Behold the simmering stew! Unlikely as it may sound, we are actually friends with our neighbors and the other evening they taught us how to make this picadillo! You begin by sauteeing half of a large onion in olive oil and adding two links of chopped chorizo sausage. Three pounds of ground beef substantiate the mix along with four chopped carrots and one cup of water. Put two chipotle peppers, four chopped tomatoes, 1/4 of an onion and 1/2 bouillon cube in a blender. Add this to the meat mixture with three peeled and chopped potatoes, salt and cumin to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes or so until liquid is absorbed, adjust seasonings and add more spicy chipotles if you, as some do, like it hot!
While the picadillo continued to simmer, we served glasses of Baby's sangria and gazpacho, with roasted corn, sizzled bacon, chopped onion and parsley as a garnish. So refreshing and absolutely wonderful to look upon.
Taking a cue from Herba Buena, an excellent restaurant here in the city, we made a Cuban Sandwich Pizza much as they do. We made our own dough found in the pages of Jim Lahey's My Bread and slathered it with a bechamel sauce, tinged with Roland's mustard.
Pickles, slices of ham, Swiss cheese and slivers of this gorgeous porchetta that Baby made were piled on top of our Cuban pizza.
When we were done, there wasn't a dry eye in the house and only a single slice left!
We continued on with a classic Tortilla Espanola, a snap to make in the set of frittata pans from Williams-Sonoma with six eggs, a handful of potatoes and an onion. A glimpse of Baby's index finger is seen here, stirring the concoction.
The hearty result! We spruced it up with some Sriracha sauce, another one of our favorite things.
At last we had our fantastic picadillo, with a side of rice, corn tortillas and lime wedges for good measure. Coronitas for all! And eclairs for dessert!
Soundtrack: Forever Tango; Mango Santamaria, Watermelon Man; Perez Prado, Besame Mucho; The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook; later, lots of 80's music
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox