Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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June Food Penpals: My Penpal Maya

I am always excited getting packages in the mail! This June, I participated in Foodie Penpals, which is a food exchange organized by Lindsay Livingston at The Lean Green Bean. I was paired up with Stephanie. Stephanie took the time to ask what food items I like and don’t like before she put together a “taste of Miami” assortment of very interesting and DELICIOUS food for me! Everything was new to me, so my brain immediately went into overdrive as I imagined the ways I could use the items in my cooking. Here’s some of what came in the box: Goya spice mixes – adobo all-purpose seasoning and con azafran; Guava paste (a new favorite ingredient); Filled Guava Fingers (these have cheese in their centers!); Plantain chips; and Cuban Espresso. She even included a taste of her local community by including an issue of her local newspaper – a great and thoughtful idea! I was so excited to find the coffee and made some right away to enjoy with the plantain chips – I LOVE plantains!– while I scoured the internet for fun ways to use the other ingredients. After my research, I decided to make the following:

(1) Guava Paste & Queso Blanco Empanadas

These were so delicious, I will be including the recipe on my list of regular office pot-luck ideas! My cousin and her family were visiting when I made them, and they devoured the entire platter in minutes!  I used a recipe I found at cdkitchen. I followed the recipe as written, except I used pre-made empanada dough I found at my local grocery.

(2) Chicken Breasts sauteed in Tamari and Adobo seasoning

I rubbed some of the adobo seasoning all over a couple of chicken breasts (2 breasts), and marinated them for 4 hours. After sizzling some diced onions (1/2 of a medium) and garlic (2 cloves) in bacon fat (~2tbsp), I added the chicken to brown. Then I added some tamari (1/4 cup), water (1/4 cup) and a dash of vinegar (~2 tbsp), turned down the heat to where the sauce was barely bubbling, and allowed the chicken to simmer in the sauce for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to a somewhat viscous consistency. I served this over rice –got rave reviews!

(3) Seafood Paella spiced with the con azafran.

Simply tossed a couple of packets of the Con Azafran into my rice as it cooked – a great substitute for saffron, which is VERY expensive!

(4) Scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes and Con Azafran

Added some of the con azafran to a tomato-egg scramble – Exotically Yummy!

Thank you so much Stephanie for introducing me to some of your favorite foods and broadening my
culinary repertoire!

Happy in NOVA,


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