Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caldo Gallego (White bean and chorizo soup!)

My family and I took a trip to Puerto Rico this past June. My father was born and raised there, and much of his family still lives there. We had an awesome time doing everything from zip lining to kayaking the bio luminescent bay! Although everyone else might have found these to be the best parts of the trip, mine was being in the kitchen with my Tia Viriginia. She is by far one of the best cooks. The night we were leaving for the airport we went to her house to say goodbye and have dinner. She made this delicious and very simple soup. The dish originated in Spain and made it's way to Puerto Rico along with all the other Spanish influence. This soup will easily become one of your Fall favorites! Que Rico!!

Caldo Gallego

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
black pepper, to taste
1/4 tspn. oregano, dried
3-4 spanish chorizo (not fresh mexican!), cut in half moons
1 packet sazon sin achiote
1/2 8 oz. can spanish style tomato sauce
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
2 cans Goya brand small white beans
1/4 uncooked white rice, rinsed well!
8 cups LOW SODIUM broth
turnip or collard greens, optional, chopped small
fresh cilantro, chopped

Start by heating a small amount of oil in a soup pot. Add diced yellow onion. Cook 3-5 minutes until softened. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cut the chorizo in half moons and add to the pot. Add the bay leaves, sazon, tomato sauce and the rest of the seasoning. Cook until frangrant. Add the broth and greens if you are using and bring to a boil. Once the broth has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the potatoes, and the white beans. Cook about 15 minutes and then add the rice. Cook until the potatoes and beans are tender and the rice is cooked completely. Toward the last few minutes of cooking add the fresh cilantro. Do not add more than a 1/4 cup rice as it will soak up too much of the broth. Once the soup is done cooking taste for salt. I don't add any additional salt because the chorizo, sazon, and tomato already have enough.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Potato and Green Bean Salad

I am not a fan of the traditional "American Potato Salad" drowning in mayo. Just like my green salads, I love a good vinaigrette more than the a creamy dressing. This is a fresh, delicious and easy recipe that is perfect for any occasion or time of year. I added blanched green beans for color, crunch, and just because my family loves them! Give it a try, if you love a good potato salad and a delicious vinaigrette, you won't be disappointed!!

Potato and Green Bean Salad

2 lbs. red potatoes (yukon, blue, or fingerling too)
1/2 lb. green beans, stem removed and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
scallion if desired
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1-2 T dijon mustard
2 T fresh chopped parsley

Slice the potatoes into 1/2 inch rounds and put in a pot of cool water. Bring the water to a boil, adding salt, and cook until the potatoes are just tender. About three minutes before you will drain the potatoes, add the green beans. They will blanch in the potato water in that short time.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the shallot and garlic until tender and fragrant. I don't like raw onion in my food, if you don't mind it, you can skip this and just add it raw.

Assemble your vinaigrette by mixing the dijon, salt and pepper, and vinager together. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream until combined. Mason jars are a great tool for this too!

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain, and immediately add to your serving bowl with the shallot and garlic, while everything is still hot, pour your vinaigrette over, sprinkle with the parsley and toss gently to coat all the vegetables. Garnish with lots of scallions! Yum!