This is one of those foods that has as many methods as there are cooks. This just happens to be mine. Jorge always said he didn’t like them, and I decided that he had experienced some bland version, so I worked and reworked my version until I arrived at this. He loved it! So there you are; no more revisions in the black beans category. : )
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
People like to talk about “culture clash” and the differences between ethnic groups, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in eight years of marriage with Jorge is that people are all the same. The girl raised in Kentucky (hey, y’all!) and the Puerto Rican born in Ohio, raised in Puerto Rico and who came to Florida via NYC should have nothing in common. But it turns out we are more alike than different. Now, I could wax philosophical about how love binds our hearts and builds a bridge and all that country music stuff, but that’s not what this blog is about. it’s about food. Plain and simple. And that may well be the first thing I noticed. Our food is not that different. Note that I did not say cuisine. Kentuckians don’t eat cuisine. We eat dinner. Anyway, the pork, the frying, the chicken, and the beans. Especially the beans. I grew up eating pinto beans all the time. We ate them slow cooked (not Crock Pot slow-cooked, but stove top slow-cooked) flavored with a ham hock and salt. A bowl of beans and a piece of cornbread and I’m a happy girl. Turns out I didn’t have to give up beans, I just needed to learn to season them differently. Now, today’s recipe uses canned beans for convenience, but if you want to use dried beans, be my guest. I cook them the day before the Kentucky way, serve them with cornbread, and put the leftovers in the refrigerator. The next day, they reappear in the saucepan in the recipe below. Either way is great. BTW, serve these with rice. Some days I serve them with white rice, and some days I like them with Yellow Rice (Arroz Amarillo). Whatever floats your boat!
HABICHUELAS (PUERTO RICAN PINTO BEANS)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil 2 oz diced ham 1 can pinto beans 1 can (8 oz.) GOYA® Spanish Style Tomato Sauce 1 packet GOYA® Sazón with Coriander and Annatto 2 Tbsp GOYA® Recaito 3 Tbsp green olives, sliced 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 c. College Inn® Bold Stock Rotisserie Chicken
Heat oil to medium in deep saucepan. Add ham. Saute with recaito for 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, Sazon, and olives. Stir; cook 2 minutes. Add beans, potatoes, and chicken stock. Bring mixture to boiling. Cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes.
MUSIC TO COOK BY
Until next time, Happy Cooking! : )
I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things. ~George Robert Gissing
During the Christmas season, one of the most popular traditional dishes served in a Puerto Rican home is pernil. Pernil is a pork shoulder that has been marinated and roasted in the oven for several hours. Some people prefer the pork butt for this, but I always buy the shoulder. This is not to be confused with the picnic ham you see in most supermarkets. One difference is that the skin MUST be left on. Of course, this dish can be, and is, served year round, but it is most closely associated with Christmas. Every so often, we get a craving, and if we don’t get to our favorite Puerto Rican restaurant here in Central Florida, Las Dos Islas, then I have to turn on the ol’ oven and fix it myself. I really don’t mind. It’s not that difficult, and I can always find uses for the leftovers.
adapted from “Puerto Rico True Flavors” by Wilo Benet
2 Tbsp GOYA® Adobo con Pimiento (with Pepper)
1 packet GOYA® Sazón with Coriander and Annatto
1 tsp black pepper
5 Tbsp. GOYA® recaito
9 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp dried oregano
1 C extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh pork butt, bone-in
Place first 7 ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. Using a small knife, carefully lift the skin to loosen without tearing. HERE’S THE FUN PART: Using that same knife, make incisions all over the meat, not the skin. Don’t be shy about this. This is your chance to take out all of your inner frustrations. Think about how Aunt Ethel suggested you were gaining weight. Think about how Uncle Fred criticized your mashed potatoes. Think about any and all of your exes. They know what they did to deserve this. Stab that dead pig! Several times! : ) Now, calm back down. You probably have more marinade than you need, so I suggest you divide it in half and put half in the refrigerator. We’ll find a use for it in a day or two. Take the other half and rub over the shoulder completely. Carefully lift the loosened skin and rub the marinade under the skin as far back as possible. Get the marinade into the stab wounds, uh, I mean incisions. Take extra garlic cloves, cutting in half if necessary, and slide under the loosened skin and into the incisions. Marinate in the refrigerator at least one hour, preferably overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place shoulder in roasting pan, skin side up. Bake uncovered for 6 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 180 degrees. After the first 2 hours, open the oven door to the first catch and leave open so that the skin will crisp. It may be necessary to turn roasting pan from time to time.
When roast is done, remove from oven and set on cutting board to carve.
Using kitchen shears, cut the crispy skin off in large pieces. Cut the large pieces into smaller, almost bite-size chunks and place on separate serving platter. Don’t be surprised if the crispy chunks never make it to the table. When you start cutting this up, all those people who have been sitting on the sofa while you cook will suddenly appear in the kitchen. It is not uncommon for everyone to start pinching off bites until it is all gone. Slice the roast and serve.
Trust me; once you cook this once, you’ll understand why I was willing to heat up my oven on a hot day.
MUSIC TO COOK BY
BOOK REVIEW: THE AMISH COOK’S BAKING BOOK
Recently, I entered and won a cookbook giveaway on one of my favorite food blogs, Sugar Pies. As you are probably aware, the Amish are, for lack of a better term, hot right now. I have personally found them interesting since I was privileged to visit Holmes County, Ohio a few years ago. I have read quite a bit about them, visited their stores and restaurants, and purchased some of their cookbooks. Trust me, if you love Southern cooking, you will love Amish cooking. I think we find them interesting because their way of life seems to be peaceful. Most of us would not really want to give up our technology and convenient appliances and electricity, but we enjoy thinking about it. When I think about how much these women accomplish every day of their lives without our modern conveniences, I have to take my metaphorical hat off to them. I can’t do half of what they do living in a modern home. But as usual, I left my main topic. I won the cookbook!
“The Amish Cook’s Baking Book” by Lovinia Eicher is the third cookbook by Eicher and her editor, Kevin Williams. Lovinia Eicher has written the nationally syndicated newspaper column “The Amish Cook”, which was started by her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, since 2002. This cookbook contains over 100 Amish baking recipes for pies, cakes, desserts, and cookies. Between recipes, the author provides commentary about cooking and Amish life in general. In addition, her children also have written short sidebars throughout the book. The recipes are clear,concise, and easy-to-follow. I haven’t started baking from it yet, but I look forward to working my way through it. So, again, thank you, Sugar Pies!
Until next time, Happy Cooking! : )
If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. ~Jim Rohn