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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Perfect Picadillo!

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

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