Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spanish Style Cocido Soul Fusion Style

Spanish Style Cocido- Soul Fusion Style

Cocido has been described as one of the national meals of Spain. It is a very hearty but basic meal prepared using some ingredients like chorizo, hamhocks, ham, chicken, beef, pork, etc., all simmered to make a deep rich broth along with some herbs, spices, chickpeas, cabbage, etc. Basically as many cooks as there are is how many different recipes you have for this meal.

The first time I saw a recipe for Cocido was in 1996. Emeril prepared this dish on one of his shows. I believe I copied the recipe from the Food TV internet file. I tried to search for it today but was unable to find it on FoodTV nor his own web page. Anyway, I still have my copy and though I use it as a base to remind me how to prepare the dish, I don't follow the recipe. I don't have quatities, just used my own barometer on how much I felt like adding of any ingredient.

Turkey carcus simmering to make broth. This turkey was frozen after a holiday dinner. I slowly simmered it to extract all the flavor from the bones and until the turkey fell off the bones. The bones were discarded.

Meats defrosting. This is a good example of meal that can be made from meats you may have stocked in your freezer. I used some italian sausage, holiday ham, chicken, flank steak sliced, sliced pork loin, kielbasa, and turkey from carcus.

Sliced Yellow Onions (1 large)

Minced Garlic (4-5 cloves)

Simmering meats, garlic, onion and spices to taste (red pepper flakes, bay leaf, salt, pepper)

Meats are removed from liquid.

Broth is strained and refrigerated overnight to congeal fats which are removed and discarded to make less fatty broth.

Shrimp, onions and garlic.

I also decided to make an additional side which could be added to the final presentation. I took fingerling potatoes which had been previously coOked and mixed this with shrimp, more garlic and sliced onions. This was sauteed and placed to the side.

I sliced some fresh green onions, cilantro and lemons for condiments. This is not a usal presentation for cocido, but is my Soul Fusion touch. This I took from presentation of soups such as Pho or even a gumbo presentation.

It was my intent that each diner would add what meats he/she wanted to a bowl. The shrimp and potatoes were also an option. the broth is added to the bowl and all is heated. Cilantro, green onions and juice from a lemon wedge could be added prior to eating.

Bon Appetit.

Friday, February 20, 2009

BBQ Spaghetti

With a refrigerator full of my smoked pulled pork and an invitation to a party, I decided to put together my version of BBQ spaghetti as a pot luck item. Such a simple preparation and use of competiton level pulled pork plus my own BBQ sauce, spagehtti, onion, garlic and some added seasonings.

Starting with 4 cloves of freshly minced garlic and one very large yellow onion diced.

8 ounces of frozen pulled pork was removed from freezer to thaw. Approximately 2 cups special recipe bbq sauce and 1 1/2cups tomato sauce (not pictured).

The onions were sauted in olive oil til softened and then the minced garlic was added. This mixture was sauteed for another 1-2 minutes.

The tomato sauce was added to this mixure plus about a half cup of water. Also added was 1 tablesppon dried parsely, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper and salt to taste.

The pulled pork is added and the mixture left to simmer for about 5 minutes.

The BBQ sauce is added and the mixture simmers for another 5 minutes.

The sauce is added to the cooked spaghetti and is ready to serve.

I felt the result was very good though the bbq sauce was a little sweet, I only hope the party guests enjoy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My New Toys

My BBQ Team- Four Q, will be competing in a number of events in 2009. Kristie's Place-Wishland May 9th and Stagecoach Country Music Festivsl April 25th and 26th. A number of other contests are also planned, however these two events will require a bit more equipment and tools of the trade.

Weber recently released a 22.5 inch WSM (Weber Smoky Mountain) smoker which I figured would meet my needs for pumping out lots of pulled pork. I could easily fit 8-10 pork shoulders in this baby compared to my 18.5 WSM which has a capacity of only 4. Didn't take much to convince me to buy this smoker. It meets my needs for ease of transport and I can lift the individual pieces by myself.

This smoker is in demand across the country. Amazon orders take 1 1/2 to 2 months to ship. I ordered mine in early January. My order indicated that it would ship sometime around the end of February to the end of March. I received it early (this past week) and I noticed a number of folks on the web indicated their's also arrived this past week. You can get an idea of it's size compared to my two 18.5 inch WSMs in the photos.

My urge to shop didn't end with the WSM. I'm doing my part for the economy. I found out at our last competition in Palm Desert that I didn't have the right tools to cook the chicken entry the way I felt was most competitive. One of our other team members usually does the chicken but he is intermittently available this year. I don't have a portable grill, so of course I went out and bought the 22.5 inch One Touch Weber Gold kettle. It's such a pretty blue.

Now to practicing with these new additions. I see a lot of "Q" in my future.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time For Me

Over the last couple of weeks my hubby and I made the decision that I finally must retire from my full time good paying job. Yes, in this day and age of recession, many jobs lost and an uncertain economy, I am choosing to join the ranks of the unemployed. I do have a good retirement plan, so I will continue to have an income. More important than the income is that I will have time for me and be free of the stress that comes with management positions, dealing with upper management and all along trying to be the advocate and voice of your staff to assure their needs are represented.

What are you gonna do Sylvie now that you have all of this free time coming? I'm going to clean out my closets!