Friday, December 31, 2010

Eggnog Flan

As I was flipping through one of my mother's "Foodnetwork" magazines (Vol. 3 number 10) I bumped into a recipe for "Eggnog Flan" on page 102. There was a whole section of cooking with eggnog (because people tend to have leftover eggnog from holidays or it sits in the fridge because "it's too fattening" for the weight conscience hehe... i'm one of them, will have a small glass then ignore it forever)

Anyways, the recipe called for only eggs, the eggnog, and caramelized mold. I started preping my flan, and then tasted the batter I was like "it's kinda bland" so I added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and then added some extra-sugar to taste it needed it, to mask the "egginess?". I made the caramel the way I always make it. And saw the instructions for the baking and was like "uummm I'll just do it my way 325 is too low I've made flan probably more times that the woman who wrote this has in her lifetime... n' I don't do it that way..." so pretty much I made the recipe my way and my own lolz.

The results... a rich, creamy, and dense eggnog custard, with hints of cinnamon, and exploding with that strong nutmeg fragrance and taste common in eggnog. Coated in the sinful caramel syrup that had adopted the taste of the eggnog. I will be making this again, not now, but next year ha ha. (I love flan, but my favorite is a version made with cream cheese which is what I almost always make, this adds a nice change or variety :)

Main Ingredients:

-5 large eggs
-3 heaping tablespoonfuls sugar
-4 cups eggnog (store bought, it can be spiked with rum, brandy, whiskey whatever you'd like that's optional, for my Mexican readers you can use "Rompope" and for my Cuban reader's you can use leftover "Creme de Vie" as an alternative)
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder (optional)
For the caramel:
-1/2 cup sugar
-3 tablespoons water

(1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees with a oven pan/ mold bigger than the mold/ pan your gonna use for your flan. Add water enough to fill 1/2 way. Forget about it while making your flan.
(2) First thing is first, in a sauce pan put 2 tablespoons water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil on high heat, mixing well, stir constantly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn't burn completely.

(3) When it turns into a golden color, pour into a mold, and move around in a motion that will make most of the bottom and surrounding area of the mold get covered with caramel. BE CAREFUL it is VERY HOT, and if you burn yourself with it... good luck... do not let your skin make contact with the caramel. Set aside.

Directions for the rest:
(1) Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla using whisk, until well incorporated, slowly stream in eggnog until everything is very well mixed and incorporated or your second option throw everything in the blender and blend on low then high for about 30 seconds.

(2) Pour into a mold, passing through a strainer (if you have one, but if you have one use it, I believe it get's rid of air bubbles and makes it more smooth). Sprinkle all over with cinnamon powder. Cover the mold tightly with aluminum foil or some type of lid. This is your "flan mold" you can call it with the "flan" inside.

(3) Place the flan mold in a bigger pan that has been heating in the oven with hot water, in the center of the oven. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours covered. This procedure of cooking we call it "baño maria" (in which something is placed in a hot water bath to cook),
uncover after 1 1/2 hrs. and let cook uncovered an additional20- 30 minutes. It should be completely set by now (I cooked this longer than some flans because it just took longer to set since I didn't use real thick condensed milk)

(4) Take out flan, allow to cool down, then let cool in fridge,
when ready to serve invert it onto a plate, and slice and serve, btw the brown specks aren't dirty stuff it's just specs from ground nutmeg that come already in the eggnog, I also cooked my syrup to a light brown as opposed to dark amber so that's why my flan came out real light. Just preference for this one time, I usually make it dark amber though, but I was craving a caramel sauce similar to my grand-aunts which is usually light :)

For some other flan recipes you might like check out the following:
(1) Chocoflan (Flan with a layer of Chocolate Cake)
(2) Flan de Queso (Cream Cheese Flan a mix of Cheese cake and Flan).... this one is my favorite flan...
(3) Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Jambalaya is a mixed rice dish, of meats usually chicken, sausage and sometimes seafood (shrimp, crawfish, etc.) this dish is featured in the Cuisine of the state of Louisiana (a state that is well known for it's food their cuisine is a blend of Spaniard, French, African, and Caribbean influences with American in the mix as well)

