Thursday, 17 April 2014

Papas Rellenas - Stuffed Potatoes


2 lbs large potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)
1 lb picadillo (seasoned ground beef)
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup dry bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 tsp salt


Add salt to a pot of cold water, and boil the potatoes until they are soft. Drain the potatoes, and then mash them, then set aside to allow them to cool. Separate the egg yolks from the whites in two bowls. Mix the egg yolks into the mashed potato mixture, whisk the egg whites for a minute.  Take a 1/4 of a cup of the mashed potatoes, and form it into a ball. Make a dent in the ball, to give it more of a bowl shape. Fill the indentation with a tablespoon of picadillo, and then reseal it. Reshape the potato as a ball again. Dip the ball in the egg whites, then roll the ball around in bread crumbs until it is coated. For a better coating, or for a crunchier texture, you may dip the ball into the egg whites again and coat it with another layer of bread crumbs. Refrigerate the potato balls for at least four hours before frying.To fry, pour enough oil into a skillet or frying pan to cover half of the balls, the oil should be at least 350°. Place several balls into the frying pan and cook on each side until golden brown, usually 2-3 minutes, taking care not to overcook. Drain the stuffed potatoes on paper towels, do not stack them. The other cooking method is to deep fry the papas rellenas at 375° until golden brown, they cook best deep-fried when they are frozen.


To Make the Picadillo:
1 lb ground meat
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
Pimiento stuffed olives
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, onions and garlic. If meat is not too lean, pour out whatever fat you render.turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato sauce and wine. While it simmers, chop up the pimiento stuffed olives and add to meat mixture, it is ok to add a little bit of the brine, if you wish. Adjust the seasonings per taste.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Turkey Pumpkin Enchiladas

This Fall season is all about the pumpkin and foods that bring warmth and cheer. I combined the succulence and heartiness of Turkey with the delicious coziness of pumpkin. You can either use marinated Turkey or not, it's up to you. I have a recipe on how to marinate Turkey later. You may also use Pumpkin Spice  in the Pumpkin Puree for more added flavor.


3- 4 Turkey Legs shredded
1 Can of Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice
1 Can Enchilada Sauce
2 Scallion Onions
8-10 Tortillas ( Blue Corn from Trader Joe's is Best or Artisanal Tortillas are good too)
2 Cups Shredded Cheese ( Cheddar, Jack, and Monterey are best, but anything like that will work too)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine Turkey and scallions. Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.  Use Mexican Rub for Turkey Drumsticks and cook until well done.

2.In a blender or Mocajete, puree pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full). Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish.

In Mocajete you can smash up the spices for the Mexican Rub or Pumpkin Spice

3.  Lay tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Roll up tortillas; place, seam side down, in baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

4.Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Place dish on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Instructions: Bake in Oven for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

A Nice accompaniment for this dish would be the Coffee Flan topped with Espresso Bean.
Please check out My Coffee Flan recipe with Espresso Beans coming soon

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Chicken Livers with Sherry Glaze Tapas

Chicken Livers With Sherry Glaze is a tapa is eaten all over Andalucia, Spain. Chicken livers are full of B Vitamins You can also make this with onions. Jerez is a nice accompaniment.  

1 pound chicken livers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fino sherry wine
2 shallots, chopped finely
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped parsley to garnish


  1. If necessary, trim the chicken livers, cutting away any ducts and gristle, them cut them into small bite size pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the chicken livers to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring all the time. Cook until they are firm and have changed color on the outside but are still pink and soft in the centre. Using a slotted spoon, lift the chicken livers from the pan, transfer them to large, warm serving dish and keep warm.
  3. Add the sherry to the skillet, increase the heat, and let it bubble for 3 to 4 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and reduce slightly scraping and stirring all the bits on the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper, vinegar, thyme and honey.
  4. Pour the sherry sauce over the chicken livers and sprinkle over the parsley. Serve piping hot accompanied by chunks or slices of crusty bread or toast to mop up the sherry sauce.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cuban Arroz con Pollo - Chicken with Rice

Cuban Arroz con Pollo - Cuban Chicken with Rice

Arroz con Pollo is one of the most popular Latin American dishes. It's a derivation of Paella, the traditional Spanish dish, it has a lot of the same ingredients: safron, white whine, chicken, red bell pepper and peas. Arroz con pollo recipe can require annato seeds and oil to give it that vibrant yellow color but it's entirely optional. I have cooked Arroz Con Pollo without Annato seeds and still comes out delicious. I cook the rice with a bit of beer instead of water and it gives a nice Cuban touch. This recipe serves about 4-6 people.


