I have to admit the unedited version is more entertaining, but I’m saving it here so I can try out at least one of the recipes (pork shoulder, safrito, tostones).
Take a lesson from the Puerto Ricans. Millions of us have managed to survive in one of the most expensive cities on earth with recipes like this:
Find a supermarket that has black beans on sale. Buy as much as you can. Then buy 5 or so pounds of Carolina rice, a bag of onions, a few bulbs of garlic, and a box of Goya Sazon.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil
Throw in one cup of rice, turn the heat down to simmer and lid it
Slice up a small onion
Smash up a clove of garlic
Throw some olive oil or butter into a HOT pan.
Throw the onions and garlic into the pan and fry them till the onion gets glassy. Throw some salt in there.
Grind some pepper in there for good luck.
Toss in half a packet of Sazon and stir till you get a paste. Now you have a sofrito.
Dump in your can of beans bean juice and all.
Stir it up.
Add a pinch of Cayenne pepper so you remember that you have a set of cojones
Set it on simmer
Your rice is done.
Throw the beans on top.
You should get at least 2 meals out of one can of beans, and if your lucky you can get black beans 2 for $1. Adding the cost of the Garlic, Sazon and a small onion and you still eat a tasty, hearty, relatively healthy meal for less than $1.
Now. You are a growing lad. You need MEAT
OK, first of all, forget eating lips and rumps. There is a much, much tastier option that has kept millions of starving boriquas alive for generations: PORK SHOULDER.
In my neighborhood in Brooklyn, Pork shoulder is 79 cents a pound. That’s right. 79 cents. A package of hot dogs at $2.50 is more than double the price and has offal and all sorts of vile stuff inside.
Buy yourself a nice meaty pork shoulder. 5 lbs should do nicely.
Bring it home and get out a long, thin knife.
In a pilon (that’s a mortar and pestle, gringo) smash up a few cloves of Garlic, some sazon, some, salt, some pepper, and some oil. Grind it up GOOD. Now you have another sofrito.
Take your knife and stab some holes in the pig. Twist the knife around so the holes get nice and wide.
Now, take some of your sofrito and stuff it into the holes. Don’t be shy blanco, ram it in there. Use the remainder to roughly coat the outside of the pig. RUB IT. CARESS IT. This pig died so that you may eat. Salt it all over the outside and crack some pepper on there.
Set your oven for ~300 degrees
Throw the pork in skin side up and WAIT.
It’s going to take like 45 minutes a pound…
A warning: The smell is going to drive you INSANE. You have to wait this part out. Farm work is the best cure.
After an an hour and a half, jab it with a meat thermometer, but remember to not rest it on the bone, or you will get a bad reading.
You should be at around 150-160 degrees. Now comes the fun part. CRANK the stove up to 400 degrees. This will give you an orgasmic, crispy skin that will make your pork rinds taste like year old carboard comparison.
At 170 ish? Pull it out, but DON’T carve it up. You need to wait at least ten minutes otherwise all those sweet, sweet pig juices will dribble out. WAIT.
Congratulations. You just made Pernil. A five pound Pernil should give you meat for at least a week. SAVOR IT BROTHER. SAVOR IT
Edit: Forgot the best and cheapest recipe!!!
Green plaintains are usually like 5 for a dollar!
Here’s my mom’s recipe:
Fry up some bacon. Set the bacon aside and save that lovely, glistening fat.
Take a plantain and run a knife down the side and split the skin off without breaking the plantain. This takes a bit of practice.
Slice up the plantain into ~1/3 inch thick slices. Throw them into a bowl of ice water.
You have a fry daddy? You’re golden papi. No? Pour around half an inch of oil into a frying pan. Corn oil works best, olive oil smokes too easily. Get it hot! Throw in your bacon grease.
Take your sliced up plantains out of the ice water and drain them or even pat them with a paper towel till they’re dry.
Fry them until they just turn golden.
Throw them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Now, here is where you become a MAN: Get yourself a flat bottom glass and a cutting board or a plate. Throw some flour on there. Smash the plantains with the cup. You may need a spatula to get them off the board…
Fry em AGAIN until they are golden and crispy
Make all three of these things together and you have an incredibly delicious and cheap meal!
TLDR; Learn the lessons of my people: The Nuyoricans. (New York Puerto Ricans) We have survived for DECADES on no money in one of the most expensive cities on the planet.