The dish is thought to have originated/ be related to the Spanish Paella, so what I understood it's a bunch of Spaniards trying to make Paella with what they could find in Louisiana he he. I can see the influence in the use of onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomato, smoked sausages, and in some recipes a combination of thyme, bay leaves, and paprika (very typical of Canary Islands)

However Jambalaya is it's own thing, some versions are soupy and sloppy, some the rice is cooked separate then mixed into the meats and cooked aromatics, etc.

So anyways now that you have a general idea, I researched the rice dish a bit (because I had chicken, sausages and shrimp in the fridge and was like hhmmm maybe I should try to make Jambalaya or gumbo) and came up with this recipe, I already have a lot of experience making mixed rice dishes (mostly Spaniard and Cuban yellow rice dishes) so I've come up with my own version of Jambalaya with the elements I've seen repeated in several recipes and what I think would taste awesome. I invited my bestie John to help me make it, and my whole family was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it :)


-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or butter
-1 1/2 lbs. chicken meat (any breasts, thighs, bone in, skinless etc.) cut into bite size
-1/2 lbs shell on shrimp (you will use the shells and heads to make the stock)
-2 large smoked sausages cut into 1/4 inch rounds
-1/4 lbs. smoked ham (optional)
-1 onion minced
-1 green bell pepper minced
-2 stalks celery minced
-1/2 head garlic minced
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-4 1/2 cups shrimp stock (you will make it from the shells see directions)
-3 cups long grain rice (washed well, and drained, I used Mahatma brand)
-salt to taste
-black pepper to taste
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp. dried thyme
-1 tsp. smoked paprika (I use bittersweet smoked Spanish paprika)
-1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
-orange juice of the shrimp heads (optional)

Directions to make stock:
(1) Remove shell and de-vein shrimp, use the shells and heads to make a stock, add water in a pot enough to submerge shells well and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile prep everything else.
Directions for the rest of the dish:
(1) Heat large pot or paella pan on medium high heat, when pan is hot add olive oil or butter,
and brown the sliced smoked sausage all over, then remove and set aside, sautee shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper in same pan then set aside in same pan add chicken seasoned with salt and black pepper to taste brown all over, remove and set aside, now add diced ham and brown it and set aside.

(2) In same pot add minced onion, bell pepper and celery cook down 5-7 minutes until fragrant, add garlic and sautee another 2-3 minutes until fragrant, stir in thyme, bay leaves, paprika, and cayenne stir for about 30 seconds. Add shrimp head juice reduce it to nothing.
(3) Add in tomato sauce, cook it until it bubbles,
stir in chicken, sausage, and ham when coated add stock bring to a boil on high heat,
and add rice. Give a good stir cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

(4) After 20- 25 minutes, add the cooked shrimp. Turn off heat, sprinkle all over with finely minced parsley and garnish with a lemon rose in the center.
(5) Enjoy as a stand alone dish, or serve with a nice salad and some fresh cornbread.

From experience of cooking mixed rice dishes for many years, I highly advice you to be careful with the amount of salt you add, too much can ruin a perfectly delicious rice dish, and too little will give you the blandest crap you've ever eaten. My suggestion is add about 2 tsp. salt, then taste it, if it tastes like... ocean water like... salt water... from ocean then it'll probably be ok... ha ha :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Potaje de Frijoles Colorados #5 (Red Bean Stew #5)

Yes this is another recipe for a Cuban style red bean stew ha ha. I wasn't gonna post it because I've already posted 4 different Cuban red bean stews, but when I cooked this variation my family LOVED IT!!! I got a lot of praises. One of my best friends Shantall came over that same day and had a bowl of this piping hot and was like "OMG I want you to share the recipe it's different from the usual stews you make" so this post is for her.

