Island Ratatouille Pie

Spring is here and nothing quite puts the season on the plate like a batch of ratatouille.  If you've never had it, it's a vegetable dish usually made with onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. The veggies are sauteed or roasted with a little oil until they've softened and released their juices. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold or in a Disney movie prepped by the cutest team of rodents ever. Traditionally, ratatouille is accompanied by a few slices of crusty bread to sop up its savory sauce. I wrapped my ratatouille with a pie crust and dressed it with an herbaceous lemon ricotta to create a one-pot dish [...]

#IslandFlavor: Tropical Shrimp Salad

I think Glenn Frey put it best when he said, "The heat is on." When the fever of summer hits,  the last thing I want to do is spend an extended period of time in front of my stove. Which is why this fourth of July weekend I'm bringing a tropical shrimp salad to the BBQ. Not only does it make for a cool and refreshing side, shrimp cook quickly.  If you work it right you can leave the kitchen without breaking into a full sweat. Of course, quick cook times can be a double-edged sword. Just 30 seconds over can leave you chewing on a rubbery mess.  But I’m [...]

#IslandFlavor: Puerto Rican Spam Musubi

Spam makes some people shudder. I mean, it's pressed meat out of a can. I get it. But if you were raised on an island, like I was, you grew up on it. And if we're keeping it 100% real, Spam is much better for you than a hot dog. It's only got 6 ingredients! Spam is so legit  Monty Python dedicated a sketch to it! Am I the only that's wondered what "Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and a fried egg on top, and Spam" would taste like? Don't answer that. Sometimes you just need a little Spam in your life. [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:24+00:00 April 3rd, 2016|#IslandFlavor, Appetizers, Proteins, Recipes, Uncategorized|2 Comments

#IslandFlavor: Quesitos

My favorite part of blogging about Puerto Rican food is meeting others who miss it as much as I do. Ramon Novoa  is a FaceBook friend who shared his most loved #islandflavor:       "Quesitos were my favorite treat when I was a kid in PR. Whenever I go back to PR there are two things I need to have within the first 24 hours of my visit: a quesito and a mofongo, but not necessarily together. Every bakery in PR has quesitos on their menu but, in my opinion, the best come from the panadería La Ceiba, en la avenida Roosvelt and La Esmeralda in Guaynabo." I couldn't agree more [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:24+00:00 March 21st, 2016|#IslandFlavor, Appetizers, Desserts, Recipes|2 Comments

#StopFoodWaste: Pickle Juice

An empty pickle jar is a TREASURE. You can use the left over juice to quick pickle other cucumbers or soft veggies like radishes, green beans and garlic. You can even pickle hard boiled eggs! My favorite way to use pickle juice is to slice an onion and put it right in the jar to soak up all that yum. These onions are great on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, you name it. My soundtrack for this preparation is Skankin' Pickle's I Missed The Bus. Americans waste over 40% of the food that comes into our homes. Be a part of the solution and #StopFoodWaste. Don't miss the bus! Join me [...]

#StopFoodWaste: Asparagus Ends

OMG you guys!! Asparagus is FINALLY here!!! The appearance of the vibrant green stalks on market shelves means spring (I.E. Foodie Christmas) is just around the corner. It's the most wonderful time of the year. (That last sentence should be sung in your best caroling voice.) Asparagus is ridiculously easy to prepare. Rinse the stalks and then bend them til they break. They'll magically snap exactly where the tough woody end and the tender spear meet. Isn't nature glorious? Of course the tender part is the best part, but that doesn't mean you have to throw out the woody ends. They have just as much flavor and only need a [...]

#IslandFlavor: Sorullos (Corn Meal Fritters)

One of my very first memories is of my father's mother showing me how to shape sorullitos, a crispy cornmeal stick that's a staple on the boricua table. I was four years old and we were living in her rambling farm house in the small beach village of Boqueron. It was a typical summer day on the island with a heat so heavy the ocean breeze was incapable of lifting it off you. My twin brother and I had just finished riding our big wheels out on our marquesina (patio). My bangs were plastered to my face as my Abuela Dora ushered me into her kitchen, washing my hands as [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:25+00:00 January 28th, 2016|Appetizers, Recipes, Uncategorized|3 Comments

#IslandFlavor: Cheater’s Chicharron

In Puerto Rico we have a town nicknamed Pork Rind City and lechoneras that line a whole highway. Pork crackling is our drug. In any given plaza you will find cart after cart overflowing with chicharron. So many that it’s hard to imagine any pigs on the island have their skin intact. My mother loves crackling so much that Thanksgiving 1985 was almost ruined when one of my aunts nabbed the coveted piece of crunchy skin on the pernil before it had been served. When my mother made the discovery (as she went to sneak a piece for herself) she spit out “How could you!” in a tone of disgust [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:25+00:00 August 5th, 2015|Appetizers, Proteins, Recipes, Uncategorized|8 Comments