25 noviembre 2015

Cacique’s #Cremalicious Instagram challenge

We’re having a blast with Cacique’s #Cremalicious Instagram challenge! This campaign organized by Society Culinaria and Cacique invites everyone to post their tasty holiday creations with the #GoAutentico hashtag.

Cacique’s cremas are truly the perfect complement to add richness and a velvety consistency to many recipes. We couldn’t be happier to become sponsored collaborators.

You can find lots of inspiration by visiting Caciqueinc.com. On their blog there are many holiday and everyday recipes to choose from, like Turkey Pumpkin Enchiladas or Chile Relleno with Vegetable Picadillo. You can also find your favorite products by searching your zip code. We found our Crema Mexicana at Cermak Fresh Market in Rogers Park.

To check all of our posts, visit our Verdelicias Instagram page. We’ll also add them here as we complete them. We hope you all enjoy a fun and delicious holiday.

Day 1: Shopping experience at Cermak. Love this simple table cream. You can easily add it to recipes or drizzle it on top of your favorite dishes.

Day 2: Family Fun. Before joining all the family fun this Thanksgiving, it's always important for us to take a moment to count our blessings. It feels even better to put it down on paper.

Day 3: Laid-back weekday meal. Huevos con tomate y crema is just what we need after a long day of work and holiday preparations. Dip in some crusty bread and enjoy!

Day 4: Thanksgiving Prep. Amarillos en almíbar con crema is a great alternative to candied yams. After frying your sliced ripe plantains, cook them in a pot with a little bit of sugar, butter, coconut rum, cinnamon sticks and Cacique's table cream. Serve them with an extra drizzle of creme and voilà!

Day 5: Family feast. Thankful for this beautiful dinner we're about to receive.

Day 6: The day after. Find a trail. Bundle up and take care of that food coma. Enjoy today.

24 noviembre 2015

A Rustic Thanksgiving

For the past few years, we’ve been on a mission to simplify the holidays. Before joining everyone for Thanksgiving, we like to cook a smaller dinner at home for the two of us. It’s an opportunity to slow down, count our blessings and prepare something a little out of the ordinary.

This year, we went for braised short ribs, which Nabol cooked beautifully with wine and veggies. We served them over a bed of couscous with lots of seasonal goodies, including pumpkin and brussel sprouts. To round it up, we baked a veggie moussaka and a traditional pumpkin pie.

For our cheese plate, we picked a simple manchego and a baked ricotta that paired nicely with our olive selection and a sweet brioche. A light Sauvingnon Blanc was our option for wine, with a few lime slices and fresh cranberries for decoration. 

Our table look very rustic with a large white table cloth from H&M, a burlap runner from Target and a folksy table napkin from World Market that we placed in the center to add a pop of color. For our serving plates, we mix and match different materials: clay, wood and white ceramic.

Everything came together with the natural accent of fresh apples, orange pomanders, burgundy Solidago and orange flowers. 

A nice walk along Michigan Avenue was all we needed to end the evening right. We hope you also enjoy the holidays and this well-deserved time off. Up next, we leave you with a couple of our recipes.

Nabol’s braised short ribs – Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Pounds of grass fed boneless short ribs 
  • 1 sprig of rosemary 
  • 1 spring of oregano
  • ½ Cup of chopped celery
  • ½ Cup of chopped carrot
  • ½ Cup of chopped onion
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 Cup of red wine
  • 4 Teaspoons of tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to taste
  • 1 Cup of vegetable broth
  1. Season the meat with salt and pepper. On a dutch oven, sear the meat with a little olive oil and place on a bowl to rest. 
  2. Use the leftover juices to sauté the veggies (celery, carrots, garlic and onions). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Once translucent, add the tomato paste, the herbs and the broth. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the wine. 
  3. Add the meat back in and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours or until meat is super tender. 

Holiday couscous - Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cup of vegetable broth
  • ¾ Cup of couscous
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to taste
  • 1 Cup of chopped brussel sprouts 
  • 1 Cup of diced pumpkin
  • ½ Cup of dried cranberries 
  1. Sauté the pumpkin with a little olive oil until soft. Place in a bowl to rest. 
  2. In a large pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the brussel sprouts and cranberries. Cook for 2 minutes before adding the couscous. Mix well, turn off the heat and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.
  3. Then, mix again, adjust the seasoning and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the pumpkin and serve. 

Veggie moussaka – Ingredients
  • 1 Large potato
  • 1 Medium eggplant
  • 1 Large zucchini 
  • ½ Onion
  • Fresh thyme to taste
  • Olive Oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Teaspoons of butter
  • ½ Cup of flour
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • 2 Egg yolks 
  • 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ Cup of Parmesan
  1. Peel your potato and eggplant. Slice all veggies very thinly, including your onion. (You can use a mandolin.) Season them separately with salt, pepper, a little thyme. 
  2. Grease a deep baking dish with a little olive and preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Layer the potatoes and cook for 25 minutes. Then, add the onions and the eggplant and cook for another 25 minutes. Then, add the zucchini and cook for 15 minutes. 
  3. While the veggies are baking, prepare the béchamel sauce in a medium sauce pan. Melt the butter and add the flour. Mix well and cook for a minute. Slowly, start adding the milk little by little until it creates a smooth sauce. Use a whisk. Add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Finally stir in the parmesan and the egg yolks.
  4. Add the sauce to the vegetables and cook in the oven until golden. Let it rest for at least 1 hour before serving.

