It is cold outside! Come in for dinner.

All afternoon I have been watching snow accumulate outside. I even got to sit for half-hour with a cuddly Zee looking out at swirling snowflakes thru our big front window. And do you know what my second reaction was (the first was to curl up in bed and take at nap), the desire to cook everyone in the whole world the warmest bowl of rice and beans. But since I couldn't and nobody in their right mind was going to venture over to our house in the middle of that snowfall I settled on cooking a rice and beans for my girls and Chris instead. I am now sitting here oddly satisfied that I have struck a small blow against the powers of winter.

yum.


Paella Ana or Jambalya with Paella seasonings.

I made this for Chris just this week. It relatively simple one pot meal, and I can't credit one source for inspiration, since I must have skimmed nearly a dozen recipe books before improvised this one. This should serve 5 to 6 adults.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of bacon diced
  • 1 cup of Sliced smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup of pepper (any color, I like green and red) minced
  • 1/2 cup of Spanish onion minced
  • 2 medium sized garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 cups of long grain rice
  • 1 tsp of Olive oil
  • 1 packet of Saffron Sazon Goya (You can find this at Mexican stores and sometimes at regular stores like Meijer and D&W)  Sazon is basically: Cumin, Garlic powder, coriander and Saffron or Annatto powders.
  • 3 cups of Vegetable Broth (or water)
  • 1 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Manzanilla Olives sliced in half.
  • 1 cup of cooked shrimp shelled

1.Take one large dutch oven or heavy saucepan with tight fitting lid. Cook up the diced bacon or crumbled chorizo sausage (like Ebro) over medium heat. Once cook remove and set aside to drain on paper towels. Drain bacon fat.
2. Add sliced Sausage. Cook for about 3 minutes, till edges a bit crispy. Remove from pan.
3. Add peppers and Onion, saute till onion starts to soften. (you can also add a bit of recaito at this point, or just some crushed garlic and fresh cilantro)
4. Add 3 cups of rice, sazon and 1 tsp of olive oil. Quickly stir rice till it is all coated with the oil and sazon.
5. Add 3 cups of Broth or water, and 1 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. (if you want a hotter taste add a dash of Tabasco at the point).
6. Up the heat to Medium-high, and get it to boil uncovered.
7. Once the majority of the water is absorbed (you will have maybe only a very small layer or water over your rice) add the bacon and sausage and olives to rice and stir.
8. Lower heat to the lowest setting (or depending on how good your pot, turn off the burner entirely) and cover.
9. After about 15 minutes check your rice, if it is done, add the shrimp, folding it into the rice. Cover for 4 minutes or until the shrimp are warm.
10. Serve

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Sopa de Garbanzos

I made this for the Drop-in Supper Chris and hosted at my sister's house in GR last Nov. It is my veggie version of the Three Pepper Beef stew, same basic ingredients, minus the beef and potatoes. Although if you must have potatoes,  you can add them if you diced them up very small and add them at the same time as Garbanzos.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of Chickpeas (Garbanzos) or 4 cups of re-hydrated and cooked Garbanzos if making from Dry beans.
  • ½ cup white or Spanish Onion
  • dash of curry powder
  • dash of Paprika
  • dash of red pepper powder
  • dash of Tabasco
  • dash of white crushed pepper (although any fresh crushed pepper will do)
  • 1 packet of Sazon
  • 1/2 cup diced Green Pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced Red Pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced Yellow Pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 cartons of Vegetable broth
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • Olives to taste

1. Heat Curry powder, paprika, over medium heat for about 30 seconds, just enough to revive their pungent aroma.
2.Add peppers, onion and garlic and
sauté in 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil, in large heavy stockpot, then add 2 cups of Garbanzos (1 Can) until they are coated nicely with the olive oil and spices.

