Dinner at my house on Sundays looks a lot like this picture. Family crowed around the table, no electronic devices, just our attention on each other. This Sunday I choose to go back to my Puerto Rican roots and make a dinner that made you want to salsa dance... (or stick a knife in your shoe) Haha. Don't mess with a Puerto Rican!
A lot of you asked for recipes, but since I rarely stick to a recipe, I'll do my best to give you approximate amounts so you can re-create these dishes to the best of your ability.
MAMA T's SPANISH RICE:
First you need to make a "sofrito" or base of veggies to add flavor and color to the rice. I steam the veggies and blend in a food processor.
- 1/2 white onion
- handfull cherry tomatoes
-1/2 zucchini (*to add in sneaky veggies for the kiddos)
-salt & pepper
Once you have your "Sofrito" ready, I heat a large deep pan on Med/High (a pan that can be covered with a lid later)
-Add olive oil & 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic...toast
-Add SOFRITO to pan...toast
-Add 4 cups of long grain rice, I believe I used Jasmine this time...toast rice
-Add 6 cups of water to rice
-Add in 1/4 cup of Taco Seasoning
-Add salt & pepper to taste
-Add in 2 tablespoons of Annato Powder (*you can find this at most Hispanic Grocery Stores, I'll post a link below as well!)
-Watch rice on Med/High uncovered while water is absorbed
You want to watch the rice closely while on Med/High for the next 5-10 mins, the water will start to bubble and be absorbed. Once there is no more heavy layer of water (there may be some small pockets of water) REDUCE heat to LOW and COVER RICE! Steam for 30-40 mins
Now it is very important that you do NOT keep opening the lid to check on rice. You are creating a steam chamber to cook the rice and every time you open the lid, you release all that good steam.
Once rice is done, you can add freshly chopped cilantro and green onions to garnish.
***MAMA T's secret TIP to delicious rice.... take a spoonful of butter and stir it in to fluffy rice...shhh...they'll never know...and it add such a yummy flavor! ;-)
MAMA T's CHIMICHURRI STEAK:
In a food processor combine:
-3 cups fresh cilantro
-1 cup olive oil
-1 clove fresh garlic
-salt & pepper to taste
-crushed red peppers (*optional)
We chose a few nice lean pieces of Tri Tip
-Season both sides with salt
-In a HOT skillet, sear both sides in olive oil for apx 2 mins on each side
-Finish in low oven, 250 degrees for 10 mins
-Let rest for 10 mins
MAMA T's CUCUMBER, AVOCADO, & ARUGULA SALAD:
-2 large Ribboned Cucumbers
-4 cups fresh baby Arugula
-2 cubed avocados
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-Olive oil & Balsamic Vinegar to dress
I cheated this meal, and used canned black beans...shhh...don't tell, or I'll cut you
-2 cans black beans
-Add 1/4 cup of SOFRITO
-1/4 cup taco seasoning
-Bring to simmer
-Add salt & pepper
-Garnish with fresh cilantro
Most importantly, enjoy with people you love...and make them do the dishes!