Smoked pork neck bones in combination with pork spareribs made a very flavorful stock, and... I do not know if for some Cubans this is "sacrilegious" but what made this one different and added a really nice touch was using smoked hot Louisiana hotlinks, a type of beef sausage that was flavored with spicy chili peppers, they come in hot and mild. They are very popular in Mexican stores down here in which the Spanish label for them is "Salchichas Picantes Ahumadas" which I used because they are inexpensive and readily available in any latin store I go to here, as opposed to having to drive a little further to the "Bodeguita" or ordering online and always having to pay a hefty price for smoked Spanish chorizo which isn't close to as good to what's available in Spain...

One of the things you guys might like about it, is that everything is thrown in one pot, and cooked together you won't have to cook the sautee the sofrito in a separate pan, and brown the chorizo's, everything in one pot with very good flavorful results here goes

-1 lb. dried red kidney beans
-water (enough to submerge beans 1 inch)
-1 lb. smoked pork neck bones (wash em under running water)
-1 1/2 lbs. pork spareribs (wash real well under running water, cut the meat you can into 1 1/2 inch chunks and the ribs seperate them into segments with a knife)
-1/2 red bell pepper minced
-1/2 green bell pepper minced
-1 onion minced
-1/2 head of garlic minced
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-3 small bay leaves
-2 tsp salt (atleast more to taste)
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp ground black pepper
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp. sweet smoked spanish paprika
-1 lb. banana squash or butternut or kabucha squash cut into 2 inch pieces
-3 potatoes cut into large 2 inch chunks
-3 medium louisiana hotlinks (smoked hot sausage/ salchichas ahumadas picantes) or spanish chorizo
-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

(1) In a large pot throw red kidney beans, wash them twice in running cold water, then cover them with water about 1-2 inches submerged. The next day they should have swelled and look like this
and you need to drain them and cover them with new water enough to submerge 1 inch.

(2) Bring the pot with the red kidney beans and water to a boil on high heat, skim off the white foam if it forms, add pork spare ribs, smoked pork neck bones, bring back to a boil and skim off any impurities that might form (don't stress just skim off what you can) add minced onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato sauce, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and bay leaves and bring back to a boil. Cover and lower heat to medium low. After 1 hour it should look like this.
(3) While waiting for that 1 hour, you can use this time to prep your potatoes and calabaza, check your beans after 1 hour to see if they are tender, add oregano, black pepper, cumin, Sweet smoked Spanish paprika along with your calabaza, potatoes, and the whole lousiana sausages or spanish chorizo. Give a good shake or stir, bring to a boil on high, cover then lower to medium low to simmer 15- 20 minutes.
(4) After 15-20 minutes stab your calabaza and potatoes with a knife or fork to see if they are tender if it goes through, stir in vinegar, if you feel it's too water for your liking remove some calabaza like 2 pieces and a piece of potato mash it, and stir back in. (I like to mash 2 pieces of the sweet calabaza because it balances out the the vinegar). Remove sausages, slice them and add it back to the pot.
(5) Serve over white rice or bread in a bowl. Taste better after sitting a couple hours or the next day :)

Here's a link to other posts of red bean stews I've done and other's have made. I remember for a long time my family hated this musty hint they had, and I've experimented many ways with them and learned to make them pretty well :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Arroz Caldoso Con Costilla (Soupy Rice with Pork Ribs)

I've been craving this dish for awhile, with the weather getting chillier, soups and stews are what we crave the most this time of year.

This is a very comforting hardy thick rice porridge with pork spareribs, guaranteed to warm you up, leftovers taste even better!

