Friday, November 21, 2008

Arroz Verde a Mi Manera (Green Rice my Way)

This is my recipe, I made it up myself. I have a Peruvian friend who would make "Arroz Verde", I really liked it so I would make her's sometimes, but I decided to completely adjust it to the taste of my household and make it "Cubanized" I guess one could call it "Arroz Verde Estilo Cubano" (Cuban style green rice?) It is very flavorful and delicous, it's a very simple side dish.

I do mine in a rice cooker you can adjust it to do it stove top.

-3 cups long grain white rice
-1 big bunch of cilantro (cleaned well, but with stems and all)
-1 onion finely minced
-1 green bell pepper finely minced
-5-6 cloves garlic finely minced (I use a mortar and pestle most of the time or garlic press)
-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
-2 teaspoons salt
-1/4-1/2 tsp. monosodium glutamine (msg... it's optional popular brand is Ajinamoto)

Heat olive oil on medium high heat, sautee onion and bell pepper 5 minutes, add garlic sautee 2 minutes. Meanwhile blend cilantro in a blender with 1 cup water. When garlic is fragrant, add the blended cilantro and stir well bring to boil.

(2)Meanwhile, now wash rice well drain, and add to rice cooker, throw in the stuff you sauteed, add salt, cumin, pepper, and msg stir well, add water necessary to cook rice.

Water may vary I use a long-grain jasmine rice that is new crop it only needs equal water to rice. Regular long-grain white rice needs no more than 1 1/2 cups water per cup. Also don't forget the water in the blended cilantro counts to.

For the original "Peruvian version" you only use cilantro ,garlic, onion, and Peruvian yellow pepper, and season with only salt, black pepper, and msg. Sometimes they will use chicken stock.

(3)This rice tastes fabulous with some fried eggs on top.

If doing on stove top, make the sautee in a large pot, and add blended cilantro, spices and water, bring to a boil and add washed, add drained clean rice stir once, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Ruedas de Camote Frito (Fried Sweet Potato Rounds)

Title is explains most of it. This is a very simple dish my grandmother makes with either regular "Camote" (orange fleshed sweet potato) or "Boniato" (cuban white sweet potato), more often than not we use "Camote" (orange fleshed sweet potato) because it is very abundant in the USA and popular, right now in late November the price dropped to 7 lbs. for 99 cents US. Sometimes it drops to 10 lbs for 99 cents US. So I take advantage and buy tons of them (about 40 pounds) we can eat through them fast and know how to prepare them in many ways (both healthy and unhealthy)

-Sweet Potato (washed very well, NOT peeled, cut into 1/4 inch rounds)
-salt to taste or sugar (depends see note)
-oil to deep-fry (I use canola oil, other good choices I like are sunflower oil and peanut oil)

(1)Heat oil on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, when hot enough fry the sweet potato in small batches, in one layer, each one fry's for about 5-7 minutes per side until they are lighter in color and lightly browned.

(2)Afterwards set in a plate with papertowels to drain and sprinkle with salt while hot, or sugar.

(1)If we are eating them as appetizers for dinner we sprinkle some salt on them, if we want it as a snack or dessert usually we dust them in regular white sugar.

These are not suppose to be crisp and dry, they are firm, but soft when you bite into them, the peel is left on to let it hold it's shape, when eating after cooked you have the option to either eat the peel, or remove when eating with your hands easily :)