Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bistec de Puerco Empanizado (Breaded Pork Steak)

This is a really thin cut pork steak, seasoned with some spices, passed in egg then cracker meal and pan-fried.

I love this, and when we pan-fry meats or just brown them in a pan we always make them "Encebollado" meaning in the drippings left in the pan we sometimes add more oil and sautee lots of thick cut onions, and deglaze with lime and season with a little salt and then garnish with some cilantro or parsley. We serve it over the meat.

My mom does this exactly how my grandma taught her, except she adds all the seasoning to the beaten egg and passes every single piece of meat well until there is no more egg left and everything is well coated, she say's it better like that because, "Si le pones el sazon a la carne y lo pasas por huevo se le queda el sazon al huevo" (if you season the steaks directly and pass them through egg the seasoning will not stick or some crap like that it doesn't make sense to me because you end up using the whole egg anyways so the seasoning still stays with the meat regardless but I do it like her anyway just in case)

-1 1/2 lbs. thin cut pork steaks
-5 large cloves of garlic mashed to paste in a mortar and pestle or pressed through a garlic press. (yes we love garlic that much)
-1 teaspoon ground cumin (to taste you can use more or less)
-1/2- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
-1 large egg
-Some well crushed Saltine Crackers or Crackers (if unsalted season em with salt)
-1 whole onion sliced into rings, or thickly julienned
-1 or 2 limes
-Some Cilantro or Parsley to garnish.

(1)Firstly before ANTHING using crackers as bread crumbs will make this really crisp and good, JUST when you are breaking the bread crumbs put them in a bag and crush well with a cup or something heavy even your hands. This will make a crispy crust.
(2)Okay now, beat 1 egg, add cumin, salt, pepper and garlic now smother each steak and dip and swish around beaten seasoned egg, do it to all thin steaks, then if you run out and still have some steak smother them all together to get everything seasoned (I know messy) now wash your.
(3)In a plate dump the cracker crumbs, roll each steak in crumbs and coat well. Set aside.
(4)Heat oil on medium high until heated (we use extra-virgin olive oil). Now lightly fry each steak until browned on one side, then flip to brown on the other.
(5)Set aside cooked steaks on a plate with paper towels. And repeat.
(6)When all steaks are done, now add the cut onions and sautee until you get rid of raw taste, squeeze lime juice into the pan and stir to deglaze some and give them some tang, season with salt (optional) and toss with some parsley or cilantro. When serving steaks put this on top.

PLEASE NOTE: You can do this with really thin cut sirloin steak.

Curtido de Repollo (Pickled Cabbage Salad)

A Nicaraguan family friend made this for a a reunion me and family attended because we hadn't seen this family or friends from that area in years.

She made this delicious spicy pickled cabbage salad. My mother later asked her if she could please share the recipe with us, and she did (along with her family recipe for the BEST Tres Leches Cake I have ever had in my entire life posted somewhere on my blog but it has no pictorials)

Well we made this dish just how she told us and since then it has been a hit in my house we make this REALLY OFTEN it is perfect because it makes a LARGE portion and can last in the fridge for over a week or longer since it's pickled. We just pull it out of the fridge for any meal of the day and eat tons of it as a side dish.

PERFECT FOR SUMMER HEAT also because you don't have to use the stove or oven :)

-1 cabbage head (shredded)
-2 Serrano chili peppers or other green spicy chili peppers or milder ones like Jalapeño
-1 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
-1 cup of water
-1 tablespoon salt (if using a giant cabbage hear or a fairly large one use 2 tablespoons)
-2 medium tomatoes diced
-1 medium or small onion minced
-2 spicy Serrano chili peppers or other green spicy chili pepper minced finely (OPTIONAL this is for adding way later)

(1)Put shredded cabbage in a large bowl.

(2)In a blender, add water, vinegar, salt, and 2 chili peppers. Blend until chili peppers are destroyed and liquefied.

(3)Add blended contents to shredded cabbage and toss well together. Let rest in refrigerator AT LEAST 3 hours and toss every 1 hour if possible or every now and then. You can also just leave it OVERNIGHT to pickle in the fridge and toss every now and then.

(4)After pickling toss with the tomato, onion, and Serrano chilies or other green chilies.

(5)This is COMPLETELY optional, after tossing with everything you may drain all the excess liquid if desired, I simply use a giant spoon or something with openings to scoop out the pickled cabbage, I also like to leave the liquid because it pickles the tomato, onion, and chili pepper overtime and gets stronger and more intense.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is really spicy for some people so it is optional to add 2 extra chili peppers, taste it first, you may want to add less chili peppers if you find you can't tolerate heat. But in my household and many others here WE LOVE SPICY!

Also be careful with your hands, when handling the chili peppers they will get spicy and if you touch your eyes it will burn, I don't wear gloves or anything I don't mind the spicyness on my hand, I just don't rub my eyes and am careful.