuming that you are using a gas grill, heat grill to medium high and cook chicken using indirect heat to avoid flare-ups.
Cook approximately 90 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers at least 180 degrees at thickest part of thigh.
Now, I am aware that many people use Coca-Cola or beer, but we really prefer Dr Pepper. Of course, the fact that I am a lifelong “Pepper” and usually have it on hand could have something to do with that.
MUSIC TO COOK BY
Until next time, Happy Cooking! : )
Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. – Henry James