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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Puerto Rican Chicken in Green Sauce Pressure Cooker one of the essence of our being.  One of the simplest pleasures in our lives, we associate memories good and bad with the tastes and smells food brings to us.  We give thanks for food.  

Ten years ago one of the most tragic days struck our country and all of our lives changed.  I taught second grade at the time.  I remember getting up that morning and going thru the normal motions of getting everyone ready to begin the day.  A friend of ours knocked on our window and said, "Did you see what is happening in New York?"  We immediately turned on the TV.  It was surreal.  When I arrived at school, I picked up my class from the playground, took roll with the TV on in the background.  We all watched and discussed what was happening.  One little boy came up to my desk and said, "Today is my birthday and my birthday will never be the same again."  The next day we wrote letters and the following week we made the most beautiful tribute wall at the entrance to our school filled with huge paper yellow ribbons, pictures, names and the children's writings.  That year we learned about giving, sharing, and heroes. So on this the ten year anniversary of September 11th, pay it forward - bring food, cookies or brownies, perhaps dinner to someone in need, a public worker - police, fire ...because food is the universal language.

Puerto Rican Chicken in Green Sauce Pressure Cooker
from Marcia Kiesel

1 skinless chicken cut into pieces (bone-in)
6 skinless chicken thighs (bone-in)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1t ground cumin
4 cups packed cilantro leaves
6 garlic cloves, halved
2 large jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 pound medium red skinned potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Steamed rice and lime wedges, for serving

 ~ season the chicken with salt, pepper and the cumin
~ let stand for 10 minutes
~ meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, jalapeños, onion, red bell peppers, wine and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and puree
~ transfer the puree to pressure cooker and stir in the chicken stock
~ add the chicken and potatoes
~ lock lid and over high heat bring to high pressure
~ adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 13 minutes
~ allow pressure to release naturally
over and cook on high for 2 hours, shifting the chicken a few times, until the chicken is cooked through.
~ season the stew with salt and pepper.
~ serve with rice and lime wedges.


Pizza, pizza, pizza...we do have our favorite recipes; however, we always like to experiment.  In this case, I learned something new.  Let your dough rise in an humid area.  Hmmmm...desert dry heat - what to do?  Hello swamp cooler!  And I have to say, what a beautiful rise

the sweet smell of blooming yeast

dough the texture of play-dough

dough ball

our favorite fake pepperoni
all the flavor without all of the grease

From Anna Martini
Pasta and Pizza

1 ½ cup room temperature water
2T yeast
6 cups all purpose flour
10T milk

~ dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup water
~ mix flour and salt in a mixer with flat beater
~ add the yeast mixer and milk
~ slowly add remaining water with the mixer running
~ add more flour or water till the dough pulls away from the bowl
~ switch over to a dough hook   
~ kneed until dough is smooth like play dough
~ ready to rise – ideal temperature 86 degrees with high humidity
~ put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel
~ let rise until 2 to 3 hours until doubled in bulk
~ divide and knead into 4 or more equal balls
~preheat oven or barbeque 500 degrees
~ press down on the ball with your fingers to make a flat pancake not thicker then 3/8 inch and edges higher
~ top with toppings
~ bake until crust is browned and cheese melted and bubbled

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