For Chicken:
1 large chicken, about 4 pounds, cut into 8 pieces.
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Sofrito and broth:
2 olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
3 cups water (*)
1 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 cups beer*
1/2 tsp annatto seeds, or 1/4 tsp saffron threads
1 Tbsp tomato paste

1/4 -1 cup of Raisins to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-Wash the chicken and blot dry with paper towels. Mix the oregano, cumin, white pepper and vinegar in a large glass bowl. Add the chicken, turning the pieces to cover with the mixture. Let marinate at least 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a large heatproof casserole. Brown the chicken pieces all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

For sofrito:

 Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the oil in the casserole, cook over medium heat heat until soft but do not brown, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for one more minute. Return the chicken to the casserole with the sofrito and cook for about 1 or 2 more minutes.


Add the water, wine and beer(*), saffron (if you use it instead of annatto oil), tomato paste and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, place annato seeds in small saucepan with 1/4 cup of the chicken cooking liquid. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain mixture back into the chicken. Thoroughly wash rice swishing with your hands, and drain off the water. Continue doing this until water runs clear.

Bring chicken mixture to a boil, stir in the washed rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. If it starts to dry out and rice is still al dente, add more liquid. If it gets too soupy, uncover during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking. Just before it is done, stir in half of the peas (petit pois),raisins and pimientos. Garnish with Red Peppers. I usually roast mine first to give it a smoky taste.

Nota Bene: Making it with Beer is a nice Cuban Touch and gives it a nice tangy flavor. I adjust the quantity to the total needed for cooking.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Sopa de Garbanzos

Sopa de Garbanzos 
  Ingredientes: - 1 taza de garbanzos secos
- 1 litro de caldo
- 1 cebolla picada
- 2 dientes de ajo
- 5 cdas. de aceite
- 1 taza de acelga cruda (picada gruesa)
- 3 tomates (pelados y en trozos)
- 1 pizca de pimienta
- 1 cdita. de pimentón
- 1 cda. de albahaca
- 1 taza de puerco o beicon frito
- 1 hoja de laurel
- 2 chorizos colorados

Colocar en remojo toda la noche los garbanzos. Luego cocinarlos en el caldo. Calentar aceite y rehogar cebolla, ajo hasta que todo quede transparente. Agregar acelga, tomates y los chorizos pelados. Añadir los garbanzos, el caldo, pimienta, pimentón y laurel. Llevar a fuego lento 20 minutos, espolvorear con albahaca y daditos de pan frito.

This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cuban Cuisine: Oxtail Soup- Rabo Encidido

Cuban Oxtail Stew recipe - Receta de Rabo Encendido Cubano

 "Rabo Encendido" (literally means Lit Tail) is more of a stew than a soup, at least the Cuban version, and there are as many versions as there are Cuban Chefs. I made this the other day and it actually tastes better the next day.  You can make it with or without the chocolate powder. It's delicous hearty stew to be eaten on cold days to warm you up.

4 pounds oxtail, cut in chunks

Flour for dredging meat

1/4 cup olive oil

Two onions, chopped

Two green peppers, chopped

4 cloves garlic, mashed with 1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon unsweetened chocolate powder (for a slight mole taste)

One can (12 ounce) tomato sauce

One cup red wine

2 1/2 cups beef broth

1 cup dice potatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

Dredge the meat with flour. In a large pan or Dutch oven, brown the meat on both sides in the oil, approximately five to six minutes. Remove meat. Sauté the onions and green pepper in the same pan. When the onions start to get translucent, add the mashed garlic and cook for one additional minute.

Add the tomato sauce, wine, beef broth and all spices. Add the potatoes, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer for two hours or until meat is tender on low heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add additional beef broth if needed.

Remove bay leaves, serve. This is delicious by itself or rice as an accompaniment.

Bueno Provecho !