Cooking

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Puerto Rican Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Salted Cod)

Published May 13, 2020 by aspooniesmakeupbag

Hey doll hey!! How’s your day/night going? Great I hope.

I’m cooking to you with another family recipe. Tonight’s menu is Bacalao Guisado (Sewed Salted Cod). So let’s get started:

 

*day before prep: rise off the salt from the Cod and place the cod completely submerged in cold water in a bowl. change the water every 2 hours and then change the water right before bed and place the bowl in the fridge over night (for less salty taste prep the fish 2 days before changing the water every 2 hours and storing the cod in water over night in the fridge)

Ingredients:
1. 1 pound Salted Cod (can use Salted Pollock if you can not find Salted Cod)
2. 2 Tablespoons Adobo
3. 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
4. 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
5. 2 Tablespoons Tomato Bouillon with chicken flavor
6. 1 teaspoon Cumin
7. 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8. 1 medium green bell pepper (cut into bite sized pieces)
9. 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
10. 1 – 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
11. 1/4 cup of hot water
12. 1 teaspoon ground bay leaf (or 3 whole dried bay leaves)
13. 1 packet of sazon
14. 6 to 8 Tablespoons sofrito

Dirrections:
1. Boil the cod in plain water for 2 hours
2. Drain the water and flake the fish into pieces (should resemble canned tuna when finished)
3. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium high heat
4. add to the pan the green bell pepper and onion and saute until caramelized
5. add to the pan sofrito and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
6. add to the pan the flaked cod and cook for an additional 2 minutes stirring constantly.
7. add the rest of the oil and all the rest of the ingredients minus the water cooking for 5 minutes and then add the water and turn the heat down to medium low, cover and cook for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally)

Serves 4 people … need more? just double the recipe.

* Note: My husband likes to have green pepper and onion in every bite, traditionally the green peppers and onions are julienned thinly, also he likes a drier Bacalao Guisado so we don’t add much water … for more of a saucy stew add 1/2 a can more tomato sauce and 1/4 cup more of water)

Serve over a bed of white rice and garnish with fried plantain chips

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Well, that’s it dolls. Hope, if you try this dish you love it as much as my hubby does.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day/night and that you are in good spirits and health.

Remember dolls…. Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick.

XOXO

My Puerto Rican Carne Guisada Recipe

Published May 5, 2020 by aspooniesmakeupbag

 

Hey doll hey!!! How’s your day/night going? Great I hope. Mine was OK but now I feel  heap of pain… I’ll be going to be soon and hopefully I can have a good night sleep.

Today I’m posting another Puerto Rican recipe….. Carne Guisada…. So let’s get started…

*  NOTE: I typically use 2 pounds beef chuck (cubed) for this dish, however they were out at our market the past few times I’ve made this dish so I have been using 2 pounds beef bottom round (sliced like for fajitas) that I cut down into bite sized pieces. I also ran out of peppers and beer so I didn’t not include it in tonight’s supper*

This recipe makes 6 servings.

YOU WILL NEED:

Seasonings:

  1. 1 packet of sazon
  2. 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
  3. 1 Tablespoon Tomato with Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  4. 2 Tablespoons of Adobo
  5. 3 bay leaves (or 1 teaspoon of ground bay leaf)
  6. 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  7. 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  8. 1 Tablespoon Beef Bouillon

Mise en place:

  1. 2 pounds beef chuck or beef bottom round: sliced into bite sized pieces
  2. 2 medium sized potatoes: diced into bite sized pieces
  3.  1 medium green bell pepper: diced into same sized pieces as potatoes
  4. 1 medium red bell pepper: diced into same sized pieces as potatoes
  5. 1 medium onion: diced

 

Wet ingredients:

  1. 1, 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  2. 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  3. 1/2 Cup Sofrito (I have a recipe for homemade Sofrito)
  4. 2 Tablespoons Vinegar
  5. 1 1/2 Cups of water (for a more robust flavor I use 1 1/2 Cups of Lager Beer instead)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot and add the beef, brown in batches for 5 minutes or until the beef is golden. Once all beef is browned remove the beef and set aside …. retain the oil.
  2. to the oil now add the sofrito and cook in the oil for 1 minute
  3. add all the seasonings and tomato sauce to the sofrito
  4. add the browned beef, potatoes, peppers, and potatoes to the pot
  5. simmer on medium low for 10 minutes and then add the water and vinegar
  6. cover and simmer for 30 minutes (stirring occasionally)
  7. turn heat off and rest for 5 minutes.
  8. serve over white rice

 

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at the end of cooking while the stew is resting you can add 1/2 cup of water if you like a runnier sauce base … Hubby like’s his sauce base thicker so I never add any more liquid. * NOTE do not add anymore beer if you have tried this recipe … to thin out the sauce base make sure you use water for this step.

