Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Cubanito's Stomach Bug

My son has a stomach virus. And he wanted Mami's chicken noodle soup. Except, Mami doesn't have a chicken noodle soup. Until now. Let's see if I can pull this off.

3 lb chicken wings, drums or whole chicken
12 cups water
2 cups baby carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 packet Sazón Goya con Azafran
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 lb short pasta (angel hair or fideos work best)

1. Place the chicken in a pressure cooker with the water.

2. Add the carrots and garlic.

3. Add the contents of one packet of Sazón.

4. Add the oregano.

5. Add the salt.

6. Cover pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes (from the moment the pressure sets).

7. Once the safety pin has dropped, open the pressure cooker. Remove the chicken and bring the broth to a boil.

8. Add the pasta, making sure to break it down to fit easily on the spoon later. Cook for 10 minutes on boil.

9. Shred the chicken, removing all skin and bones, while the pasta cooks, and add the chicken into the pot.

10. Lower heat and serve immediately.

Success! The soup was delicious. My son ate it cautiously but gave praises on the taste along the way. Now hopefully, he can keep it down for the night.

How do you make your Sopa de Pollo?

Monday, December 23, 2013

314 : Pierna de Puerco Asado a la Criolla


6 lbs fresh ham shank (Pierna de Puerco or Pierna de Cerdo)
1 whole garlic
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup juice from fresh sour oranges
1 pound white onions

1. Make sure the pork you buy is trimmed of any overly excessive fat but still has the skin intact, as the skin crisps during cooking to form a chicharrón (crackling).

2. Place pork inside a large turkey bag. Bag will be used during marination process, not during cooking.

3. Cut slits in the pork with a sharp knife, on both sides of the pork.

4. Using a mortar and pestle, crush all the garlic cloves.

5. Add the salt to the garlic and crush well, ending up with a paste-like consistency.

6. Add the oregano, cumin and black pepper, pausing between each spice to fully incorporate each one into the mix.

7. Pour the spice-paste into the sour orange juice and mix well, to create your mojo. Let it sit while you do step #8.

8. Slice up the onions into rings.

9. Rub the mojo, with your hands, all over both sides of the pork, making sure you get the juices and paste into all crevices. Pour any leftover liquid over the top of both sides and rub well with your hands.

10. Place the onion rings over, under and inside the pork. The littlest circles from the rings fit perfectly into the slits in the pork. Close up the bag and put away for 48-72 hours. Turn bag over after each 24 hours so that juices can cover all parts of the pork during marination.

11. When ready to cook, heat oven to 325 degrees and remove pork from bag, into a large roaster. Pour all juices from bag over the pork, into the roaster.

12. Cook for four hours. Check temperature using a meat thermometer. Pork is ready once the thermometer reads 185 degrees.

13. Slice and serve with black beans and rice, using the excess onions and salsita (sauce) as a dressing for the rice. Can also be served inside Cuban bread as a sandwich, in a Pan con Lechon, with the onions and salsita as a condiment for the sandwich.

Enjoy - and sop up any leftover salsita with extra Cuban bread.

- Posted using BlogPress

Saturday, November 30, 2013

American Lobster | Langosta a la Americana

Nitza has a bunch of lobster recipes to go through and I started with Langosta a la Americana. The flavors are quite complex, using Salsa Marinara and Salsa Española Rápida as the base. I had already made the Marinara Sauce a while back, but getting to knock out two recipes in one with the Española Sauce made this an attractive one to try.

I used lobster tails in the recipe, which made everything easier. The best part was seeing the tail turn a gorgeous red as it simmered in the sauce. Very pretty.

It was a sign of the deep flavors to come once the dish was ready, served atop Killer Rice.

- Posted using BlogPress

311 : Langosta a la Americana


2 cups Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup Salsa Española Rápida
4 Tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup cooking wine
6 lobster tails

1. Melt the butter and fry the chopped onion in a pot.

2. Add the bay leaf and shell from one of the lobster tails.

3. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking wine.

4. Add the two sauces and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.

5. Remove the meat from the tails and chop into bite-sized pieces.

6. In a separate pot, cook the lobster meat with 1/2 cup of the cooking wine for about 10 minutes.

7. Strain the sauce (or just remove the lobster shell and bay leaf if you want it with a thicker texture) and incorporate the lobsters and cooking wine.

8. Simmer for ten minutes.

Serve warm over killer rice.

