Cold Rice

Cold Rice

Main Course, Memory Lane

Spanish Version

When I was a little kid on those school day-off, and when there were no other choice, I was left in charge of my grandma Lola, I love that, because I had the oportunity to change on my daily routine of food and everyday activities.

She used to go to the street markets up to three times per week to get the freshest products, and some of those days I joined her; that woman had a exquisite sense of taste, she could determine the ingredients of a preparation only with two bites.

Some of the different food off of my everyday diet was rice, because my mother has never been good at making rice, so it was very unusual. One of the things grandma Lola did was this cold rice recipe, not only I liked the result but the preparation itself was nice to watch.

INGREDIENTS

Rice
2 cups white rice
2 tablespoons diced onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups of water
Filling
1 medium onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
4 aji dulce peppers
2 seedless bell pepper
1 lb. Ground beef with least than 10% fat
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon of bell peeper filled olives, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
2 tablespoon mustard brined vegetables
1/2 cup low sodium beef stock
1 teaspoon minced parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons petit pois
8 cook and peeled shrimp

PREPARATION

Rice

Sauté the diced onions in 2 tablespoons of corn oil (or any othe vegetable oil) until clear, add the rice and stir until the grains are covered with oil and make a little crackle.

Add water and salt and stir it until boiling, once bubbling reduce fire and simmer covered until the water is completely evaporated.

Pour cooked rice on a bowl and let it cool.

Filling

Mix onion and garlic with a tablespoon of oil on a frying pan until brown, add aji dulce and red pepper. Mix in the ground beef and brake it down while cooking.

Once the beef has changed color, add tomato, salt and pepper, stir in for a couple of minutes, add raisins, capers, olives, brined vegetables, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce mixing until everything is well spread.

Add water and cook covered until the beef is well cooked and the stew is soupy.

Uncover and let it sim, once off the burner add the minced parsley and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.

Assembly

Mix the cool rice with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, and separate it in equal portions, in a serving deep dish place half of the rice and press it to compact it, add the meat filling and press it down again, then add the other portion of rice, pressing down and covering with mayonnaise, sprinkle the petit pois and place the shrimp as decoration.

Place it in the refirgerator at least one hour until serving.

Soupe a l'oignon

French Onion Soup on a Bread Bowl

Baked, Main Course, Memory Lane

Versión en Español

The first time I had soup served inside of a bread bun was at the Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco, at that time I had claim chowder, and I though it was great be able to eat everything, even the bowl.

My family says that my cousin Victor Manuel, was fond of this soup, and somwere in my memories I remember some restaurant’s ad with this soup served inside a bread loaf, so when I finally had the oportunity to do it that way, I couldn’t help myself and turned into something delicious.

The trick is isolate the liquid from the bread using cheese as a waterproof agent, so the bread holds shape and texture till the end of the service.

INGREDIENTS

2 lb medium onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups low sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 (7oz) small loaves of rounded thick crust french bread
1/2 lb sliced Gruyère cheese
1/2 lb sliced Emmental cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

PREPARATION

Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut a circle on the top of each bread loaf and remove most of the crumbs, arrange the slices of Emmental so it’s completely covered on the inside, and place it on the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, enough time to melt and cover the inside without burning it.

Remove bread from the oven and preheat the broiler, discard bay leaf and thyme from soup, fill the bread loafs with soup and cover it with the Gruyère slices allowing ends to hang over the bread, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Put the breads back on the oven and Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Roast Beef

Roast Beef

Easy to make, Healthy, Main Course

Spanish Version

Since 2012 I quit eating processed meats because those we’re hurting my stomach, however, I understand the need of the protein intake and the practicity of havering a protein source  available at any time, there is when the roas beef came into my life, this is a super easy recipe and ensures you a healthier protein source by being les processed, and very versatile as the herbs mixture that you rub the beef with.

INGREDIENTS

A pice of eye of round ( 5 to 6 lbs)
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of dried basil
Special equipment: Roasting pan, Meat Thermometer.

PREPARATION

Put the meat over the rack at the roasting pan and rub it with the salt and leave it resting for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 °F

Put the pepper, basil and thyme on a small bowl, mix it all together and sprinkle all over the beef.

Place it in the oven for at least 45 minutes until the meat temperature reach 140° F  to 145 °F for medium and to 150 °F to have it a little bit cooked, it’s very important not to overcook the beef because if can be very dry.

