Friday, May 29, 2009

Pimienton Agridulce (Bittersweet Paprika)

So on my birthday (April 29) I recieved a wonderful gift of 3 types of Spanish paprika (hot, sweet, and smoked) as well as a little bottle of good quality saffron from La Tienda.

I know how to work with the hot smoked paprika and the sweet smoked paprika...

BUT I have no idea how to work with the bittersweet paprika (Pimienton Agridulce), does anybody have any trusted recipes that make use of "Pimienton Agridulce" or any specific things it goes really well with, or any type of marinade that's great with it or something?

I would really appreciate, you can comment me the information or input or if you wish email me at:

I tried googling not much comes up for it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fricase de Pavo (Turkey Fricassee)

This is my Tata's recipe, very rustic filling delicious rich tomato and red wine based meat dish, it's turkey legs cut into large rounds simmered slowly until the meat if falling of the bone with chunks of potato and carrot.

I'm not sure if any other Cubans or Spaniards make this dish, but it's cooked in a very typical Cuban fashion (onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, wine, generous amounts of olive oil, etc,) then again it could be Spanish to?


-2 1/2 lbs. Turkey legs cut into large rounds (excess skin removed and with long slits on the side)
-1 1/2 lbs. Turkey wing cut into segments (most of the skin removed)
-1 large green bell pepper minced
-1 large onion minced
-1 head garlic peeled mashed to a paste
-2 1/2 cups tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
-1 1/2-2 cups red wine
-2-3 cups water (depends how thick or thin you want your sauce)
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-2-3 bay leaves
-salt to taste (atleast 1 1/2 teaspoon )
-4 potatoes peeled and halved
-8 carrots cut into large chunks peeled (about 1 pound)
-1/2 a bunch of washed clean minced cilantro or parsley (about 1 cup after minced)
-about 2-3 tablespoons oil that can stand high smoking point to brown meat (like canola or other vegetable oil although traditionally lard would be used I assume I just used canola but next time I'll use lard ;) olive oil would smoke and get it's flavor destroyed, eh I'm not sure my grandmother just does it like this.
-extra-virgin olive oil about 1/2 cup?


(1)Wash and clean the turkey meat. Pat dry. Season with salt. Heat on very high heat the pan until it's really hot, add oil (not the olive oil just an oil that can stand high heat like canola, or other vegetable oil or lard) it will quickly heat to almost a smoking point, add meat and brown on all sides (about 4 minutes on each side or longer but be careful don't turn the bottom of the pan completely black just let it brown and a little black is not bad you will need the drippings to form the sauce and deglaze if it's all black then you ruined your sauce)

(2)Set turkey aside in a seperate plate, now lower heat to medium and add extra-virgin oil, add minced onion and bell pepper, stir well scraping the bottom, let it cook down atleast 5-7 minutes. Make some space pour more olive oil and sautee garlic with onion and bell pepper about 3-4 minutes. Now add ground cumin and bay leaves and sautee another minute.

(3)Add red wine and crank up heat so it bubbles and deglaze the pan when the wine reduces somewhat add tomato sauce and cook down the tomato sauce for about 5-6 minutes on medium high stiring occasionally.

(3)Add water now and bring to a rolling boil, add turkey legs and wings back along with any oil and drippings it released, spoon sauce over it and coat well. Cover and well and cook for about 1 1/2 hours on low heat

(4)After about 1 1/2 hours uncover and add carrot and potatoes if nessecary add more water incorporate well (don't mix roughly you'll break the tender meat just swoosh the pan around to coat well) cover and cook another 1/2 hour.

(5)When done turn off heat and add minced cilantro or parsley for color. Serve with lots of white rice to soak up the sauce this dish can stand alone but if you wish you could accompany it with a raw salad and a cuban black bean soup or something. We ate it with a bunch of sides (because we had leftovers vegetable sides in the fridge like pickled purple beets, pickled golden beets, and guacamole that was not mashed but had everything cut in chunks that we needed to finish)
-I used 2 1/2 lbs turkey legs and 1 1/2 lbs turkey wings for a total of 4 lbs of meat. If you wish you can use 4 lbs. of turkey legs instead (which is about 4 turkey legs). I just thought the wing would lend good flavor.

