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Thu, 24 Jun 2010

Puerto Rican Home Cooking

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.

17:14 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Mon, 24 May 2010

Microwave Pralines

Mix sugar, buttermilk, salt, butter and pecans in a large glass bowl with handles (the mixture gets very hot and rises).

Microwave for 12 minutes, stopping to stir every 4 minutes.

Stir in baking soda, the boiling hot mixture will rise and foam, possibly doubling or tripling in volume.

Microwave 1 minute, stir until sticky.

Drop onto foil (not wax paper).

21:43 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Microwave Peanut Brittle

Use bowl with handles. Stir peanuts, sugar, syrup, salt. Microwave 4 minutes, stir well. Microwave 4 minutes, stir, add butter and vanilla. Microwave 1-2 minutes, stir, add baking soda (it will expand, might overflow, be careful).

Turn onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Smooth out peanuts. Let cool, break into pieces.

08:34 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Sun, 27 Sep 2009

Mmmmmmhhh… Crêpes

Reposting this into my new “recipes” section because it’s so good. Good fillings I’ve tried are with Nutella, Chopped Ham and Cheese, caramel syrup / chocolate syrup (both can be a bit runny), and of course the old standbys of jam/jelly, etc.




I’m gonna state that adding the butter last is a good idea (otherwise the flour wants to stick to it and get a bit clumpy), but that you might try the wet-first, then dry method.

These crepes are neutral in flavor. It sounds interesting to do a bit of savory crepes for maybe chicken or potatoes. I’d hesitate to make them sweeter if you’re doing a sweet filling because you really do get enough sweetness from the ingredients and the neutral flavor of the crepe keeps your teeth from falling out.

Bon Appétit!

15:11 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Thu, 17 Sep 2009

Tomatillo Salsa

This is a shorthand recipe for making “authentic” tomatillo salsa, so the actual measurements are yours to make the salsa your own. I’ll try to give some basic guidelines.

Choose Carefully: Boil Tomatillos (salsa for enchiladas) or Fry Tomatillos (salsa for dipping).

Boil Tomatillos

Fry Tomatillos

No matter what you did above:

Blend the tomatillos (strain out most of the water if you boiled them) in a blender. Optionally throw in some cilantro during blending (probably a bit less than 1/4 cup of just the leafy parts). For extreme bonus mexicano points you can use a molcajete, but it will take quite a bit longer and you might end up with a bit of grit depending on how well-seasoned your molcajete is.

In the saucepan again, fry up some oil + chopped onion bits on high heat until the onion bits are transparent. Add in blended tomatillos. Reduce and check taste. At this point (while reducing) slowly add powdered chicken boullion or stock until you avoid too much bitterness with the flavors. You don’t want it too bitter or too salty.

Use for enchiladas, chilaquiles, spicing up rice / chicken … basically put it on anything you see at a mexican restaurant. :^)

18:17 CST | category / entries / recipes
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