Well dolls… That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day/night and that you are in great spirits and health.

Remember …. Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick.

XOXO

Puerto Rican Sancocho de Pollo

Published April 28, 2020 by aspooniesmakeupbag

Hey doll hey!! How’s your day/night going? Great I hope. On today’s menu is a staple in the Latino household for cool and rainy days…. Sancocho (pronounced: saan/kow/chow). It’s basically a root vegetable stew that many Latinos add some sort of meat and either rice or vermicelli (a traditional type of pasta round in section similar to spaghetti, but thinner in diameter which in spanish we call fideo). Every family makes this a bit diffrent … just like with any other traditional dish that is handed down from generation to generation, I’ve adapted mine to suit my family’s likes and dislikes. Typically I use fideo in my Sancocho but I ran out and didn’t feel well enough to run out and get some so I used rice this time and my husband also decided he wanted chicken so instead of beef … I made Sacocho de Pollo (pronouced: saan/kow/chow , day, poh/yo). Pollo is chicken in Spanish. I thought it might be fun to throw some Spanish words into this blog to maybe help you learn a few thing in Spanish… Hope you don’t mind.  Also I included a few bonus recipes in this post to try out.  This recipe is for 4 servings plus a bit left over for a thicker stew for tomorrow’s lunch (because of the rice the soup will thicken over night).
So… let’s get started ….

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1. Start by prepping you meat selection … there should be 1 piece of meat per person you are making this dish for. If you are making a Chicken you need to debone and peel off the skin as well (you can leave it on but that results in a very greasy stew). 
2. cut the meat into bite sized pieces
3. set a side while you prep the rest of the pot.
Remember Chicken is Pollo (Poh/Yo)

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You’ll need a 5 quart stock pot (excuse the mess in the background … this picture is recycled from my Homemade Sofrito  blog post because I forgot to take a picture of the pot today and making Sofrito can get very messy).
In Spanish we call this a caldero (Cal/Deh/Row)

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1. To the stock pot add 2 tables spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you can substitute avocado oil if you don’t have olive oil).  
2. set the heat on high and heat up the oil

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1. Once the oil is hot add a heaping 1/2 cup of Sofrito (remember you can make your own and it will make the soup be so much yummier … see Homemade Sofrito  for a walk-through on how to make it … I’ve even included a recipe on how to make a smaller amount just in case you don’t want to commit to a 1/2 years worth of this delicious base )
2. cook the Sofrito, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

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1. Next add 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and allow to come to a boil. 
2. Next add your prepared meat that you set aside and cook until the meat is semi cooked through (I typically cook it for around 3 to 4 minutes.)

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1. Next add 4 Tablespoons of Adobo All Purpose Seasoning to the stock pot
NOTE: If you don’t have Adobo on hand it’s OK … here’s how to make some homemade Adobo just mix together equal parts of : Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Salt, Oinion Powder, Oreagano, and if you want to get fancy add an equal part of Tumeric. Store it in a salt or pepper shaker.

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1. Next add 4 Tablespoons Garlic Powder (I actually use 6 tablespoons because we love a really garlicy taste to our Sancocho)

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1. Next add 6 Tablespoons of Tomato Boulinon with Chicken Flavor

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1. Next add 7 Tablesoons of Chicken Flavored Boulinon

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1. Next add 2 teaspoons of Cumin

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1. Next add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Salt (we use 2 Tablespoons because we add extra water to our bowls to cool the stew down some)

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1. Next add 2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper (my husband likes his Sancocho to have a kick so I use 2 Tablespoons…. but really 1 Tablespoon is all you really need)

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1. Next add your viandas … Bi/An/Das (root vegetables )…. for this dish you will need
1 malanga … MA/LAN/GA (toro root)- Peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces PER PERSON
2 cups calabaza … KA/LA/Ba/Za (pumpkin)
1 platano … Plah/Tah/NO (plantain) Peeled and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces PER PERSON
1 corn on the cob (cut into 1 inch pieces) PER EVERY 2 PEOPLE (I know how to say Corn on the Cob in Spanish it’s maíz en la mazorca but I couldn’t figure out how to anunciate it for you)
1 batata …. Bah/Tah/Tah (sweet potato) Peeled and cut into roughly 2 inch peices PER PERSON
1 Yuca … You/Ka (I think this is called Cassava in English) Peeled and cut into roughly 1 to 2 inch peices (add 1 more Yuca per every 4 people if you are making this for more than 4 people)
*NOTE* I suck at picking viandas so I cheat a little and buy a frozen 4 pound bag of Sancocho mix at my local Spanish supermarket … I’ve also seen this bag sold at Save-A-Lot stores too. It’s not as yummy when you use the bagged mix… as with all dishes fresh root vegtables will always turn your dish up a notch.