Once done leave it to rest and keep in the fridge, slice it every time you need it. It last up to one week in the fridge.

For a better duration every time that you used, drain the fluids.

Gnocci with tomato sauce

Potato Gnocchi

Main Course, Pasta

Spanish Version

When I was 5 years old my mother took me to an Italian restaurant, that was the first contact with the gnocchi, a potato delight that has to be light as a feather and able to absorb the salsa, it’s a dish that require dedication so it can be appropriately delicate.

The origin is unknown, it can be tracked to the Romans age, the name may come from the words nocchio (wich means knot) or nocca (which means nuckle), both words may be used because are parts of the fabrication process that require make dough stripes, cut them and pass every piece over the fork and press it to shape it like a nuckle.

To make this recipe I found out that was very useful to use a ricer press, it makes a more loose purée and a lighter result.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds large white potatoes (such as Idaho)
1 extra large egg
1 ½ cups flour, plus more for the work surface
At least 1 tablespoon of sea salt for the cooking water

PREPARATION

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water about 2 inches above the top of the potatoes. Bring the potatoes to a gentle boil, until they are knife tender about 30-40 minutes.

Keep the skins from rupturing so the potatoes don’t absorb any water and don’t overcook them.

Let the potatoes cool a bit so that you can handle them. With a kitchen towel hold the hot potato and peel them.

Put the potatoes through a ricer while the potatoes are still hot.
Mashing the potatoes works in a pinch but the gnocchi won’t be as light.

Spread the riced potatoes on a cookie sheet or a flat baking pan in a single layer to cool and allow some of the moisture to evaporate when the riced potatoes are dried the lighter the dough will be.

Bring a big pot of very well-salted water to a boil.

Put the riced potatoes in a mound on a flat work surface. Create a well in the middle as a vulcano, crack the egg onto the work surface in the well. Beat the egg well.

Slowly start to incorporate riced potatoes with the eggs

When fully incorporated spread out the mixture and sprinkle some of the flour over the top, knead the flour into the potato mixture.

Repeat with another dusting of flour until the dough holds together and is smooth and soft.

Try to use as little flour as possible for light gnocchi.

Sprinkle some flour on the work surface so the dough doesn’t stick. Knead the dough to create a smooth dough ball and then cut that ball into 6 pieces

Flour the work surface again if necessary and roll each piece into a rope of 1/2 inch diameter and then cut the rope into ½ inch pieces.

The work surface must have enough flour so that the pieces don’t stick together.

Using the back of a fork press the piece over the tines with your thumb and press downwards to push the gnocchi off the fork.

You’ll create indentations from the tines on the back of the gnocchi and a concave indentation on the other side from the pressure of your thumb. The shape and texture to absorb the sauce.

Spread the gnocchi on a floured cookie sheet or flat baking pan as you make them.

Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water, gently stir to make sure they don’t stick together and gently boil the gnocchi until they rise to the top of the water.

Remove the gnocchi with a spider or mesh ladle and place them in the sauté pan with the sauce of your choice.

You can freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan. Make sure they not touching one another! When they’re frozen store them in a freezer bag. Boil them still frozen. They’ll take a little longer to cook.

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

Easy to make, Main Course

Spanish Version

Risotto Is a kinda new thing for me, first time I did it back in 2012, it I was afraid to mess it up, it turned out to be really easy to do, flavor riched and very versatile.

This is a basic recipe, you can swap the pumpkins for pretty much another vegetable, change the broth, or even herbs and spices.

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves thinly chopped
2 cups diced peeled pumpkin (fresh)
2 cups arborio rice
5 cups low sodium low fat beef stock
1 cup of dry red wine
Leaves from 1 sprig or thyme
1 Rosemary sprig
1/4 cup scales of parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
Kosher Salt
Ground black pepper

 
PREPARATION

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and sweat the onions until soft, once clear add the garlic. Add the pumpkin and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. 

Add the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure each kernel is coated with oil. Add 3 cups of the broth, the thyme leaves, rosemary sprig and a dash of salt.  Bring slowly to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. As the broth is absorbed, add wine and more broth gradually and 


Cook the rice until it is slightly al dente and most of the broth has been absorbed. The rice should be creamy. This should take about 18 minutes. 


If you don’t have a dairy restriction, finish the risotto stiring 2 tablespoons of butter and some thin scales of Pamesan cheese. 


Sprinkle with pepper before serving.