I will be having a few of my girlsfriends, my mom and Tiza over for breakfast in a couple of weeks so I decided to do a bit of research on breakfast dishes that are easy to make in larger quantities. Here are my top picks:
Have I told you that my dad is Colombian? Well, he is. Thanks to him and my grandma (his mom) I love Colombian food. It is the epitome of home cooked comfort food to me. Assorted meats, a variety of root vegetables, hundreds of soups, and TONS of cilantro. Yum.
I am a foodie at heart (and soul) and constantly read recipe books, food magazines, talk to fellow foodies, and well, try to keep up to date and well informed. I am moderately familiar with Colombian cuisine yet was not aware of this life changing dish. Why? How? After I tried it for the first time I mentioned it to anyone who cared to listen and apparently I was among the few how did not know of it! Here is my story:
This summer good friends of ours invited us over for a pool day and a “Lomo al Trapo”. Literally translated: “Loin in rag”. Not so appetizing? Well, I beg you to reconsider… think beautiful lean beef loin, coarse sea salt, red wine, wrapped tightly in cheesecloth and tied with twine, charred directly on a blazing wood fire, cooked to tender perfection. Sound better? Just take a look:
It was beautiful to watch and amazing to eat and enjoy with special friends.
One of my great joys in life is food! Yes, food! I am one of those people that loves to curl up with a great cookbook and read it as if it was the greatest of novels. I love to cook a meal and then sit and taste each delicate ingredient. I love to make a meal and share it with friends and family or to make a meal to celebrate anything.
Today, I would like to share a recipe for a fantastic Ragu spaghetti sauce, alongside a wonderful friend who, through the many years we have known each other, has generously and lovingly taught me among other things a few of her wonderful Italian secrets for a yummy quick sauce. With pictures and directions you too will be able to celebrate with those you love a great meal for children and adults alike.
This recipe is as my friend gave it to me. It is a close measurement but not exact as she seldom measures. We had a wonderful day together, laughing as I tried to quickly measure her ingredients while she rolled her eyes as if to say, just watch and add a bit of this and a bit of that. It is all so easy!
For these moments I am grateful. Thank you Giuditta!
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward
Here we go…
RAGU SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Pork neck bones: 1.27 lbs.
Beef shank for soup: 1.99 lbs.
Lamb neck for stew: 1.58 lbs.
6 large cans of crushed tomatoes
One onion with cloves stuck in various places
4 or so stocks of celery (leaves welcomed)
Half of a large green pepper
More or less 10 baby carrots
2 ounces butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Let meat cook until tender
Put cans of tomato in a large pan with salt and a bit more of olive oil
Add all the now cooked meat with vegetables
Add a bit of freshly grated nutmeg
Add another 1/8 cup of olive oil
Cook slowly at a very low heat for the next 2 1/2 hours
Add Basil leaves toward end of cooking of the sauce
While cooking sauce, put clean jars without tops into a 250 degree oven and let heat for 20 minutes as shown. Then, put complete tops into a pan with water at a low boil for 15 minutes
Once all is heated and sterilized and the sauce is fully cooked, take out the pieces of meat and vegetables and set aside to be enjoyed and eaten at another time with whatever accompaniment desired
With oven mitt take out the first jar from the oven and carefully fill with the prepared boiling sauce filling it almost to the top, leaving a minimum of space. Then, take the tops from the water and carefully screw on and tighten as much as you can. Repeat this process one jar at a time. (It is important to maintain everything hot as it is this that will finish the sealing process of each jar as they are each tightly closed.) You will know the process was completed correctly when you hear the popping of each jar as they complete their sealing process
Once sealed, these may be kept in any available space. Refrigeration is not necessary which is really great!
Now enjoy and with any luck this recipe will bring you great memories too.
I am still in love with pinterest and all the inspiration it stirs up in me. With all the cooking I want to do, Guayo my husband, can’t complain either! I ran across a delicious looking stuffed zucchini pin from a post on Kay’s Kayotic Kitchen blog.
I had most of the ingredients – missed the parsley and I should have used a chunkier shaved parmesan (or more of it?) to get a better gratin effect. In any case, it turned out super yums! The trick is that 1/4 tsp of curry powder with the sauteed onions. Magic. Here is what they looked like before the oven:
Recently we’ve been reminiscing about our trip to Spain last summer and the wonderful meals we enjoyed. So, I decided to eat outside because the weather was mild and the sky was clear and beautiful, and turn the meal into a “tapas” style buffet. To accompany the stuffed zucchini I included anchovy stuffed olives, a small cheese tray, crusty bread, orange preserves, fresh cherries and mandarin oranges.
Here is the stuffed zucchini post-oven:
The girls helped me set the table making it “fancy” and fun with a hand-me-down lace tablecloth, a cute runner I have from Guatemala, and fresh flowers. I also used my grandmas pretty silver spoons (more about that story later). It’s amazing how much my girls love to participate and help out in anything out of the norm.
And I realized that doing something out of the ordinary and different from the every day routine, is also fun for me. Somehow, dinner didn’t have that “replay” effect because we changed the setting. Hummm… what next?