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Posts from the ‘Rice & Grains’ Category

Risotto al Perfume de Ají

A week ago, I got tired of playing kitchen Jenga in my overcrowded pantry.  Deciding to clear the decks, I went through every can and bottle, checked expiration dates, and relined the shelves.  While there weren’t as many items to throw away as I’d feared, there were enough to make me feel more than a little ashamed and wasteful.  I hate throwing away food to the core, and there’s no excuse for it. Read more

Quinotto de Champiñones

I usually dread fall-back but I’ve been looking forward to daylight savings for weeks. Normally a morning person, getting up in the pitch black, confusing the still bright streetlamps with my alarm clock, and starting every day with the say-it-aint-sos was really getting to me. For once, I was willing to trade darker afternoons for brighter mornings. Of course, playing mind games with the sun has its price. As someone with penchant for photographing their food, I’m sure I’ll be cursing the change when I’m trying to get a decent picture at 3-o’-clock in the afternoon. Read more

Arroz Blanco

Brought to the table in perfectly rounded mounds with an order of black beans, served in heavy chafing dishes on buffet tables, or ladled out of giant cookers from the kitchen counter, white rice hides in plain sight.  Though a staple throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, white rice specifically anchors every Cuban meal.  Its primacy partly due to large waves of Chinese immigration,  I can’t imagine a better blank slate for beans, shredded beef stews, picadillos and plantains.  I probably end almost every post with the words “serve over fluffy white rice” but had yet to include a recipe.  When my sister texted me to find out how to make it.  Rushed and reluctant to text back, I wondered why she didn’t just look it up here, then I checked and realized it wasn’t on my site.  Oops. Read more

Arroz con Coco

Arroz con coco rates high on the long list of things I should have tried sooner.  A staple of Caribbean cooking, especially along the coast of Colombia, it’s essentially white rice cooked with coconut milk then served with fried fish, plantains, avocado.  Deceptively simple, I used equal parts canned light coconut milk and water for the first attempt, combining all the ingredients and bringing them to a fast boil.  The result was great if I was going for rice pudding but otherwise too sticky and un-fluffable.  Trying to get the proportions and the timing right, I used a second can and sautéed the rice with a little bit of oil before adding the liquid.  It may have worked but I let it go too long and the amount of rice was way off, so it burned before it cooked. Read more

Soufflé de Quinoa

Nothing takes the fear out of making a soufflé like making three in a row.  I found a recipe for one combined with amaranth that I couldn’t wait to try.  My training for this year’s New York City marathon is nearing the 20-mile mark so I’ve been cooking up batches of  amaranth to have on hand for cereal topped with honey and fruit.  While adding eggs and cheese may not be the best way to enjoy my vitamin high grain, it sounded wonderful and I’d been so good. Read more

Arroz con Quimbombó

I missed my kitchen.  While there’s been plenty to post, it’s mostly been food that was blended or frozen, steamed or fried, quickly.  In and out, I’ve avoided recipes that would force me to spend too much time in the warmest part of my hot apartment in my sweltering city.  Though I couldn’t stand the heat, I wasn’t staying out of the kitchen much longer. Read more

Fantasy Island

I’ve always known that if stranded on a desert island and forced to choose only one dish to eat for the rest of my life, it would be arroz con pollo.  I understand that this is ridiculous.  Obviously, with the plethora of fresh seafood available on a desert island, paella makes more sense.  Nevertheless, the scenario itself is unlikely, so I allow myself to imagine an arroz con pollo eternity.  With beer instead of wine, more chicken and less rice, a little burnt on the bottom, it’s always the perfect one-pot Cuban comfort meal.  My choice is made.  What would your desert island dish be? Read more

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