-After recieving some comments from some trusted Cuban cooks (Marilyn from "My Cuban Traumas" and one of my readers Mamey aka Omar) I learned this dish is a "Turkey Fricassee" and is the secondary dish for Christmas eve and the "Lechon" (roast pork) is the first.

Variation on this dish
-Also this dish can be made without the carrot and added to it can be a combination of pimiento stuffed olives (about 1/4- 1/2 cup), raisins (about 1/2 cup) and capers (a couple tablespoons not to much) to give it a sweet and sour taste, add them when you add the potatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking. But be warned go very light on the salt or only salt the turkey when browning when making this variation the red wine, olives, and capers have a lot of sodium. You can probably add them in the beginning but they might disintegrate (never tried it maybe I should give it a try like this also learned this from Mamey aka Omar)


If you like it like Marilyn only olives and capers to keep it savory or I bet just olives to. (the pimiento stuffed olives also known as "Manzanilla Olives") with no raisins.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pollo en Chilindron (Chicken and Pepper Stew)

Pollo en Chilindron is a Chicken and Pepper Stew that is typical of Aragon region of Spain in Zaragoza, somewhere around Northeastern Spain but is also widely known in Spain and some Cubans also adopted this delicious dish. It's basically chicken in a delicious tomato based sauce with lots of red bell peppers and onions with a smokey flavor.

There are several versions of this dish I have seen, the common stuff is they all have tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and something to make it smokey (be it some sort of cured meat, paprika, or something that adds heat which is optional)

I don't know if my recipe is "authentic" or not or even "traditional" but this is what I came up with after observing many other recipes and is what suits my families taste, we like bold flavors, rich sauces, and lots of garlic.


-1 small Chicken (about 3- 3 1/2 lbs.) cut into 8 pieces (segments)
-6 slices of bacon minced
-3 large red bell peppers julienned
-1-2 large yellow onion julienned or
-1 head garlic cloves peeled (mashed to a paste)
-4 ripe large tomatos pureed or 2 cans tomato sauce
-1 cup dry white wine
-1 tablespoon sweet smoked spanish paprika
-1 tablespoon ground cumin
-1/2 tablespoon hot smoked Spanish paprika (more if you like spicy to taste)
-2 large bay leaves
-salt to taste
-extra-virgin olive oil

(1)Season chicken with salt, and brown on all sides in olive oil on medium high in a large deep pot (takes about 15-20 minutes total) Set aside in a seperate plate.

(2)Add minced bacon and render it's fat when browning add onions and bell peppers cook down 5-7 minutes, then add garlic sautee 3 minutes, hten add paprika's and cumin sautee 30-60 seconds until fragrant.

(3)Add wine and let reduce a but, then tomato and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken back and coat well with sofrito mixture. Dilute sauce with water IF DESIRED (maybe 1/2 - 1 cup water or non at all depends)

(4)Simmer covered until cooked around 35-45 minutes. Serve with good bread or steamed rice and maybe a raw salad if desired dressed in olive oil, salt, and vinegar or lemon or lime.

Please Note:
*In my house we also make a version of it that we do using lamb, mutton, or goats meat that is Spanish in origin but Cubanized a bit:

"Chilindron de Carnero" (Cuban Goat or Lamb Stew)

*The American variety and also Hungarian Paprikas have a completely different taste to the sweet smoked Spanish paprikas which are smoked with some type of oak wood. I buy "La Chinata" brand online (well I really don't my wonderful boyfriend ordered me some for my birthday) it's from "La Vera" they are very flavorful and delicious.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Te de Pelo de Elote (Corn Hair Tea?)

