Tuesday, September 2, 2014

La Cocina de Christina on the TODAY Show #VivaToday

As part of NBC and Telemundo's Viva Today series, we had a chance to be featured on this morning's TODAY Show.  Last week, we sat down with Chef Ingrid Hoffmann to cook through some of the recipes from my Cuban cooking project, and to talk about food and the power it has to keep traditions alive, for many generations.  Watch the video below to see the feature that aired today on TODAY.

Keeping the sofrito smell alive is the key to La Cocina de Christina.  Having a home that smells like abuela or mami's cooking can't be replaced.  And when you step out of that home, into the world, that sofrito smell carries along with you.  And people just know - they know you come from a home where people cook and care and love.

Thanks for staying connected to La Cocina de Christina as I continue to cook through Cocina al Minuto. Helping so many connect to their culture and traditions has been a real treat.  I look forward to the next half of the project!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

La Cocina de Christina : Memories of Abuela Teresa

Abuela Teresa, Christina's Great-grandmother, December 1966, Miami, Florida

My paternal great-grandmother, Abuela Teresa, was born in 1898 in Spain.  Growing up, that was the absolute coolest thing - knowing someone that was born in the 1800s.  She was barely 4'8" but had the character the size of a giant's.  The myths and legends about La Abuela Teresa were monumental.

She could always be found in one of two places - first place, the kitchen.  When someone would come to the house, you'd find her making Cuban coffee, right as the guest was walking up to the door.  She'd make croquetas with her hand-cranking meat grinder from leftovers, regardless of what the leftovers would be.  She'd have pimento cheese spread on-hand and all other sorts of goodies ready.  Just ready.

If she wasn't in the kitchen, she was knitting.  It was probably crochet that she was doing but I never know the difference between crochet, knitting and bordando.  She did that too, I'd say.  Scraps of fabrics, yarnballs all over her bed and her knitting needles, working away.

As I was getting ready to put together some old photos I've taken throughout this journey for The Project, I came across the photo at the top of this post.

So many thoughts come to mind when I see that photo above.  Maybe she was about to yell at one of us for running around the house like crazies.  Maybe she was showing off the pot before making some amazing potaje.  Maybe she was about to send someone to go fly a kite for taking a photo of her.

As her grandson, my Dad, always says, "Let us count the possibilities."


Monday, January 20, 2014

317 : Bocaditos Tostados de Bonito y Queso

2 cans bonito in olive oil
4 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup olives stuffed with pimentos
1 small onion
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons butter
24 slices white bread
5oz pimento cheese spread
1/4 lb butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice the olives, drain the oil from the bonito and shred the bonito, chop the eggs, chop the onion and mix with the mayonnaise.

3. Slice the crusts off the bread.

4. Spread the 2T butter (at room temperature) on 12 slices of bread.

5. Top the buttered slices with the bonito mix.

6. Mix the pimento cheese spread with the 1/4lb butter (at room temperature) in a bowl.

7. Place the 12 remaining bread slices on top of each of the slices with bonito, to make 12 sandwiches (bocaditos).

8. Spread the bocadito tops with the butter pimento cheese mix.

9. Bake the bocaditos in the oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly.

Cut into triangles and serve warm. Makes 24 triangles.

- Posted using BlogPress

316 : Langosta con Queso

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 cup lobster meat, chopped
1 1/2 cups tomato, chopped (including juice and seeds)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dry cooking wine

1. Melt the butter, add the oil and fry the pepper and onion in a large pan.

2. In a blender, mix the flour, mustard, milk and cheese.

3. Add the blended ingredients to the pepper and onion and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.

4. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and cooking wine.

5. Put all ingredients in the pan back in the blender and purée well.

6. Add the ingredients from the blender back into the pan and add the lobster meat.

7. Bring the heat up, but do not boil, until lobster is cooked through (pink and opaque).

8. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Can be served over Killer Rice, alongside sliced avocado, drizzled with olive oil, lime and salt.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad