Cindy's Kitchen http://cindy.betancourt.us.local Sharing Delicious Meal Ideas Sun, 05 Apr 2015 05:20:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/cheesy-chicken-enchilada-bake/ Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:17:45 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=688 A creamy filling of chicken, sour cream, and cheese gets rolled up in tortillas and baked until bubbly - these enchiladas couldn't be any more delicious.

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A creamy filling of chicken, sour cream, and cheese gets rolled up in tortillas and baked until bubbly – these enchiladas couldn’t be any more delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-pound) chicken breast tenders, cut into (1-inch) slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Pico de Gallo or chunky salsa
  • 1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 6 inch flour tortillas
  • canned enchilada sauce
  • chopped green onion and sour cream for serving

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chicken pieces to pan; cook until no longer pink and beginning to brown.

Add cumin, pico de gallo, and stir in the can of soup. Blend in sour cream and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Continue to heat and stir until creamy.

Prepare a large ovenproof casserole dish – spray with pan spray and spread a small amount of canned enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Spoon a generous portion of the creamy chicken onto each tortilla and roll gently. Line tortillas in dish and pour a bit more enchilada sauce on top. Generously sprinkle with remaining cup (more or less to your taste) of cheddar cheese.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

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Asparagus-Stuffed Eggs http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/asparagus-stuffed-eggs/ Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:12:17 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=657 This is an adaption of Julia Child's deviled eggs originally published in 1975.

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Adapted from Julia Child’s Kitchen (Knopf, 1975).

Yield: 12 stuffed egg halves

  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled – peeled and cooled
  • 4 medium asparagus spears
  • 2 teaspoons very finely minced shallot, scallion or chives, plus a pinch extra for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, whipping cream, creme fraiche, sour cream and/or soft butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon (optional)
  • Few gratings fresh lemon zest (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and put the yolks into a small bowl and set the white eggs aside.

Cook asparagus spears in salted simmering water until full tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and plunge in cold water. Drain again and spread on towels to dry out as much as possible. Cut 1/2-inch off the tips of each spears and cut these tips lengthwise (they’ll be your garnish). Puree remaining asparagus in a blender.

Take the pureed asparagus and put in a towel and twist until all moisture has been removed.

Add the asparagus and the egg yolks into blender and blend together. Add your mayonnaise and scallions or shallot, salt & pepper and your garlic powder if you’re using and again blend until smooth.

Fill the white egg halves with the mixture. You can decorate with the removed Asparagus tips.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.

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Baked Corned Beef with Sauteed Cabbage http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/baked-corned-beef-sauteed-cabbage/ Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:32:32 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=637 The tastiest corned beef dinner you'll ever have, hands down. Not boiled, but baked! A treat for St. Patrick's Day!

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This is the tastiest corned beef dinner you will ever have, hands down. Not boiled, but baked! A treat for St. Patrick’s Day!

Corned Beef

  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup hot sweet honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  1. Take the corned beef from the package and discard the spice packet. Note that one side of the roast should have a layer of fat, the other side should have distinct lines indicating the grain of the beef.
    Corned beef can be very salty, especially when baked. If you wish to remove some of the salt before cooking, place it in a pot fat side up. Cover with water, bring to a boil, discard the water, add fresh water and bring to a boil again. Again discard the water.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil (you may have to get creative with the way you wrap the beef if your foil isn’t wide enough). Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of corned beef, evenly spaced. Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
  3. Wrap the corned beef with foil in a way that allows for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices. Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 2 hours.
  4. Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the corned beef, and broil it for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then place on cutting board. Pull out and discard the cloves. Lift the corned beef up to see which direction the grain of the meat is. Then cut the meat at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  5. Serve immediately.

Cabbage

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Salt
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (enough to well coat the pan) on medium high to high heat in a large, wide pot (8-quart if available) or large, high-sided sauté pan. Add chopped onions, cook for a couple of minutes, then add garlic.
  2. Add a third of the sliced cabbage to the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and stir to coat with oil and mix with onions. Spread out the cabbage evenly over the bottom of the pan and do not stir until it starts to brown. If the heat is high enough, this should happen quickly. The trick is to have the burner hot enough to easily brown the cabbage, but not so hot that it easily burns. When the bottom of the cabbage is nicely browned, use a metal spatula to lift it up and flip it, scraping the browned bits as you go.
  3. Once the cabbage in the pan has browned on a couple of flips, add another third of the cabbage to the pan. Mix well, then spread out the cabbage and repeat. You may need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan to help with the browning, and to keep the cabbage from sticking too much to the pan. Once this batch has cooked down a bit and browned, add the remaining third of the cabbage and repeat.

Serve with the corned beef and buttered boiled new potatoes. Can be made ahead and reheated.

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Colombian Style Ceviche http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/colombian-style-ceviche/ Wed, 01 Jan 2014 01:34:26 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=467 Known in Spanish as Ceviche de Camarones, this shrimp dish is very popular on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Colombia as well as in Ecuador.

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Known in Spanish as Ceviche de Camarones, this shrimp dish is very popular on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Colombia as well as in Ecuador.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb bag frozen medium shrimp
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 medium to large fresh tomato, diced
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ritz crackers for serving

Directions

  1. Quick thaw frozen shrimp and drain. Place in a large glass bowl.
  2. Add the ketchup, lime juice, onion, cilantro, chopped tomato, Tabasco sauce, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir to combine all ingredients and serve cold with Ritz crackers.

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Arepas http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/arepas-cornmeal-griddle-cakes/ Wed, 04 Apr 2012 00:07:06 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=448 This is my version of a Colombian classic, which I enhance with milk and sour cream. The outside fries up crisp and golden, while the cheesy middle stays wonderfully moist.

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Though these cornmeal griddle cakes are traditionally made with water, my “enhanced” version of a Colombian classic, is made with milk and sour cream; the outside fries up crisp and golden, while the cheesy middle stays wonderfully moist. Split and serve warm with butter or additional cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry crumbling cheese (Cojita or Queso Anejado)
  • 2 cup Goya Masarepa (white cornmeal)
  • vegetable or canola oil

Preparation:

  1. Warm the milk, to not quite a boil. (I use the beverage setting on my microwave for this.) Add dash of salt (if your cheese is salty, you may not need this).
  2. Stir sour cream and cottage cheese into warm milk.
  3. Add Masarepa and stir. Add crumbled cheese. The dough will be soft, but thickens as it sits a moment.
  4. Form dough into patties about 3 inches across and 3/4 inch thick. (This is easier to do if you moisten your hands slightly first).
  5. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a skillet and cook the arepas until lightly browned on each side.

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Garlic-Herb Crusted Pork Loin http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/garlic-herb-crusted-pork-loin/ Tue, 03 Apr 2012 23:34:54 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=438 This is a great roast for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner.

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This is a great roast for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. Use a standard meat thermometer, oven temperature probe, or an instant read thermometer to test the roast for doneness.

Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork rib roast, about 4 to 5 pounds
  • salt and pepper, or Adobo
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as a combination of thyme, sage, and rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 450°.
  2. Line a large baking pan or roasting pan with foil and place a rack in the pan. Place the roast on the rack and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine the herbs, garlic, and olive oil and mix well. Rub over the pork roast.
  4. Roast at 450° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° and continue roasting until the temperature reaches 145° to 150°.
  5. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Cindy’s Awesome Clam Chowder http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/cindys-awesome-clam-chowder/ Wed, 04 Jan 2012 01:49:39 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=426 A surprisingly quick-and-easy, rich and creamy clam chowder with bacon and potatoes.

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A surprisingly quick-and-easy, rich and creamy clam chowder with bacon and potatoes.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 medium unpeeled new potatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams with juice
  • 2 (1.8 ounce) packages dry leek soup mix
  • 1 quart half-and-half

Directions

  1. Place the bacon in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisped and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pot. Set the bacon aside. Stir the potatoes and carrots into the bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Pour the juice from the clams into the pot, and add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Gently stir the leek soup mix into the potatoes until no lumps of soup remain. Stir in the clams, reserved bacon, and half-and-half cream. Cook and stir until the chowder returns to a simmer and thickens, about 10 minutes more.

It was a huge hit at our house, with all having seconds!

Credit: Cindy from Pensecola who posted it on AllRecipes.com.

