Empanadas, Quesitos, Paella and more…

Posts tagged ‘lunch’

Arroz a la jardinera (rice with vegetables)

This is a great alternative to white rice and a perfect side dish for grilled steak, chicken or pork.

Total time – about 30 min

Yield – 4-5 servings

Serving suggestion – as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and diced,
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon anniato oil (achiote)
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 handful of string beans, diced
  • 1 or 2 carrots, diced 2 cups diced pumpkin
  • 1 lb uncooked rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

Procedure

Saute the onion, pepper and garlic on the olive oil.

Add the water and cooking oil. Bring to a boil.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered until the water evaporates. blend with a ladle, folding the rice from the bottom to the top and vice versa.

Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is tender.

Buen provecho!

For great party trays and dinner packages ideas visit us at www.piscolabiscatering.com

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Kitchen tools and golf.

Determining the most essential  kitchen tools to have reminds me when I decided to experiment with golf; almost 15 years ago. I remember going to a buddy of mine who at the time had a handicap of 4 for advice. “Don’t worry”, he said. “I’ll take care of you”.

The first thing he told me was to hold off the shopping spree and to just get a good beginner’s set of golf clubs with the essentials; a putter, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge (of course…) and a #7 iron . “And preferably second-handed; you know, just in case golf doesn’t work out for you”, he said.  And so I did. I went out and got me a second-handed, multi-branded, multi-colored beginner’s set. If I remember correctly, I didn’t spend more than $50 for the whole thing including the bag. Eventually I got into the sport and ended up buying a complete set. And guess what, my favorite clubs are the ones that I originally purchased; so now I have a couple of clubs I don’t need or use.

So why the story? Take a look at your kitchen drawer where you keep all your kitchen tools. Pretty full, isn’t?  Ok, to your defense, it’s probably not your fault as most of them were given to you as wedding gifts or you bought them for just in case you needed them some day. But think about it, how many of them you actually use.

Spring is around the corner, and besides of being the season of getting our landscape back into shape, it’s also that time for backyard cookouts and when we walk around the house collecting stuff we don’t use or need to move them to their new place; the garage or the attic. Or as we call it, Spring cleaning. Let me help you with your kitchen drawer.

In my opinion, these are some of the most essential tools your kitchen drawer most have. At the end, you and only you can determine which tools are best and most essential for you.

  • Knives – No need for a 30 piece knife set.  There are four basic knives that will get the job done. A 10-inch chef’s knife; the workhorse of the kitchen and good for just about anything.  A flexible boning knife, a paring knife for smaller jobs and a long, serrated knife. for cutting breads, cakes, and things that are at risk from crushing when using a conventional knife.
  • Kitchen shears – Not only to cut food but to handle any other cutting jobs where a knife it’s not enough.
  • Digital timer – Any experienced chef will tell you that timing is key to the success or failure to any recipe. And while you develop your time keeping skills, a digital timer is your best friend.
  • Meat thermometer – Success on grilling that perfect steak or baking the perfect  holiday turkey depends on two things; time and temperature. You already have the timing part with your digital timer; however, the meat thermometer will close the deal.  Probe thermometers are the most common ones. There are also digital and laser ones. If you go probe, go with the heavy-duty ones. I personally use one that’s a combination of all of them and I found it on-line for less than $100.
  • Measuring cups – Preferably in individual sizes; 1/8 cup 1/4 cup 1/3 cup 1/2 cup 2/3 cup 3/4 cup and 1 cup.
  • Measuring spoons – Because a “pinch” of salt can mean different things to different people….
  • Microplane grater (aka zesters) – For when the recipe calls for just the flavor of ginger, onion, or citrus fruits….
  • Scraper spatulas – For your baking projects.  A large and a small and made of silicone. They are more expensive but will last you more. I also use them instead of wooden spoons to brown ground beef. Wooden spoons can develop mold if not washed and dried properly.
  • Regular spatula – For that perfect pancake flip.
  • Whisks – For when using a mixer, blender or food processor is too much.
  • A High quality can opener – There are many options out there. For food safety reasons, I use one that opens the cans from the side instead of the top.
  • Tongs – A very versatile kitchen tool. I use them for everything, from blending salads to frying or for any task that requires a good grip

Unfortunately, I stopped playing golf some time ago after I started with my weekend catering business. So what happened to my golf clubs? Well, they are sitting somewhere in the attic next to a box labeled “Kitchen tools I don’t use”.

I hope your kitchen drawer looks much better now.

Happy cooking!

For great party trays and dinner packages ideas visit us at www.piscolabiscatering.com

Menu Ideas – Office Lunch Meeting

Planning your next office lunch meeting? Are you tired of the same “make-your-own” cold cut sandwich, pizza, BBQ or Tex-mex? Want to try something different? Piscoalbis Catering is your answer.

By popular demand, we have just have added a new Office Lunch Menu featuring different kind of sandwiches; inspired by our Hispanic cuisine heritage. For just $8.95 per person, you get an assortment of one of a kind sandwiches served with plantain chips, pasta salad or coleslaw and a cookie. And for a limited time beverages are on us. We’ll add to your order your choice of sweet tea or lemonade at no extre charge. Contact us for more details about this promotion.

Not different enough? We can tailor our menu to meet your needs. We will work with you to make it perfect.

For more great menu planning ideas, visit us at www.piscolabiscatering.com

Recipe of the day – Bacalao a la Vizcaina (Basque Style Codfish Stew)

Bacalao a la Vizcaina (Basque Style Codfish Stew) is a very popular Spanish dish known to every Latin American country. You will find hundreds of recipes for this dish as every country has their own version of it. The below is the Puerto Rican version. It is a relatively easy dish to prepare. In Puerto Rico is served year-round favorite but most popular during Lent. In Mexico is commonly served for Christmas or New Year’s Day.

Total time –  30 min prep; 45 min cook (after you have properly soaked the cod-fish in water several time to remove the salt; see below)

Yields – 8 servings

Serving suggestion – with white rice or any root vegetable such as yautia or yuca and your favorite side salad with avocado.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound salted cod-fish
  • 4 potatoes, sliced thick
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Procedure

Soak the salted cod in about 2 quarts of water, changing the water 3 times over the course of 8 hours. Drain and cut the fish into bite-size pieces.

Layer the half of each ingredient in the following order: potatoes, cod-fish, onions, hard-boiled eggs, capers, garlic, olives, roasted red peppers, and raisins. Place the bay leaf on top, then pour half the tomato sauce and half the olive oil. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Pour the water and white wine on top. Do not stir.

Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Buen provecho!

For other great dinner and party tray ideas visit us at www.piscolabiscatering.com

Menu Ideas – Office Lunch Meeting

Planning your next office lunch meeting? Are you tired of the same “make-your-own” cold cut sandwich, pizza, BBQ or Tex-mex? Want to try something different? Piscoalbis Catering is your answer.

By popular demand, we have just have added a new Office Lunch Menu featuring different kind of sandwiches; inspired by our Hispanic cuisine heritage. For just $8.95 per person, you get an assortment of one of a kind sandwiches served with plantain chips, pasta salad or coleslaw and a cookie. And for a limited time beverages are on us. We’ll add to your order your choice of sweet tea or lemonade at no extre charge. Contact us for more details about this promotion.

Not different enough? We can tailor our menu to meet your needs. We will work with you to make it perfect.

For more great menu planning ideas, visit us at www.piscolabiscatering.com

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