MEMORIES FROM DECEMBER 2015: Plantain Cups Stuffed with Caramelized Onions and Beef Steak (Tostones Rellenos de Bistec)
1 lb. beef steak, thinly sliced
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tsp. of crushed dried oregano
1 large white onions sliced in rings
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 cups beef broth
1 tbsp. of adobo Goya
1 box of Plantain Cups (in the freezer area of your grocery store, see the photo)
Clean and cut the meat and marinate with all the ingredients listed.
Slice the onion and add them to the marinate.
Put the marinated meat in the fridge and refrigerate for about 1-2 hours.
When ready to cook, warm up a heavy skillet, add the marinated meat with the marinate and bring it to a boil. Cook over low heat covered, for about 30 minutes to allow the meat to become very tender and absorb all the flavors. Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes to allow evaporation of most of the sauce and the onions and beef caramelize. (Depending on your stove it could be less/more time)
10 minutes before the meat is ready, fry your Plantain Cups until crunchy.
When ready to serve, fill the Plantain Cups with a spoon or so of the meat.
Serve it with a salad and avocado.
These are your ingredients, without the beef.
Orange Cinnamon Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil
The zest of 1 orange (mince it well)
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter an 8-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides (or use a meatloaf mold)
Beat the eggs with the sugar, then, add the orange juice, oil and orange zest and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture gradually, about 3 separate times and stir after each addition.
Pour your batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the middle of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove cake from oven, let cool slightly and then invert and allow it to cool completely before you slice it.
Hack: You can slice it and serve it with powder sugar on top; or a generous dollop of whip cream or butter pecan ice cream or finally, with a drip of sea salt caramel sauce.
Yes, keep building up your holiday menu by cooking non-traditional meals and make your guests happy!
Total Time: 30 minutes
1-Pork tenderloin ($7.80 it renders about 8 portions, divided by 8 = $.98 /serving)
2 cups of chopped Baby Bella mushrooms
1 frozen bag of peas and corn (cooked by following bag directions)
2 tbsp. canola oil to sauté the pork (you have any vegetable oil at home)
Cut your tenderloin in 8 equal parts.
Season the pork at least one hour before cooking it with salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary and garlic powder to taste)
Chop and sauté the mushrooms until golden and set aside.
Cook the peas and corn following the bag directions and set aside.
Sauté your pork tenderloin until done, just before serving it. Follow the photo to plate it accordingly.
Hack: Now, it is up to you to serve this meal with a good bottle of wine, I would!
Here is one more recipe to try to serve a large number of visiting family members during the holidays. The following dish, Spanish Omelet, cannot be simpler. You can serve it at breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
For Breakfast, serve it with a slice of bread and a fruit
For Brunch and lunch it goes perfectly with a side of garlic-cheese bread and a salad
For Dinner it goes perfectly with yellow rice, a small salad and a slice of avocado.
Either way these combinations are quick, simple and very budget friendly to feed an army.
Serve: 8 to 10 (individual servings)
1 doz. Egg
1 large tomato
1 large onion
1 jalapeno (seeds removed) OPTIONAL
3 potatoes cut in bite-piece cubes
¼ c milk
Salt & pepper to taste.
2 tbsp. of olive oil (more as needed to cook the omelet)
Wash well, cut and boil the potatoes until fork tender. Set aside to cool down.
Chop the onion and sauté until transparent.
Cut the tomato and jalapeno in small bite size pieces; add them to the onions to sauté for few minutes.
Remove from pan and set aside to cool down.
Crack and beat the eggs, add salt, pepper, milk.
Add all your sautéed veggies (and potatoes) to your beaten eggs and stir
For individual servings, in medium low, use a small sauté pan and add a slight amount of olive oil, make sure that the bottom and sides are covered.
Finally, use a small/medium soup ladle to scoop the mixture into your sauté pan, cover and cook until done and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Hack: For a richer dish add ½ c. of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano or cheddar cheese to your egg mixture.
Christmas is around the corner and this week I will be posting ideas to help you plan the menu for your visiting relatives. I will post lunch, dinner, appetizers, salads and entrée recipes that may not be as traditional for this time of the year, but hey, we are all unique! Today I will work on lunch.