- Posted using BlogPress

310 : Salsa Española Rápida


2 teaspoons butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup consommé (beef broth), canned
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepot.

2. Dissolve the flour in the beef broth and add to the melted butter in the pot.

3. Add the bay leaf and stir for two minutes.

4. Add the cooking wine and Kitchen Bouquet and bring back up to a boil.

5. Lower heat and keep warm until ready to use.

- Posted using BlogPress

Ham Surprise | Sorpresas de Jamón

Any recipe that has "sorpresa" or "surprise" in the title is usually a sign of strangeness. My cousin, Georgette, has a signature dish, Spaghetti-O Surprise. I've never had it, I'm not sure if anyone besides her husband, Carlos, has had it, actually. But it is legendary since that's the only dish Georgette has made at home. I think she made it for him while they were dating.

There always seems to be a bit of folklore and embellishment in Surprise Dishes. This dish, on the other hand, is just plain out of this world. I used Honey Baked Ham because we had leftovers from Thanksgiving. That sweet ham, plus the little soufflé that tops each serving, is just insane. And easy. Perfect for a party. Maybe a surprise party.

Click here for the full recipe.

- Posted using BlogPress

309 : Sorpresas de Jamón


8 slices bread
8 slices ham
2 egg whites
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

3. Fold-in the mayo and mustard to the egg whites, gently.

4. Lay down the slices of bread on a cookie sheet and top with the ham slices.

5. Top each ham slice with the egg white mixture and place in the top rack of the oven.

6. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until tops are golden.

Serve warm.

- Posted using BlogPress

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pollo a la Cacerola, Cheater-style

My Mom chose Arroz Relleno as my next recipe and a first step to making that dish required that Pollo a la Cacerola be made.

I had already tackled the original Pollo a la Cacerola, so tonight I went cheater-style.

Mojo criollo
3lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup cooking wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup baby carrots, chopped

1. Pour mojo criollo over chicken in a deep dish to marinate for at least an hour.
2. Melt a stick of butter in deep pot.
3. Fry chicken in butter until golden on each side.
4. Season with salt and pepper as you flip from one side to the other.
5. Add vinegar, cooking wine and chicken broth.
6. Bring to a boil and add chopped carrots.
7. Lower heat to medium and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hispanic Heritage winner and a visit to Polo Norte

We have a winner! Thanks to those of you that entered my very first contest, courtesy of IMUSA and McCormick. Ecasta dreamt of the following plan when she thought of how she'd use her Mexican Kit. Inspiring!

Last night, I had a chance to visit the new Polo Norte restaurant in Miami Beach. I usually don't do restaurant reviews but since I truly think that Polo Norte is too good to not visit and because we are friends with the owner, here is my non-review. Photos speak for themselves. 

And last but not least...

Name the dishes. There's no contest out of this but I'm sure all Polo Norte fans will enjoy seeing how many they get correct. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Giveaway, courtesy of IMUSA and McCormick

I am proud to present my first giveaway, right here on La Cocina de Christina. Hispanic Heritage month runs from September 15 through October 15, so it is only fitting that this Cubanita waits until the last possible moment to bring you these wonderful prizes.

As part of the contest, I had a chance to test out some of these fun ingredients and tools. 

For breakfast one Sunday morning, I whipped up the congri (Arroz con Frijoles Negros) package and gave it a little fried egg sombrerito. Que lindo. Y muy rico.  So happy to have tried this package. Instant sofrito smell in la cocina. 

What's in it for you?
This amazing Mexican package, courtesy of IMUSA and McCormick, which includes: IMUSA Cloth Tortilla Warmer, IMUSA Multicolor Salsa Dishes, IMUSA Granite Molcajete, McCormick’s Black Pepper, Cumin, Mexican Oregano, Chili Powder, Cilantro Leaves, Taco Recipe Mix, Enchilada Recipe Mix and Tinga de Pollo Recipe Mix.

What would you make with your new package?  Leave a comment below with your answer in order to enter the contest.  Chances are probably really high since this is my first giveaway. Contest ends tomorrow, October 15, at midnight (EST).

¡Buena suerte!

Disclaimer: The Cuban package IMUSA and McCormick products used in my testing were sent to me in exchange for hosting this contest. The winner of this contest will win a Mexican package, mailed directly to the winner by IMUSA/McCormick. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.