Like I've said in previous posts these type of soupy rice dishes in
Spanish cuisine rice dishes like this can be cooked with almost anything pork ribs, chicken, seafood, etc. it's essentially in it's most basic form rice with a sofrito (sautee of onion, garlic, bell pepper sometime tomato) with a lot of liquid and some spices married with your choice of protein. However in typical Cuban cuisine I only see this done with chicken however, and other Caribbean countries with either chicken or shrimp. I do love all the other Spanish variations though :)


-1 1/2 lbs. pork spare ribs
-extra-virgin olive oil
-1 onion minced
-1 green or red bell pepper minced
-1/2 head garlic minced
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce or 3 grated fresh tomatoes
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 tsp. sweet smoked spanish paprika (for a different taste/ more Cuban flavor as opposed to Spanish substitute the sweet smoked spanish paprika for ground cumin)
-2-3 bay leaves
-12 cups water or meat stock (any chicken, beef, pork, mine looked real red because I actually had a lot of leftover stock from when my mother made Pozole a type of Mexican Hominy and Pork stew which is the reason I made this)
-salt to taste
-2 cups short-grain rice (calrose, bomba, arborio, whatever you can get ahold of)
-saffron or annato seed powder/ bijol or what they call in Spain "colorante"
-parsley or cilantro minced to garnish (optional)

(1) Heat a real deep-pot over medium high heat, add olive oil and when it's hot sautee onion, bell pepper, and garlic together for about 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally, add pork spareribs stir til they lose raw color, then stir in sweet smoked Spanish paprika and tomato sauce, let reduce a bit.
(2) Add hot boiling stock or water and boil meat until tender about 40 minutes.
(3) When meat is tender add your rice (I premixed the raw rice with the bijol powder if using saffron you can add the saffron threads to the boiling stock and let it all infuse)
(4) Let simmer on medium low, give a stir every 10 minutes,
after 30 minutes, remove from heat and serve in large shallow bowls, you can accompany it with a salad or whatever other vegetable sides, or simply eat alone
For a chicken version of these types of porridges see my post for "Arroz Caldoso Con Pollo" for a shrimp variation see my "Arroz Con Camarones a la Chorrera" :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Calamares en Su Tinta (Squid in Ink Sauce)

This dish I believe originated somewhere in Northern Spain the Basque name for it is "Txipiroiak bere tintan", squid is stewed in a rich savory black sauce until very tender and often served over white rice with some fried potatoes or salad.

My version of the sauce has the holy trinity of Cuban cooking/ what we call "sofrito" which is also shared with Spanish Cuisine it's onion, garlic, bell pepper sometimes with the addition of tomato all cooked down in olive oil and some dry white wine.

Cuban cuisine also shares this dish, however to most Cubans squid in ink sauce is usually bought canned already prepared, eaten straight with rice, but very often the canned squid in ink is used to make a mixed rice dish in which you cook and steam rice together with a sofrito to kick it up, some spices and add teh cans of squid in ink sauce, resulting in a black to dark grey mixed rice dish.

This is the first time I make the dish from scratch, I usually just buy it canned, and I have had many failed attempts but have now been successful after watching many videos on extracting the squid ink, however many people usually have packets or jars of squid ink that are sold at some specialty stores, they just add a couple tablespoonfuls to the sauce and it's done, however be warned when doing from scratch it isn't hard but is very time consuming.

-1 1/2 lbs of whole fresh small squid
-1/2 onion minced
-1/2 green bell pepper minced
-2 cloves garlic finely minced
-1/2 cup tomato sauce or 1 fresh grated tomato
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-water (enough to barely cover the squid)
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste (optional)
(1) To extract the ink there is a ink sac inside the body when you yank out the internal part of the body by pulling it down from it's head, it's a silver sac, remove it with your hand gently, and place it in a bowl intact, then to extract more ink this sounds gross but carefully stab the baby squid in the eye and drain the black ink from it's eye. Repeat the process, set aside in a small bowl, add a little salt, a good drizzle of olive oil, and mash with a fork, spoon or mortar to a thick black sauce. Set aside
(2) Now finish cleaning your squid, remove the see-through bone from it, the outer skin, cut into rings and wash several times, discard the heads and save the tentacles wash well too. Then pat- dry and set aside.