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1. Next add 9 cups of water to the stock pot.

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1. Next add 5 full bay leaves (remember to remove these before you serve the Sancocho)

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1. Next add 1 packet of Sazon
*Note if you can’t find Sazon you can make your own by combining 1 Tablespoon of Ground Cilantro (corriander),Ground Cumin, Salt, Garlic Powder, and ground achiote seeds… Ah/Chow/Tay (I grind my own in a small coffee grinder) (I beileve this is called Annatto seeds) and 2 teaspoons of Oregano, black pepper, and oinion powder

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1. Bring the stew to a boil and cook for 1 hour (or until all the root vegetables are fork tender)
2. Add an aditional 3 cups of water and bring once again to a boil
3. Next add 2/3 cup to 1 full cup of white rice and cook on high for an additonal 45 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

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4. Once the soup is ready add an additional 2 cups of water, remove the bay leaves and serve .
*NOTE* we add about 1/2 cup more water to our bowls so that we can eat straight away without burning our mouths … this is not necisary … just remember if you do not plan to do this then only use 1 Tablespoon of salt so the soup doesn’t come out salty.

*SIDE NOTE*

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I like to serve my Sancochos with a side of Puerto Rican Arepas (Puerto Rican Fried Bread) and this is one thing I never knew how to make on my own… the recipe I use is the Puerto Rican Arepas Recipe by Tablespoon.com. I love to dip the Arepas into the broth… I also love these warm in the morning with eggs and Puerto Rican frying cheese.

Well that’s all for now dolls. I hope you liked this recipe. It was hard to do because I had to measure out the ingredients instead of just pouring them straight away into the stock pot and just eye balling it as I normally do but it was fun to put together this recipe for you and if you do try it … shoot me a message letting me know how you liked it.

I hope you have a great rest of your day/night and that you are in good spirits and health.

Remember dolls … Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick.

XOXO

 

 

 

Homemade Puerto Rican Sofrito

Published April 26, 2020 by aspooniesmakeupbag

Hey doll hey!! How’s your day/night going? Great I hope. Today was market day and I noticed I was running low on a staple in our house called Sofrito (a sauce used as a base in most Latin American and Spanish cooking). Our style of Sofrito is different from the Italian version of soffritto (which is Onion, Celery, and Carrot and is the base to all the yummy Italian foods you know and love).

Latino Sofrito is more of a highly fragrant herb paste and is typically fried in some olive oil before being added to our savory dishes … Intrigued yet? Then let’s begin ….

This will 1 and 1/4 gallons of Sofrito… Not ready to commit to that much Sofrito yet? No worries at the end of this post I will give you an alternative for making just enough for 12 ounces (enough for 12 meals) …once you try this base you will be hooked and the smell is so amazing too.

*NOTE* My version of Sofrito is missing 1 ingredient than most Puerto Ricans use… I don’t use aji dulce (sweet perennial peppers)…. I don’t like them much and I almost always end up mistaking them for scotch bonnet peppers which causes my Sofrito to come out way too darn spicy… I prefer to add my heat little at a time … and I don’t like spicy for every dish so I just simple omitted that 1 ingredient from my Sofrito and I’ve been making it like this for over 20 years.

So… let’s jump into the how to ….

You will need:

A big container to store the Sofrito while you work and a laddel. I use a 5 Quart sauce pan and my all time favorite Wonder Woman popcorn bucket. *NOTE* You will also need about 10 small to medium sized plastic food-storage containers to store the Sofrito in.

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A blender or a food processor … I prefer the blender because it makes quick work  this process and it makes the paste a lot finer which I like.

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5 Large red bell peppers and 10 medium green bell peppers (or you can use 6 Large green bell peppers) ….. Cut up the red and green peppers into 2 to 4 inch chunks

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2 containers of garlic cloves … it has to be peeled and whole garlic cloves

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4 bundles of Cilantro (Coriander leaves). Make sure to rinse this thoroughly to get all the sand out. Then chop the leaves down (similar size to the peppers and onions)

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4 packs or bundles of Recao (some call this herb Culantro). Make sure to rinse this thoroughly to get all the sand out. Then chop the leaves down (similar size to the peppers and onions)

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4 to 6 large Spanish onions. Cut the onions into similar sized chunks s the peppers.

