Monday, May 24, 2010

horrible no good very bad food

That is what I encountered visiting a local Puertorican restaurant. The food was not tasty at all. The beans were watery and had no taste. The rice were okay. Ordering a vegetarian plate only took away the meat and did not add anything. No vegetables. I ordered a side of platanos because that was the only thing on the menu I could have with it. I was so disappointed. Even my husband was disappointed. He had chuletas and he said it had no taste. That night I kept thinking about how they can do better. Obviously people were ok with their mediocre menu. They had to turn people away because the restaurant was teeny tiny. I went to bodegas bigger than this place. But oh if you would just add some yuca, batatas, yautia, Season it with some adobo, garlic, sofrito dipping sauces WHATEVER. Then it dawned on me. Living at home with my Puertorican mom and Dominican dad, I didn't eat much vegetables unless it is was in a sancocho. My Dominican grandmother would make vegetable stews for me all the time.
Vegetables aren't that much expensive than buying a big ass pernil. Buying vegetables in season are the way to go to keep your grocery bill low.
Tonight this is our dinner....

Basic Yellow Rice
2 tbsps annatto oil plus 1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups brown rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tsps salt

heat the oil in a pot. Add the rice and stir to combine. Pour in the vegetable stock and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the broth evaporates. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.

Platano Relleno de 'Carne'
2 cups olive oil
6 ripe but firm yellow plantains, peeled
relleno de 'carne'
1/4 lb vegan cheddar cheese

preheat the oven to 350. heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the plantains until golden brown. drain on paper towels. make a slit in each plantain from top to bottom. fill each 2 1/2 tbsps of the relleno de 'carne'. sprinkle the cheese on top. bake for 15 minutes. enjoy!

Relleno de Carne
3 lbs TVP or any vegan 'ground beef'
1 cup chopped manzanilla olives
1 1/2 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup recaito
1/2 cup golden raisins
adobo to taste

brown the tvp in a skillet over medium heat. add everything and cook for 10 minutes.

take that you Puertorican restaurant in LA County!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sopa de Fideos sin Pollo

This is super easy and can cure the snot out of you.

2lbs of seitan cut into pieces
8 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of sofrito
4 ozs of angel pasta (made with rice flour)
1 1/4 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup brown rice
1 tbsp adobo

bring the seitan, stock, and sofrito to a boil in a pot.
add the pasta, potatoes, brown rice, adobo and cilantro to a second boil.
reduce the heat to low and cook for 30-45 minutes.
Serve immediately.

I made some sourdough bread and ate that together with the soup. Was so delicioso.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Asopao sin Pollo

What Caribbean didn't grow up eating Asopao de Pollo? My Asopao sin Pollo was so good that I even heated some up for breakfast. Que rico!

2 lbs seitan cut up into bite size pieces
3 tbsp annatto oil
4 ozs field roast (any flavor will do) diced
1/2 cup of sofrito
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup alcaparrado
6 cups water
2 cups brown rice
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup diced pimientos

Heat the oil in a large pot and saute the field roast over medium heat.
Add the sofrito, tomato sauce, and alcaparrado.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the seitan and water and bring to a boil.
Stir in the rice, salt and pepper,
Lower the heat.
Cover and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes until the rice is cooked.
This is a thick soup so don't be alarmed if it is not watery.
Serve immediately and garnish with pimientos.

This is a really good hearty and filling meal. Brown bag it for the next days lunch. Or like me and have it for breakfast.
Seitan can be found in your local health food store like Whole Foods. Annatto oil is 2 cups of olive oil and 2 ozs of annatto seeds. Cook together in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes. Let it cool and strain it into a jar. Should keep away from heat and light like you would with any oils. Alcaparrado, sofrito, and pimientos can be found in Caribbean food stores. If you are lucky, you can find it at any supermarket but here I have to rely on the Cuban supermarket.

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