Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cooking with flavor or OMG she actually cooks

Yeah, that's what my mother said the first time she tasted my Spaghetti's. Apparently they are the best she ever had...and if you know the Mom-ster that is a huge compliment.

I must be crazy, but I'm doing it. I'm posting about cooking. :)

OK, ok so sued me. I have not done ONE post about cooking.
Now, I’ve mentioned here that the smell of Clorox and AJAX is like Channel #5 to me. I enjoy cleaning and coming to a well organized home. So cleaning wasn’t that bad, but making me cook was like a punishment to me.

My younger Sis was the one that love to get there and learn stuff. Me? give me the goods when they are done. In my teenage years I got a slight appreciation of baking, which translated to me making brownies…and then sitting down to eat them.

For years, even though I lived alone in the US I refuse to cook. Even when I live with roommates I rather clean the place than to cook. Same when Sister came to live with me. Then, all that changed when I met my husband. He is the most easy going uncomplicated fellow and would be just as happy with a Tuna Melt as with Lasagna. So I felt inspired, motivated, happy, (that, and
the fact he does not

So the first things first. We do what is called “Sofrito” which is the season base for all dishes. Now you can do it from scratch every single time you make a meal; or do it the easy way (read-my mothers way) and have it in the fridge all ready to go. I choose #2.

So take a Medium red onion (yes, red-it makes a difference),

garlic (I buy this about 3 tsp)

Cubanela peppers, you can use other non spicy kind if you don't find them, like bell peppers

and chopped everything up, put it a blender or food processor. My Mom also uses celery in it but I don’t like it so I don’t use it.

Then I put about ¼ cup of vinegar and blended all together. If is not blending well, I just add vinegar as necessary. It will smell divine and all you have to do is place it in you fridge in a plastic container. Honestly it will last a long time in there. I never ever had this gone bad.

It would look something like this, although mine looks usually more pinkish due to the red onions.
I season all my meats with this but also use it for soups and beans. For the soups/beans just put a tiny bit of oil, let it get hot and drop 2 tsp in it for 25 seconds and proceed with your regular soup/bean making.

Another way to give your food flavor with things you can buy all ready to go. I have a lot of helpers to make my life easier when in a rush. I don’t like using salt so I rely on using spices to give flavor…so far so good. These are the actual products that I use:

OK, so there is Garlic (already chopped cause I'm lazy *cough* practical) Cilantro, Mojo-which is made out of oranges and limes and is absolutely fantastic for meats, refried beans (that's for my tacos that I will show you in a later post) and Adobo-the almighty seasoning. And yes, they are all GOYA. Nope, I'm not getting paid. I discovered that even the garlic from another brand cost a few bucks more so I'm sticking with Goya. All of the items above cost between $0.99 and $3.99.

If I don't have the "sofrito" which I usually accompany it with Adobo; I just use all of the above items to season my meats...about a Tsp of each. I place some hot oil in a pan and when the meat is in the stop top cooking I add about ¼ of a chicken Bouillon (I use Maggi) careful as this and the adobo are salty, therefore I do not use salt at all.
and depending what I'm cooking I also add Tomato Paste when the meat is being browned. (this is what we called "Carne Guisada")

I usually take 30-45 min for dinner since I'm always in a rush. Next stop will be my home made Tacos (although I think everyone knows how to make those) and the easiest chicken quesadillas EVER...seriously, ridiculously easy.

Over & out

1 comment:

Rue said...

Hi Nina :)

I love the sofrito recipe and never thought to have it on hand all the time. Great idea!!