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5 cups of filtered or bottled water (do not use tap water)

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Into the blender we go …
1. Add a few handfuls of red peppers, green peppers, onions, and garlic into the blender.       
2. Add a small amount of the water (maybe about 1/2 a cup … I just eye ball it) into the blender and puree on high.
3. Add a bit more water (again about 1/2 a cup more or less) and a handful of the Cilantro and Recao and once again into the blender and puree on high.
4. Keep repeating these steps until the blender is full. Dump the mixture into whatever reseptical you chose to use.
5. keep repeating steps 1 through 4 until you have incorporated all your ingredients together. It should look something like the above picture.

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Now all that’s left is to transfer the mixture evenly into your awaiting plastic food-storage containers. Now you can pop one of the containers into the fridge and the remaining containers into the freezer. *NOTE* Fresh Sofrito is good in the fridge for 4 months and 1 year in the freezer. Now, if you are into canning (i am not … I mess it up every time) this sofrito will last 2 years with canning it.

 

Now, what to do with all this yummy base???

In a pan heat up 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil (always use olive oil for this never use regular oil … it’s tradition after all … and I think the olive oil gives it a better taste … although I once used avocado oil (I just grabbed the wrong oil one day … and since I was stuck with it I used it) and that was pretty good too. Anyway I digress… heat up 2 to 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of the Sofrito and fry it for a few minutes to get the flavors melding together.

You can use this base in anything… I use it in rice, stews, soups, and of course I marinate my meats with it (if you are going to marinate meat with it do not fry the Sofrito first, you want to make sure it’s raw when you marinate anything in it.)

So what you do is fry the Sofrito and than dump in whatever you are cooking and follow the directions on how to cook whatever it is … for instance If you want to make Spanish rice you fry up the Sofrito and then dump in your rice, beans, and whatever other seasonings you want mix it all together and add the water to this … that Sofrito base will marry into the recipe like a dream. (don’t know how to make Spanish rice? No worries … I’m here for you doll …. I’ll be doing a small series on Spanish meals … Just give me a few days … I learned to cook the old school way … in other words… I do not use measuring cups or spoons … everything is by eyeball .. most Puerto Ricans have a saying …. “Boricuas don’t measure ingredients, we simply sprinkle and add until the spirits of our  ancestors come to us and whisper that’s enough my love”. So for me, I know what I need to put in and how much but I don’t know the measurements … but that’s not that bad … I can simple measure what I normally use and Bob’s Your Uncle … I’ll have a recipe that will be easy to follow.

OK … so still not ready to commit to the full monty? No worries here’s what you need to make 12 ounces……

1 large red bell pepper

3 large green bell peppers

2 big handfuls of garlic cloves

1 large Spanish onion

1 bundle of Recao (some call this herb Culantro)

1 bundle of Cilantro (Coriander leaves)

Enough water to mix everything together … You just add bottled or filtered water to the blend 1/2 cup at a time just enough to get the blender mixing everything well.

Chop up everything the same as above and add it to the blender adding water as needed to keep everything moving in the blender on puree.

and there you go … enough sofrito to last you 12 meals … Just store it in an air tight plastic container in the fridge for up to 4 months.

Keep in mind that if you make the gallon and 1/4 you will need to freeze the remaining containers until you need them …just take a container out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter-top over night and then just pop it into the fridge and enjoy.

Well that’s all for now dolls… I hope you have a great rest of your day/night and that you are in good spirits and great health. Remember dolls … Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick.

XOXO

 

 

Cutting Corners When Spoons Are Gone

Published November 29, 2019 by aspooniesmakeupbag

Why hello there gorgeous, hope your day is going good.

I woke up this morning with so much energy ; yes the spoons were flowing today ; but by 6:00 pm I was totally ready to lay down. My spoons ran for the hills. This left me with a dilemma, feeding my family. I wanted so bad to just say “Let’s have sandwiches for dinner tonight” but I couldn’t bring myself to subject my family to a packed lunch for dinner, so I put on my big girl pants and pushed through the exhaustion.

I made streak and pasta for dinner and my secret weapon was the fact that the steaks were thin so they cooked fast and I used a boxed pasta that I hadn’t tried before.

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I purchased this for 98 cents at Walmart

This little gem not only makes it’s on sauce, it cooks in 10 minutes!!!

From start to finish dinner took me 10 minutes total we had a full meal … steak, salad, and pasta and it was tasty!!

I was so exhausted that I forgot to take a plated picture but believe me when I say  it was tasty.

We, as spoonies, often give ourselves too high of an expectation when it comes to taking care of our families that we forget that taking short cuts is in fact acceptable.

My family loved dinner tonight and I barely had much to do. I guess what I mean to say is don’t forget that you can take the easy way around when handling responsibilities. Our illnesses take so much from us, don’t let them take everything from us.  It is 100% acceptable to cut corners when you spoon supply is running low!

Baby steps …. that’s the key.

Well ta ta for now dolls. Remember to save a spoon or two for a bit of lipstick.

 

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