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Rosemary Pork Tenderloin http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/rosemary-pork-tenderloin/ Tue, 04 May 2010 10:46:36 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=375 Pair tender pork slices with boiled red potatoes and a fragrant white wine sauce, flavored with rosemary and cranberry chutney.

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Pair tender pork slices with boiled red potatoes and a fragrant white wine sauce, flavored with rosemary and cranberry chutney.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 slices pork, about 2 tablespoons sauce, and 2 tablespoons chutney)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 (1-inch) slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cranberry chutney (such as Crosse and Blackwell)

Preparation

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; saute for 5 minutes, turning once.

Add wine and rosemary to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Serve the pork with sauce and chutney.

Credit: Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2001

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Supremes de Volaille a Brun http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/supremes-de-volaille-a-brun/ Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:54:48 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=372 Chicken breasts are lightly dusted with flour and are sauteed in clarified butter. Clarified butter may be heated to a higher temperature before burning.

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Julia Child Inspired Chicken Breasts Sauteed in Clarified Butter

Chicken breasts are lightly dusted with flour and are sauteed in clarified butter. Ordinary butter will burn and form black specks on the supremes (chicken breasts). Clarified butter may be heated to a higher temperature before burning.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Pound each breast lightly with the flat side of a large butchers knife to make them more even from end to end.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • big pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup flour spread on an 8″ plate

Directions

Just before sauteing, sprinkle the supremes with salt and pepper, (I sprinkle with a little garlic powder as well) roll them in the flour, and shake off the excess flour.

Clarified Butter: When ordinary butter is heated until it liquifies; a milky residue sinks to the bottom of the saucepan. The clear yellow liquid above it is clarified. The milky particles are the ones that burn first, so removing them allows the clarified butter to be heated to a higher temperature. To clarify, cut butter into pieces and place it in a saucepan over moderate heat. When the butter has melted, skim off the foam, and strain the clear yellow liquid into a bowl, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pan. See the milky residue? Now you have clarified butter. The residue may be stirred into soups and sauces to serve as an enrichment.

Pour clarified butter into skillet to a depth of about 1/16″. Set over moderately high heat. When the butter begins to deepen in color very slightly, put in the supremes.

Regulate heat so butter is always hot but does not turn more than a deep yellow. After 3 minutes, turn the supremes and saute on the other side.

In two minutes, press tops of the supremes with your finger. As soon as they are springy to the touch, they are done. Remove to a hot platter leaving butter in skillet.


Brown Butter Sauce

  • 4 tbsp clarified butter
  • 3tbsp minced parsley (I use cilantro, which I’m sure would not be approved of by Julia!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Add the 4 tablespoons of additional clarified butter to the skillet and set over moderately high heat until the butter has turned a very light golden brown (a minute or two). Immediately remove from heat, stir in parsley and lemon juice, and taste for seasoning. Pour over the supremes and serve.

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New Year’s Eve Appetizers http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/new-years-appetizers/ Tue, 05 Jan 2010 22:49:30 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=342 To ring in the New Year, I spend the better part of the wait before midnight making up batches of little "munchies," which we nibble on while playing Super Scrabble and watching Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve.

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To ring in the New Year, I take a night off from cooking a “big” meal – instead I spend the better part of the wait before midnight making up batches of little “munchies”, which we nibble on while playing Super Scrabble and watching Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve. A family tradition that I’ve married into is to distribute 12 grapes to each person – then at midnight we eat one for each month to come in the New Year – making a special wish or hope for that month. We like to wash them down with some sparkling cider.

Cheese and Ham Spirals

These little spirals have been a favorite tradition of ours for several years now – very simple, and delicious! They are from the Kraft Kitchens – I suggest making a double recipe!!

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 29 min
Makes: 12 servings, two spirals each

Ingredients

1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of 17-1/4-oz. pkg.), thawed
1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
8 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Shaved Smoked Ham

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Beat egg and water until blended; set aside. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14×10-inch rectangle; cut in half lengthwise. Brush both pastry halves lightly with some of the egg mixture. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. of the cheese and the pepper evenly over one of the pastry pieces; cover with ham slices. Place remaining pastry piece, egg-side down, over ham. Roll gently with rolling pin to seal. Brush with additional egg mixture.

