Sunday, February 17, 2008

Puerto Rican Menu Tonight

habichuela guisado

Today, I was in the mood for Puerto Rican home cooking. Since none of my Puerto Rican friends are close by, I had to make do with the recipes on the internet. Well, I found there is a treasure trove of recipes out there. The only problem I had was choosing which ones to use. The following are the ones I selected for tonight's dinner.

Menu:
Chuletas fritas (fried pork chops)

Haichuelas guisadas (kidney bean stew)

Arroz blanco (white rice)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cream of Potato and Asparagus Soup

We had leftover steamed asparagus handy so I thought I would combine it with potatoes and make a meal we could eat on this Friday during Lent.

Recipe:

1/2 lb. asparagus (cooked or uncooked), sliced into diagonal pieces
2 large potatoes (peeled and sliced)
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup half-n-half or milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a saucepan and melt your butter or heat your oil. Add the garlic and green onions and sauté for at least 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, potatoes, water and season to taste. Simmer medium-low until the potatoes are cooked. Let the soup cool and then proceed to blend either with the hand held emulsifier or blender. Add the milk and stir.

We are having this soup with homemade pizza rounds.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spaghetti With Asparagus and Bacon

We are trying to eat more simply during Lent. With this in mind, I wanted to make do with what we had in the refrigerator. Well, we had a bunch of fresh asparagus and a new package of sliced bacon.

Recipe:

1 bunch of asparagus (remove though stem part, cut into diagonal pieces, parboil and drain.
5 slices of bacon, fried crispy, drained and cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
A few drops of lemon juice
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook and set aside 1 lb. spaghetti, preferably al dente.

Heat a large skillet, add olive oil and fry garlic until brown. Add asparagus toss until well coated with the garlic and oil. Add a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes until asparagus is cooked but be careful not to overcook. The asparagus should be bright green.
Salt and pepper to taste.

You can add your pasta to the skillet or blend the spaghetti and the sauce in a separate bowl.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Creamed Chicken ala Isidore

Home cookingYesterday, we celebrated a belated Gung Hee Fat Choy by ordering from one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. Today we are in the mood for German style food. Since we traditionally have chicken on Sundays, I thought my DH's dad's family recipe for creamed chicken would hit the spot.

Creamed Chicken

1 whole chicken cut up
1 whole onion sliced thinly
2 cups cream (but we use half-n-half although you can use plain milk if you like. You may have to thicken it though if you use milk).
1 bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a very large skillet, brown your chicken on both sides in a little oil. If you are using a cast iron skillet, like I did, you will have to heat the skillet first, then add the oil. If you do not, the skin of the chicken will stick to the skillet.

Once all the chicken pieces are browned, drain the oil. Then add the onion and cover in order to steam the onion. This will only take a few minutes. Add the cream or half-n-half, bay leaf, allspice, salt and pepper, and the vinegar. Cover and simmer at medium-low heat until chicken is tender and cooked thoroughly.

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

I will be serving this with creamy cucumbers.

1 whol cucumber, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded and then sliced into smaller slices.
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients and let sit while your chicken cooks.