(3) Heat extra- virgin olive oil on medium high heat, add you squid, stir it will release a lot of liquid crank the heat up to high and stir occasionally until all the water evaporates.
(4) Meanwhile chop your onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and have your tomato ready. When all the water evaporates lower heat to medium high and add onion, bell pepper, and garlic cook down for about 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally, add tomato and cook down 5 minutes.
(5) Add the squid ink stir well, when it comes to a bubble add dry white wine, bring to a boil, add enough water to barely cover, taste it and add salt and pepper to taste bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer on low heat covered for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until very tender.
Serve over rice
*This doesn't make a very large portion once you have cleaned all the squid and everything you end up with about 4 small to medium portions I recommend you make 3 lbs. next time I make this I will use 3 lbs./ double the recipe

Helpful tips:
I learned to extract the ink watchin this video

and also the technique for using it in cooking from "El Cocinero Andaluz"

and for those unclear about cleaning squid you may benefit from watching this video with "Maangchi" :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Manitas de Cerdo en Salsa (Pigs Feet In Sauce)

Pigs feet are simmered until tender, creating a rich stock used to make a rich smooth sauce that's slightly sweet from cooking down sweet yellow onions, garlic, leek, sweet carrots and tomato, and also has hints of spicy from the black pepper and for those that can handle more heat some dried chili peppers can be added to kick it up.

Served hot smothered in sauce, it's simply comfort food with rice or bread :)

I learned this recipe from "El Cocinero Andaluz" (The Andalusian Cook) he has a video blog dedicated to his home cooking and has an array of Andalusian recipes at his blog:

For those that don't know Andalusia is in Southern Spain and is well known for their fried foods, especially fish and using a variety of herbs and spices (due to Moorish influence). His blog is a treasure chest for anyone interested in this Cuisine, however it is in Spanish and so are the videos, but the videos are usually silent and if your familiar with the kitchen you can just watch what he is using and how he does things for those who don't know Spanish and are still interested.

I did however adjust his recipe a bit, first by blanching the pigs feet first which is something I always do out of habit, second I added garlic to the aromatics and dried chili peppers as he suggested since he said it was "missing something" and made the sauce more smooth and abundant (because in my house we love having lots of sauce to soak up with rice)

Ingredients for the stock:

-4 lbs. pigs feet
-water (enough to completely cover pigs feet)
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
-2 whole cloves
-salt to taste

Sauce Ingredients:
-1/4- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 leek (discard green leaves, and the bottom tip area use only the body, cut in half and rinse well then slice thin)
-1 large onion julienned
-2 carrots peeled cut into thin rounds
-3 cloves garlic minced
-2-3 small dried red chile peppers (cayenne, guindillas, or chile japones or chile de arbol this is optional only if you want a spicy kick to it)
-2 large fresh ripe tomatoes quartered
-1/2- 1 cup tomato sauce
-pork feet stock (reserved)
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste
-finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro to garnish

Directions for pig feet/ stock:
(1) First we start by cleaning the pigs feet by blanching, wash them well, drain, bring water to a boil in a pot enough to cover the pigs feet and boil them 10 minutes,
all the scum will rise, skim it off, after 10 minutes,
drain the water out and wash the pigs feet again.
Now they are ready to use, this step is always done in my house when we cook pigs feet, it get's rid of any impurities or bad taste from the meat.

(2) Now bring a pot with enough water to cover pigs feet to a boil again, add the cleaned pigs feet, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and salt to taste when it boils strong, cover and lower heat to medium low simmer about 2 1/2 hours until very tender.
(3) When pork feet are tender, remove from pot, and you will have a rich flavorful stock, strain the stock to remove bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and set aside. You will use this stock to make your sauce. Don't be alarmed if you get a white stock it doesn't mean it's dirty, what it means is that the meat has released a lot of it's minerals, and gelatine which is a good thing makes the stock very rich.

