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Archive for the ‘Seasonings’ Category

Gremolata is used in Italian cuisine as a garnish for Ossobuco alla Milanese. I also like to use it to garnish salads and my favorite; to season my Gremolata Capellini.  Believe me when I tell you the combination of tastes just burst in your mouth!

Last Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day.  In honor of this occasion, we had a family gathering at my house.  The afternoon started sipping Champagne Rosé and snacking on crackers with bleu cheese and raspberry jam. For a late lunch/early dinner, my mother made her famous Shrimp with Vegetables in Pink Sauce as an appetizer and I made Ossobuco (recipe coming soon) with Gremolata and Risotto Milanese for our guests.  For dessert, I served Vanilla Flan as well as Strawberry-Cheese Flan my brother Manolo and his fiancé Janitza brought. We had a full house and a wonderful time! My brother Joaco helped in the stirring of the risotto which took a while because we made a huge batch for our group of almost 20 persons which included members from both sides of the family.

Of course, Mother’s Day is everyday, but let us embrace this holiday as a friendly reminder to be thankful and respectful of all the mothers and/or mother-like women in our lives who take care of the dirty little behind-the-scenes details that make our lives better each day. It is a day to honor and recognize their courage and sacrifice because we all know life is complicated and sometimes just not fair. So,  I am proud to say that last Sunday in my house, we had 3 generations of outstanding mothers from which I have learned the meaning of love, compassion, determination and respect. I am very grateful to count these blessings…  Thank you Mami!

Enjoy!

Gremolata

Ingredients

1 tbsp yellow lemon peel, grated

1 tsp chopped garlic

3 tbsp chopped italian parsley (flat leaf)

Procedure

1.  Grate lemon zest (be careful not to get any of the white pith of the lemon). Mix together in a bowl. Use to garnish Ossobuco, salads or or flavor pasta. You may refrigerate up to one week.

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Adobo is an all purpose seasoning or rub that adds flavor to meats. It is used mainly in Puertorican cuisine.  There are other kinds of wet (marinades) and dry (rubs) adobos in Latin America and Spain. I like making my own adobo.  It is not hard at all, so give it a try.  The oregano I use I grow in my herb garden, dry it and ground it, but you can find ground oregano in the supermarket. This mix doesn’t include pepper but if you want you can add to taste.   This is my version of Adobo Criollo.

Enjoy!

Homemade Adobo

Ingredients

1/4 cup fine sea salt

1 tbsp powder garlic

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground oregano

Procedure

1.  In a small bowl mix all ingredients well.  Store  in a medium sized shaker in a dry place.

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Recaíto


Recaito is the typical seasoning base for many Puerto Rican dishes. It is key to making “sofrito” for arroz con pollo, carne guisada, stews, soups and beans among others.  Recao or culantro, is a long aromatic herb.  Home made recaito is absolutely delicious.  I dare to say every puertorrican has (or at least should) recaito in their fridge. My friend Bea says her kids always eat the food she prepares with my recaito and has asked for a lifetime supply. ja!  I grow my own recao and make this batch about every two months and freeze most of it in several ice cube trays that have lids. That way I use as many recaito “ice cubes” I need for a recipe.

Recaíto

Ingredients

2 handfuls (bunches of culantro) recao

1 cup of seeded ají dulces (sweet peppers)

1/2 cup of cubanel pepper (pimiento de cocinar in PR or aji for Cubans)

1/2 of a large yellow union (coarsely chopped)

8 garlic cloves

1 tbsp of fresh oregano

handful of cilantro (cilantrillo)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup of apple vinegar

Procedure

1.  Clean recao leaves.

2.  Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until all ingredients are very finely chopped.  Almost pureed.

3.  Store in the refrigerator or freeze in ice cube trays with lids. (Mine are from Tupperware and OXO)

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