This is one simple recipe that won’t take much time to prepare and as a bonus, you can make two different meals; Chicken Salad and Chicken Sandwich.
Ingredients and Directions: For the Salad
Serve: 10+ salad bowls and approximately 6 to 10 sandwiches
1 Rotisserie chicken (cleaned as I indicated in my Blog under My Cuisine page for the September 1-7, week: Rotisserie Chicken and cut in pieces under 1”
5 Roma Tomatoes (cut in ½ and then diagonally)
1 store bought bunch of scallions cut diagonally
Tzatziki Sauce (instead of Mayonnaise) to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Hack: If you are making a large batch, you can also add 5 hardboiled eggs, 5 stalks of celery and 4 boiled potatoes, all cut in the same size bite pieces.
Additional Ingredients and Directions for the Sandwich
1 bag of multigrain round bread
1 jar of red roasted peppers (drained)
10 slices of Pepper Jack cheese
1 bag of pre-washed spinach
Tzatziki Sauce (instead of Mayonnaise) to taste for your bread spread
Just stack the ingredients up as seen in the photo.
Hack: I use a small ice cream measuring scoop to distribute the chicken salad portions evenly for all the sandwiches.
This is a typical dish in the island and perhaps in the Caribbean. It is simple, fresh and the main ingredient is cod fish. This gazpacho is not to be confused with Gazpacho Soup, a typical cold red tomato based and veggies soup from Spain. If someone knows the history or origin of our gazpacho, please let me know.
For my Gazpacho, I use the boneless cod fish, since I hate bones in my meals and also red onions instead of white. Traditionalists, however, use the dry bone-in cod fish and white onions. This is so refreshing and the use of fresh ingredients makes it such a healthy dish. Ok, so, let’s make Gazpacho!
1 (lb.) box of Boned Salted Cod Fish
1 large fresh and sturdy tomato
1 small red onion
1 large roasted red pepper
Fresh ground pepper
Serve with lemon and rice with pigeon peas. I will give you the recipe for rice with pigeon peas soon, stay tuned!
I think that we are pretty much done with turkey and the zillion turkey leftover combination meals for this year. Let’s move on to an opposite direction; SEAFOOD. Yes and a good glass of white wine to wash it down. Seriously, let’s just cook Shrimp Risotto this week, shall we?
Orzo is the rice-shaped pasta I use instead of the traditional Italian rice Arborio. When I cook it, I stir in beef broth and bring it to a boil. That gives me the same effect as if I use rice; it cooks faster and has the thick starchy sauce. These are the ingredients:
Roasted Shrimp and Mushroom Risotto
Serves: 4 Plus
Cost: Approximately $10.00 the whole meal or $2.50 per serving)
Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 min.
½ lb. of large size raw shrimp 20-25 count ($4.00) (I only use 3/serving plate)
10 Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped ($1.00)
2 quarts beef stock ($1.00)
5 cloves garlic (.30); 1 chopped onion (.40)
½ cup Parmesan cheese ($2.00)
1 lemon (.30)
¼ cup EVOO (you have this at home)
Salt and Pepper to taste (you have this at home)
2 tbsps. of chopped parsley
1 1/3 cup of Orzo ($1.00)
With stove on medium high add the olive oil to your skillet. When hot, add the shrimp and cook just until they start to turn pink. Remove from skillet quickly and set aside.
In the same skillet add the onion and when it starts to caramelize, add the garlic and the mushrooms until cooked.
Add the Orzo to your skillet and sauté for few minutes.
Start adding your beef stock, enough to cover the orzo, stir and wait until a light boil. Repeat by adding more stock each time it begins to dry out, until the orzo is covered again and stir.
Test the Orzo after 10 minutes for doneness; it will be done in approximately under 30 minutes.
At this point taste the Orzo before adding salt and pepper, then add as needed to taste.
Just before serving, add ¼ of your parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley and stir.
Serve immediately in a soup plate and sprinkle generously with more parmesan cheese, lemon juice and chopped parsley.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.