Directions for sauce and finishing dish:
(1) In a deep-pot heat olive oil on medium high heat, when hot add garlic, onions, leeks, and carrot until translucent about 5-7 minutes,
add chopped tomato and when tomato is tender stir in tomato sauce let this cook down 3-5 minutes.
(2) Add some of the stock enough to cover all the veggies, and let boil about 5 minutes, turn heat to low,
and use a hand blender to blend the sauce until smooth,
or remove the sauce in batches and blend in a blender (be careful hot liquids burst and jump in blenders or food processors, I use a hand blender for this dish)

(3) When sauce is smooth, add pigs feet, and enough stock to barely cover the feet, bring to a boil, add ground black pepper to taste and more salt if necessary, cover and allow to simmer 25- 30 minutes.
(4) Turn off give a gentle stir, and garnish with parsley or cilantro.
(5) Serve in a deep bowl with lots of sauce, some bread and a salad....
or like I did today for leftovers I had it Cuban style ha ha, with some white rice, sliced avocado, and fried plantains.
If you don't like pigs feet then you simply don't like them end of story I'm not here to convince you ha ha, but for those that do, give this recipe a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised :D don't forget pigs feet are messy to eat hehe., Don't be afraid to grab with your hands and chomp down on these morsels.

If interested in other recipes using pigs feet check out my Tata's / Grandmas Spanish "Potaje de Garbanzos Con Pata de Puerco" (Chickpea and Pigs feet stew) you can also use them in her "Potaje de Pata y Panza" in place of the beef foot called for, or my mother's Mexican "Patas de Puerco Cocidas" (boiled pork feet) served with lime, salt, and hot sauce. Another dish the pork feet are feautured in is in my mother's "Pozole Rojo" (Hominy and Pork Stew) and the pork feet can also be used in my grandma's "Potaje de Pata y Panza"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fricase de Puerco (Pork Fricase)

I had a good chunk of pork meat, well marbled good for stewing so I was planning on
making a stew with it, but not sure how I wanted to make the stew

I wanted a Cuban or Spaniard tomato based stew, and I knew the variations were endless.

However I remembered that some Cuban restaurants have something they call "Fricase de Puerco" which is a pork version of the Cuban "Fricase de Pollo/ Chicken Fricase" (which is chicken stewed in a tomato based sauce, traditionally/ typically chicken is marinaded in garlic and citrus first, browned, cooked in sauce and is somewhat sour with olives sometimes some capers but often balanced by stewing with the addition of raisins or sometimes instead of raisins some people add sliced carrot or leave it as is without the sweetness)

So here's my way of preparing a cuban-style "Pork Fricase" and let me tell you it came out delicious!!!! What made it special was marinading the pork in sour orange and garlic giving it that special cuban garlic sauce taste, but it married into the typical tomato based sauce made with the holy trinity of Cuban cooking (onion, bell pepper, garlic) the two married and gave birth to this, it was just amazing :D

-Ingredients to marinade pork-

-3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
-3/4 cups sour orange juice (you can substitute with 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 white vinegar or a mixture of 1/2 lime and 1/2 orange juice)
-1/2 head of garlic, peeled, mashed to a paste in a mortar or through a press
-2 tsp. salt

-Ingredients for for the rest-
1/2 cup lard or extra-virgin olive oil (I use lard for this)
-1 onion chopped
-1 bell pepper (red or green or both) chopped
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-3 cups water
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp. whole black peppercorns (or black pepper to taste)
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-4 potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
-7-8 olives cut in half (black or green spanish olives)
-4 tablespoons capers (optional)
-1/4 cup raisins (optional)
-salt to taste (towards the end because the olives and capers tend to be very salty, also the wine depending what you use, like if you use a typical cuban cooking wine like Goya or Edmundo it also has salt)

(1) Mix pork with all marinade ingredients allow to marinade at least 2 hours. When done marinading drain it BUT reserve the marinade, pat the meat dry.