3. Add vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Add a small can of tomato paste

4.  Take remaining  2 cups of  Garbanzos and Puree in a blender, or  chop finely in food processor. Add to soup.

5. Simmer for 1 hr.

6. Add Olives (or artichoke hearts) and cook for about 3 minutes, and then you are ready to serve.

7. Eat


Cooking with Ana

Jonathan emailed me looking for a recipe I had blogged on and while I searched for it thru the archives, I thought that I might as well blog a round-up on recipe's listed on the site.

Here is short roundup with links:

Three Pepper Beef Stew:
http://winterfell.blogs.com/anacoqui/2004/11/three_pepper_be.html
The Cooking Light PR menu:
http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/search/results/1,14413,recipes,00.html?query=Maira+Isabel+Morales+
Stompot Canino, Tuna Guisada and Rice and Beans:
http://winterfell.blogs.com/anacoqui/2004/09/so_whats_for_di.html

Piñon was mentioned in this post:
http://winterfell.blogs.com/anacoqui/2004/05/answering_quest.html#comments

and offered a link for a recipe
http://www.recipe-ideas.co.uk/recipes-6/Puerto%20Rican%20Beef%20Plantain%20Omelette%20(Pinon).htm


The Buffet

Today for the very first time I understood the appeal of the “All you can Eat Chinese Buffet.” Never having grown up eating at one of the establishments, I only associated such places with the elderly or the cheap, and imagine them to be places of where quantity might make up for lack of quality. Growing up if we ate out somewhere other than a fast food it was nice sit down restaurant, friendly neighborhood pizzeria or deli style joint, like “Facciola”. We didn’t even eat buffet style expect at someone’s home during the holidays. Yet today I think I finally understood why someone might prefer them to traditional restaurant. It wasn’t the variety or quantity of the meal, but the fact that it was already prepared and just waiting for you to eat it.

Chris and I go down to Taber every few months for Internos, a regional pastor get-together. We usually meet for coffee or tea, and chat about our month and the challenges we are facing in our individual congregations. It is a time for relaxed fellowship and heartfelt encouragement. We then often end our time with prayer and lunch. This year the Lunch time was becoming increasingly daunting to us, as Aay and Zee were often hungry well before we even arrived at the restaurant and there often over-stimulated. Lunch would also then stretch on into the afternoon. The result was that Internos was turning into a draining rather than recharging time.

Today Mike Van Dyke suggested we return to the Hong Kong Buffet, a newish establishment in Taber, were the gang had gone to the previous Internos. It was a revelation. We had food as soon as we went to fetch it, the girls ate for free and by the time Aay and Zee had reached their end point, we already had the bill in hand. It was quiet a relief to discover how good we felt to be heading home at 1:30 pm rather than 2:30 pm. The hour drive coincided nicely with their nap times, and now here at home I have even found some free time to write.

So hooray for the Buffet, for the first time in my life, I might consider returning to one.


Three Pepper Beef Stew

I made this for Friday's Drop-in-Supper.  I received several request for the recipe.

  • Ingredients:

  • Family sized package of Stew cut Beef. Cut into bite-sized portions( approximately 2lbs?)

  • 2/3 cups of Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ cup white or Spanish Onion

  • dash of curry powder

  • dash of garlic powder

  • dash of white crushed pepper (although any fresh crushed pepper will do)

  • 1/2 cup diced Green Pepper

  • 1/2 cup diced Red Pepper

  • 1/2 cup diced Yellow Pepper

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 2 cartons of Vegetable broth

  • 1 small can of tomato paste

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, medium diced.

  • 1 packet of Sazon

  • Olives to taste

1. Marinate beef in  Worcestershire sauce, along with the dashes of curry, pepper and garlic in the fridge, while you chop the rest of the ingredients.

2. Brown beef in skillet. Set aside

3. Sauté peppers, onion and garlic in 1 tsp of olive oil, in large stockpot, add vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Add a small can of tomato paste

4. Add potatoes and beef, bring to a simmer.

5. Simmer for 2 hrs, or till beef and potatoes are both tender.

6. Add Sazon and olives. (never add any seasoning with salt, till the end of cooking time, to avoid toughening the meat) cook for about 3 minutes, and then you are ready to serve.

7. Eat