ROLL up tightly to form a 14-inch log, starting at one of the long sides. Cut log crosswise into 24 slices. Place, cut-sides down, on parchment-covered baking sheet. Brush with remaining egg mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. cheese.

BAKE 12 to 14 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Colombian Shrimp Ceviche

Previously published here.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb bag frozen medium shrimp
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 medium to large fresh tomato, diced
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ritz crackers for serving

Directions

  1. Quick thaw frozen shrimp and drain. Place in a large glass bowl.
  2. Add the ketchup, lime juice, onion, cilantro, chopped tomato, Tabasco sauce, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir to combine all ingredients and serve cold with Ritz crackers.

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Yankee Cheddar Enchilada Casserole http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/yankee-cheddar-enchilada-casserole/ Tue, 20 Oct 2009 00:07:14 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=320 This delicious, satisfying enchilada bake is made with lean ground beef, tomatoes, chile peppers, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortillas.

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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 dried hot red chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 dozen tortillas
  • oil for frying
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat the corn oil and cook the chopped onions and garlic gently until soft, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook until it changes color, breaking it up with a fork. Add the tomatoes and crush with a spoon to mix with the meat, then add the chopped red peppers.
  2. While the meat and tomato mixture is simmering, separate the tortillas and heat about 1″ of oil in as large a skillet as you have and fry the tortillas, turning them over when they bulge. When they have cooked about 1 minute, remove the tortillas and drain on paper towels.
  3. Heat the half and half to the simmering point and dissolve the beef cubes in it. Dip each tortilla in the hot milk and let it cook there for about 30 seconds.
  4. Place 1 tortilla, folded, in a shallow baking dish, lift the top half, and fill with 2 – 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture, then cover with the top half of the tortilla. Repeat, arranging the folded tortillas snugly next to each other so they fill the dish. Spoon any leftover meat mixture on top of the tortillas, then cover with the grated cheese.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes, until the cheese bubbles.

Credit: The LL Bean Book of “New” New England Cookery

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Shrimp Scampi http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/shrimp-scampi/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:53:25 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=313 A simple but elegant shrimp dish. Combine it with garlic bread and a salad for a delicious dinner.

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A simple but elegant shrimp dish. Combine it with garlic bread and a salad for a delicious dinner.

Cook Time: 10 Min
Ready In: 25 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package pasta (linquine, angel hair)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in pasta and return pot to boil. Cook until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds while stirring constantly.
  4. Mix shrimp with drained pasta in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

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Picadillo – Spiced Ground Meat http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/picadillo-spiced-ground-meat/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:48:47 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=307 Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries; it's made with ground meat, tomatoes, and regional ingredients. The Puerto Rican and Cuban versions include olives and on occasion capers, and is usually served with black beans and rice.

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Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries; it’s made with ground meat, tomatoes, and regional ingredients. The Puerto Rican and Cuban versions include olives and on occasion capers, and is usually served with black beans and rice.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning with Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup Goya Sofrito
  • 1/2 cup Goya Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Goya Golden Cooking Wine
  • 1 tbsp. Goya Cider Vinegar
  • 2 packets Sazón Goya with Coriander and Annatto
  • 1/8 tsp. Goya Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup diced Goya Pimientos
  • 1/4 cup sliced Goya Pitted Spanish Olives

Directions:

  1. Season meat with Adobo and set aside.
  2. In skillet, heat oil on medium. Stir in the onion and cook until tender and slightly colored.
  3. Stir in meat, breaking it up as it browns. When browned, pour off excess fat.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for 15 minutes or until desired consistency. Stir often.
  5. Serve with white rice.

Credit: GOYA.

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Marta’s Meatloaf http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/martas-meatloaf/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:41:30 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=301 Pulpetta, or Cuban Meatloaf - It is fried on the stovetop until well browned or a golden crust forms, then simmered in a delicious creole sauce. A hard boiled egg in the center adds a special look!

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“American meatloaf and Cuban meatloaf are light years apart. We Cubans only call it meatloaf to give Americans a frame of reference. We call it Pulpeta.”–Marta Darby, My Big Fat Cuban Family.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground pork
  • 1 small can deviled ham (or you can grind your own ham)
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 hard boiled egg, peeled
  • another cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 more beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small jar diced pimentos
  • 1 small can sweet peas
  • 1 bay leaf

Preparation

Wash your hands and roll up your sleeves. Trust me, there’s no better way!