Yeah I know it sounds odd, it's the silky looking hair part of the corn, we only use the clean looking one's that look beautiful (discard any brownish dirty stuff)

It's suppose to be "bueno pa'los riñones" (good for the kidney's) I don't know I'm not a doctor and currently it's finals week in school for me and I don't feel like researching it ( If your curious google around :)

Regardless of medical benefits or not, it's refreshing especially served cold in this summer heat.

So since corn is in season and there's all this wonderful fresh sweet corn don't waste and throw away the beautiful corn silk give this tea a try. It has a subtle light corn taste.


-water (I don't know I just added water to the pot until it looked right maybe 9-12 cups)
-corn silk (from about 6-8 fresh corn cobs)
-sugar to taste (optional we didn't use it this time and it doesn't really need it but to each his own)

(1)Bring water in pot to a boil with corn silk, and boil together for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off, you can drink it now or let it cool, sweeten with sugar to taste if desired and keep cooled in the fridge.
This tea apparently is consumed by both Cubans, Mexicans and other cultures so I'm labeling as both.

Guiso de Maiz Tierno (Cuban Corn Stew)

We never made any type of Cuban corn stew in my household, but I was reading "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen" (it's also posted online "Guiso de Maiz" by Mary Urrutia) and I also saw a recipe for "Guiso de Maiz" by Nitza Villapol (the communist Cuban Julia Child) after reading those recipes I felt like making a corn stew (yes even in the summer heat :) so I observed both recipes, both where a bit iffy, I read both recipes to get an understanding of the dish, and then I just cooked it my way to suit my families taste preferences.

My version of the dish is like the Cuban "Potajes" I usually make but instead of being bean/ legume based it's fresh sweet corn based. (Corn is in season so expect some more fresh corn dishes the corn at the store looks beautiful. My grandma taught me a delicous dish with pork meat and corn in a creole sauce very good hopefully I'll have the chance to make that some time soon)

-1/2 medium sized Calabaza cut in large chunks (like Butternut, Banana, Hubbard, etc. Carribean Squash is what's suppose to be used in Cuban cooking but it's not readily available here where I live and the others make good substitutes, any starchy orange fleshed winter squash will do)
-3 medium potatoes (peeled, and cut into large chunks)
-5 cups fresh corn kernels (I used about 5-6 large corn cobs it made 5 cups)
-2 medium Spanish Chorizo's (or 1/2 a large Spanish CHorizo I used Palacios "Chorizo Español Autentico")
- 1/2 lbs. cubed pork ham
-1/4 cup more or less extra-virgin olive oil
-1 large green bell pepper
-1 large yellow onion
-1/2 head of garlic peeled mashed to a paste
-1 can 8 oz. about 1 cup tomato sauce
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
-salt to taste (I used like 2 teaspoons)
-5-6 cups water


(1)Heat olive oil in a deep large pot on medium high, sautee cubed pork until browned and renders some fat, add spanish chorizo, sautee until aromatic, now add onion and bell pepper sautee 5-7 minutes until translucent, add garlic sautee 2 minutes, throw in cumin and stir until fragrant like 30-60 seconds. Now add tomato sauce until it stats bubbling let it cook for about 2 minutes. You finally formed you base (sofrito with ham and chorizo)
.... I forgot to take a picture of me adding the tomato sauce but you get the point and sofrito looks damn good already ;)

(2)Add corn kernels stir well, add water, throw in potatoes and calabaza along with water, salt to taste and bring to a strong boil cover and simmer on low 30 minutes, uncover and it's done.

(3)You can serve it alone or if you don't mind all the carbs eat it with bread :) I think a nice salad is good with it to but not nessecarry.

-When peeling the fresh corn cobs do not THROW AWAY the corn "hairs" (those silky looking hairs from the corns inside???? I will show you how to make a refreshing tea with it that we make in my household)

You may be interesterd if you have fresh corn in this Cuban dish I make "Arroz Con Maiz" (Steamed Yellow Rice with Corn)