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.

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