  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork and deviled ham. To this meat mixture add 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 2 beaten eggs, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and knead it together until it’s thoroughly combined.
    Shape mixture into an oblong loaf.
  • Take the 2 hard boiled eggs and push them into the loaf, so that they end up right in the center of the loaf, end to end. Shape the meat back into it’s oblong shape.
    Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Put the rest of the breadcrumbs on a flat plate.
  • Put the other 2 beaten eggs on another plate.
  • Carefully roll the loaf in the beaten eggs, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat.
  • In a large shallow frying pan, gently brown the loaf on all sides in olive oil. You are basically searing the outside until it creates a nice, crunchy crust.
  • In a pot with a heavy bottom, heat the olive oil and add the garlic, peppers and onions. Cook until soft. Add tomato sauce, white wine, pimientos, peas and bay leaf.
  • Gently place the seared meat into this mixture and reduce heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. Spoon the sauce over the meat occasionally as it cooks.
  • Remove the meat to a serving platter and allow to rest.
  • Slice the meat into about 1 1/2 inch slices and be prepared for the ooohs and aaaahs when you slice it to reveal the hard-boiled eggs.
  • Pour sauce over meat if desired.

Enjoy!

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Lucky Corned Beef http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/lucky-corned-beef/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:39:32 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=298 I like to cook a lovely corned beef on Saint Patrick's Day - to celebrate my Irish heritage (on my Momma's side). We generally do the traditional New England Boiled dinner with carrots, potatoes and cabbage; a nice loaf of rye bread and butter on the side.

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I like to cook a lovely corned beef on Saint Patrick’s Day – to celebrate my Irish heritage (on my Momma’s side). We generally do the traditional New England Boiled dinner with carrots, potatoes and cabbage; a nice loaf of rye bread and butter on the side.

I’ve traditionally purchased my corned beef brisket close to the holiday – a day or two before – from whichever supermarket chain had the best price. Well, this year I put it off until the day before. I happened to be in the neighborhood of Food Giant – so I selected a nice piece with a “healthy” amount of fat (yum). My youngest daughter was with me and we also picked up a nice head of cabbage and some school snacks. We also purchased a bottle of DayQuil for my suffering husband. We took our purchases to the check out line – where I was “carded” for the purchase of DayQuil (guess I look younger than I am!). We paid for our groceries and headed home with two bags in tow.

Well, whilst unpacking the bags at home we discovered that our corned beef was not in the bags! I ran out to the garage and checked the truck – no beef there! I phoned the store and was told to just stop back and pick it up. Well, now it was dinner time on Monday, so I decided I’d pick up the meat first thing in the morning. The next day, after dropping the girls at the bus stop I proceeded directly to Giant and spoke to the Customer Service person – it was St. Patrick’s day morning. She was a very friendly Irish woman who kindly told me to just go back and pick out another. Well – guess what? There were NO MORE – and they were not expecting another delivery from the supplier. She apologized and gave me my money back.

So, off I drove to another local market – Genardi’s. Would you believe it – NO corned beef – sold out! OK – surely ACME Markets will have a few left? You guessed it – no more. Not expecting any more for a few days. I’ve never had this experience – guess there must be a lot of Irish cooks in the neighborhood!! I contemplated pursuing it further, then as I passed the deli counter – I noticed that they had some lovely lean corned beef in the display. So, I had a pound and a half sliced up nicely. This I took home and made a modified Irish dinner. Since I didn’t need to cook the meat – I did the veggies in a new way and had very pleasing results. My oldest daughter, who is not particularly crazy about the traditional corned beef (she doesn’t eat any fat) – actually enjoyed it very much and both children even ate the Cabbage – braised with bacon and onions. I heated the slices of corned beef with a mixture of brown sugar and honey mustard to give it the flavor that we enjoy. Small golden potatoes oven baked with salt, seasoning and honey-dijon mustard made a nice side dish. So, our untraditional holiday meal was a big success!