(2) In a large pot, heat lard on very high heat, when it's real hot, add pork and brown on all sides (do not panic if the pork releases some juices and everything starts boiling, leave it uncovered and stir occasionally until everything reduces and it starts browning)

(3) When browned add bell peppers and onion and cook until translucent, add tomato sauce stir well and when the tomato sauce bubbles throw in bay leaves, peppercorns, and cumin, along with wine, and water. Bring everything to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour.

(4) When pork meat is tender (to check doneness pierce with a fork) add your potatoes, olives and the optional capers and raisins bring back to a boil on high, and cover simmer on medium low until potatoes are tender (about 20 - 30 minutes) turn off heat and it's ready to serve over rice :)

(1) For a very delicious variation, cut your potatoes into large cubes, and deep-fry them on medium high heat until inside is tender, and then crank the heat up and get them all well browned, drain and set aside. When the meat is fully tender, turn off stew and toss it with the deep-fried potatoes.

I learned that technique/ variation in these type of stews from "Maruxa Moíño" a wonderful home cook originally from Galicia, Spain now residing in Catalunya region of Spain. Her son created a blog documenting and making videos of her home cooking. So a big thanks and shout to them :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Estofado de Pollo Con Patatas (Chicken and Potato Stew)

Earlier this year I made a delicious Catalan style beef and potato stew , I had learned from Nuria's blog "Spanish Recipes" called "Estofado de Ternera Con Patatas", one of my readers "Fernando" commented asking me if he could substitute chicken for the beef, I thought a chicken variation of this would be delicious and so with the weather slowly cooling I decided to make it. It was different, but equally delicious :)

Like I said in the post for the beef version, if you love gravy, potatoes, and chicken this dish is for you. Served over a mountain of steaming white rice this dish is another one of those comfort foods.


-1 whole chicken cut into segments (your choice how you want to cut it, I cut it into bite sizes)
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste
-flour to dust chicken
-extra-virgin olive oil (about 1/4- 1/2 cup)
-1 onion minced
-4 cloves garlic minced
-1 carrot, peeled, minced
-1 large ripe tomato very finely minced or grated
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp dried thyme (or 3 fresh sprigs)
-1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1-2 fresh sprigs)
-4 large potatoes peeled, cut into large chunks
-2 tsp chicken bouillon powder (optional)
-water enough to cover all ingredients
-1/2 cup frozen peas (you can use fresh too)

(1) Like always don't forget, clean/ wash your chicken well, cut into segments, season it with salt and pepper (I used about 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), coat the chicken in flour and shake off excess.
(2) In a large deep- pan heat generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil over medium high heat, brown the chicken on all sides (be patient you can chop everything while doing this), set chicken aside.

(3) In same pan add onion, carrot, garlic and sautee for 5-7 minutes until translucent,
add grated tomato, bay leaves, thyme, and oregano allow everything to cook together until the tomato is reduced and loses it's liquid it'll start frying in the oil about 5-7 more minutes.
(4) Add wine raise heat stir well and reduce it by about half. Now throw your chicken, add water enough to cover all ingredients (you may want to have your water already heated up and boiling in a seperate pot to speed things up), bring to a boil, add potatoes, chicken bouillon, taste for salt and add more if needed.
(5) Allow everything to cook together 30 minutes, on medium low heat, after 30 minutes, stir in your peas, let it come to a boil then turn off. Ready to serve :)
So after making the chicken variation I had an idea, this dish would also be delicious if you omitted the potatoes and instead added some sliced button mushrooms towards the last 5 minutes of cooking... mmmmm.... next time I'll do it... wait sounds like "Chicken in Mushroom Sauce" to me :D ... wait there's a beef dish called "Fricando" (Catalan beef and mushrooms) maybe I'm on to something ha ha yeah I'm a dork sorry lolz. well more future posts to come :D