What’s Cooking 6/27

It’s been a week… left my computer power cord out at the winery (boo), getting ready for vacation (yay!) and as a result of both things my post will be short today.

 

I asked Neighbor Dave what he is craving, and he said “Mexican” so I decided to do a study of three Latin flavor profiles.

  • Grilled Veggie burrito: I bought the freshest grillable veggies (zucchini, green and red peppers, onions) and combined them with corn, black beans, a bit of cheese and the best part: chili cumin sour cream.  Wrapped in a sprouted tortilla, and served with fresh pico de gallo made from the most beautiful orange and red tomatoes that are so sweet and yummy- but don’t think there isn’t a bit of spice involved in this dish!
  • Spanish pork pincho and Sweet potato salad: I bought pork loin steaks and cut them into 1″ pieces (much cheaper than buying the pork pieces- by about half!)  I marinated the pork in garlic, paprika, cayenne, oregano, pepper, thyme, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves for 24 hours- when grilled, they have a great smoky yet sweet flavor- lots of fun taste in that bite!  Served with sweet potato salad with a homemade light mayo dressing, it’s the perfect creamy counterpoint to the pincho.  As study in smoky sweetness, the Spanish are!
  • Puerto Rican mofongo with Asopao de Gandules (rice and pigeon pea lentil stew)  Surprisingly, Puerto Rican cuisine is not spicy at all.  The mofongo (mashed plaintains) are normally salted with chicharrones (crispy pork skin) but I used crumbled bacon.  Topped with the stew, which is enlivened by Sofrito- onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro, olives, capers and a bit of oregano blended into a flavor sauce which is added to almost everything.  When I tried the stew I felt like I was back on my favorite beaches of “la isla encanta”- a flavor contrast to the spice of Mexico and the sweet smokiness of Spain- Puerto Ricans are salty and lovely!

After vacation, I know I’ll be in a Parisian mood- I’m looking forward to some great kitchen inspiration!  See you after I’m back!

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