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Lime-Tarragon Grilled Chicken http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/lime-tarragon-grilled-chicken/ http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/lime-tarragon-grilled-chicken/#comments Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:25:56 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=294 A lime-tarragon marinade for juicy flavorful chicken pieces - moist and delicious.

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A lime-tarragon marinade for juicy flavorful chicken pieces – moist and delicious. I like to marinate the pieces and cook them on the grill for a nice summer meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds chicken pieces

Directions:

  1. Place olive oil, lime juice, onion, tarragon, salt, and hot sauce into a large, resealable plastic bag; shake to mix. Add chicken pieces, coat with marinade, squeeze out air, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil grate. Remove chicken from marinade, and shake off excess. Season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken for about 30 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center.
  3. Can also be broiled indoors – place chicken skin side up on rack 6 inches from broiler heat. Cook slowly until tender, turning and basting frequently, about 45 minutes.

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Lechón Asado – Seasoned Roast Pork http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/lechon-asado/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:23:00 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=292 A special treat for holiday gatherings – Lechón is a traditional Spanish dish that is popular in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines, and throughout South America. The meat is seasoned, marinated, and then slow roasted in the oven until it is fork tender. A dish for special occasions, meant to feed a crowd.

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Lechón is a traditional Spanish dish that is popular in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines, and throughout South America. The meat is seasoned, marinated, and then slow roasted in the oven until it is fork tender. Lechon is a dish for special occasions, meant to feed a crowd.

Ingredients for Mojo Marinade

  • 1 Boston Butt Ham or Pork Shoulder
  • 20 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour orange juice (you can use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Spanish olive oil

As a time saving alternative to making fresh Mojo Marinade, I would suggest BADIA Mojo Marinade.

Preparation

  1. Mash the garlic and salt together with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add dried oregano, onion, and the sour orange to the mash and mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat oil in small sauce pan, add the mash to the oil and whisk. Pierce pork as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork.
  4. Pour garlic mixture (save a little for roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.

To Cook

Set oven at 350° F.

Roast, fat side up, in a shallow pan, uncovered – about 45 minutes/pound. Spoon extra marinade over the roast occasionally as it cooks. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the oven when the temperature reaches 155°F. The roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. A perfectly cooked pork roast will be pale white in the middle and the juices will run clear.

Immediately cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Braised Cabbage http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/braised-cabbage/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:21:17 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=290 Cabbage and onions are sauteed in bacon grease, and served with a splash of vinegar, for a tangy, hearty dish that will surprise you.

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Cabbage and onions are sauteed in bacon grease, and served with a splash of vinegar, for a tangy, hearty dish that will surprise you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 6 cups cabbage, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon, and set aside.
  2. Cook onion in the hot bacon grease until tender. Add cabbage, and stir in water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook until cabbage wilts, about 15 minutes. Stir in bacon. Splash with vinegar before serving.

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Baked Ziti http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/baked-ziti/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:19:51 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=288 Baked to a bubbly, golden brown, this ziti casserole is the perfect answer to the weeknight dinner challenge. So cheesy delicious, the whole family will love it!

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Baked to a bubbly, golden brown, this ziti casserole is the perfect answer to the weeknight dinner challenge. So cheesy delicious, the whole family will love it!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Credit: Allrecipes.com

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Sobrebarriga a la Brasa (Flank steak Colombian-style) http://cindy.betancourt.us.local/sobrebarriga/ Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:17:15 +0000 http://cindy.betancourt.us/?p=286 This is a Colombian dish, it's name literally meaning "over the belly "(flank). This pressure cooked version is a nice, quick meal any weekday evening. Make rice and serve the liquid on top.

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This is a Colombian dish, it’s name literally meaning over the belly (flank). When one of my husband’s childhood friends was here visiting he said it tasted like “home” cooking! This pressure cooked version is a nice, quick meal any weekday evening. Make rice and serve the liquid on top.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  • 4 unpeeled potatoes, cubed
  • 1 pkg of Sazón GOYA
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Season meat with Sazon, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and brown meat on both sides. Add onions, tomatoes, potatoes and garlic. Pour in broth and beer, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place top on securely, and put pressure disc on top.
  2. Cook in pressure cooker 35 minutes. Turn off and wait for pressure to release.

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