Sunday, August 23, 2009


Growing up we often shopped in the little bodegas, or Spanish markets for special ingredients my mom would need to make the Puerto Rican dishes she'd serve. My sisters and I would always grab a bag... or two... or maybe three of merengue. Little clouds of delicious sugary whipped egg whites. How can something soo simple taste so good.

There are many different ways to make these heavenly pillows, with or without cream of tartar, powdered or granulated sugar, using a syrup or not, but I have found all the recipes I've tried produce mostly the same results.

Give them a try. Serve them plain, drizzled with chocolate, toasted coconut sprinkled on top, or sandwich them together.. yum!


Whisk some more... until soft peaks form, gradually adding sugar

Once stiff peaks form

Spoon onto sheet and bake


4 egg whites

pinch of salt

1/4 tspn. cream of tartar

1 1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whip the egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar while whipping until stiff peaks form. Spoon by teaspoonfuls onto sheet and bake until merengue easily peel off, about 25 minutes.

The way I am used to making these is with a bit lower heat and much longer cooking time, but you may use the method above.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sofrito... A Spanish Seasoning Blend

If Spanish food appears in your kitchen often, this could be a great addition to your seasonings and quite the time saver! This is something my Tio (Uncle) showed my mom how to make when she married my dad, who is Puerto Rican. I've added some anheim chili peppers to give it my own spin. When all the peppers and onion, garlic and cilantro blend together the flavors become much more intense and therefore you only need a 1/4 - 1/2 cup when making something like Picadillo or yellow rice. Store this in the freezer in an ice cube tray or in the fridge, if you use it up quickly as I do. It is SUCH a time savor since you won't be chopping up all the ingredients for every dish!


2 bunches cilantro
1 green bell pepper
2 anheim chili peppers
1 ENTIRE head of garlic
1 large yellow onion
1/4 cup or so olive oil

Peel garlic cloves, chop peppers and onion in chunks just large enough for the blender to process. Puree all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge OR freeze in ice cube tray. Use desired amount to flavor dishes!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A delicious melty manchego sandwich and some HELP PLEASE!

This will be a quick little post. If anyone knows what I can do please help! All the blogs I follow have been removed from my dashboard! How did this happen and where did they go? Thanks to anyone who knows how to fix this IF at all possible!

A few months ago I discovered Manchego cheese! I love love love it! I discovered it around the time I decided I would find out as much as I could about the different cuisines from my ethnic background. My dad is Puerto Rican with family from Spain and my mom is Polish, English, Irish, French, and Austrian. That could take a while!

Manchego is a hard cheese, I find it at Costco believe it or not for half the price my local cheese store sells it for. I grate it on my eggs, add shavings to salads, but most of all I love it simply between slices of soft french bread and sprinkled with a few jarred pimientos and of course some serrano ham if you can find it! Prosciutto can be substituted, but I prefer to leave it out. Press it either on a sandwich press OR as I do it in a skillet with a cast iron on top! DELICIOUS and melted and crunchy and just yum! Try it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Roast Citrus Chicken

There aren't many things more comforting that Roast Chicken. Growing up my mom would make Roast Chicken on any given day. Now, living far from home and being the cook in my kitchen, the smell of a roasting chicken in the oven is something that brings me back to those childhood days!
The chicken is stuffed with onion, garlic, lemon slices, orange slices, s-n-p, and oregano. The chicken sits on a bed of vegetables and roasts in the oven for about 21 minutes per pound.
Try this chicken... I know you'll love it!

Whole chicken
head of garlic
orange slices
lemon slices
adobo (a blend of spanish spices)
olive oil

Clean the chicken. Cut the head of garlic horizontally. Slice the onion. Drizzle the cavity of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with s-n-p and oregano. Add some of the onion, a few orange and lemon slices and the entire head of garlic. Pull the skin away from the meat of the chicken with your hand, drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper a teaspoon or so of adobo and add a few slices of citrus to each side. Coat the outside of the chicken with olive oil to help brown the skin. Place the chicken on top of an assortment of your favorite vegetables that you've seasoned. Roast at 350 until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Easy Peasy Pasta

Pasta has to be one of those dishes that we all turn to when we don't have much time or energy. This dish was inspired by an episode of Everyday Italian I recently watched. I was in the mood for pasta and had no desire to cook, which does NOT happen often. This is all I had to do:
3/4 box pasta
salt for pasta water
bunch of basil
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
good quality olive oil
pecorino or parmesean, grated
2 plum tomatoes
zest and juice of lemon
Add lots of salt to boiling water, add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
In the bottom of a large bowl drizzle olive oil. Grate or chop garlic depending on how strong you like the flavor, shred the basil, add salt, pepper, zest and juice of lemon. Once pasta is done add to the olive oil with tongs along with 1/2 cup of pasta water (this will combine with oil and cheese to make a creamy sauce). Add cheese and toss. Add tomatoes and toss until combined. Let sit until reaches room temperature for best taste.
I had some shrimp scampi in the fridge which I added since my bf loves it! I would have preferred the pasta without the shrimp.