If you miss last year's Thanksgiving for two, here is a link to all the recipes. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

17 noviembre 2015

Guacamole holiday wreath

The following post is a sponsored collaboration with the #SaboreaUnoHoy campaign and Latina Bloggers Connect

We’re getting creative with Hass avocado this holiday season! It’s the perfect ingredient to make nutrient-dense, cholesterol free recipes that can please any crowd.

Fresh Hass avocados have good fats, mono and polyunsaturated fats that help absorb nutrients from other foods. They are also incredibly versatile in the kitchen and can easily compliment any meal.

Check out what we did with a few piping bags and a simple avocado recipe! Just mash your avocado with a little garlic, salt and cilantro. Put it inside a piping bag and get creative with your guac. You can also add a little whipped cream cheese or puréed fresh red peppers for added color and flavor. (We blended the peppers with a little garlic, salt and shallots.) Sounds fun?

Join Verdelicias and Saborea Uno Hoy for a chance to win 1 of 16 prices including FitBits®, sets of Laguiole® French knives/cutting board and sets of Saborea Uno hoy Apron/Tote Bag.

Follow @SaboreaUnoHoy on Instagram, take a photo showing how you or your family loves fresh avocados this holiday season and share it on Instagram tagging @SaboreaUnoHoy and using the hashtags #SaboreaUnoHoy and #sweepstakes to enter. Additionally, 80 randomly selected fans will win an avocado cutter.

14 noviembre 2015

Panna cotta con salsa de mangó

(Scroll down for English)
Panna cotta significa “crema cocida” en italiano y se trata de un postre clásico a base de gelatina y crema. El más rico que hemos comido fue en un restaurante de vecindario llamado Italia en el pueblito toscano de Poggibonsi. La dueña del local te lo sirve muy sencillo con un poco de caramelo y sin nada de adornos. La verdad es que no necesitaba nada más.

Allí aprendimos que la clave para que quede bien cremosito es usar crema que tenga toda su grasa. Tampoco se puede substituir la crema por leche y debes dejarlo en la nevera por al menos un día entero.

Hemos probado otras versiones, con fresas y hasta con parcha, pero hace unas semanas atrás teníamos mangó en casa y decidimos experimentar. ¡Quedó buenísimo! Para que se den gusto, aquí les pasamos la receta.

Panna cotta con salsa de mangó - Ingredientes
  • 1 Mangó grande
  • ½ Taza de heavy cream
  • 1 Taza de Half and Half
  • 1 ½ Paquetito de gelatina sin sabor
  • 1 Cucharadita de extracto de vainilla
  • 1/2 Taza de azúcar 
  • Moldes pequeños de cerámica (ramekins)
  1. Para la salsa de mangó, remueve toda la fruta de la semilla. Corta en cuadritos y pásala por el procesador de alimentos. Cocínala por 15 minutos y deja que se espese. Luego, usa un colador para separar la fibra. Permite que se enfríe. 
  2. Coloca la gelatina en un envase pequeño con un par de cucharitas de agua. Mientras se expande, coloca las cremas con el azúcar en una cacerola y cocina a fuego mediano. Cuando comience a burbujear apaga el fuego y añade la gelatina y la vainilla. Mezcla bien.
  3. Vierte la mezcla en pequeños moldes de cerámica (ramekins) y deja la panna cotta descansar por un día. Antes de servir, pasa un cuchillo por los bordes del molde y coloca el molde en agua caliente por 20 segundos para que salga fácil. Sirve con la salsa de mangó. (Receta para 6 postres)

Panna Cotta with mango sauce 

Panna cotta means "cooked cream" in Italian and is a classic dessert made out of gelatin and cream. The best one we’ve tried was in a small neighborhood restaurant called Italia in the Tuscan town of Poggibonsi. The owner serves it simply with a little caramel and the truth is that it doesn’t need anything else.

At the restaurant we learned that the secret to making it super creamy is using regular full fat cream. Milk won’t work either and you need to let it set for a whole day.

We’ve tried different versions of this dessert, with strawberry sauce and even passion fruit, but a few weeks ago, we had mango at home and we decided to experiment. It was divine! The following recipe is the closest we were able to get to that Italian recipe.

Panna Cotta with mango sauce – Ingredients
  • 1 Large mango
  • ½ Cup of heavy cream
  • 1 Cup of half & half
  • 1 ½ Packets of unflavored gelatin 
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ Cup of sugar
  • Small ramekins 
  1. For the mango sauce, remove the pit and skin and chop the fruit small. Run it through the food processor and cook for 15 minutes. Strain it to remove the fiber. Let it cool.
  2. Place the gelatin on a small bowl with a couple of teaspoons of water. Meanwhile, cook the cream, the half & half and the sugar on medium heat. When it starts to bubble turn the heat off and add the gelatin and vanilla extract. Stir well.
  3. Pour the panna cotta in the little ramekins and let it rest in the fridge for a day. Before serving, run a knife around the edge of the mold and dip the mold half way in warm water for 20 seconds, so it comes out easily. Serve with the mango sauce. (Makes about 6 desserts)

08 noviembre 2015

Tempranillo: our table wine for the holidays

We’re gearing up for a very busy holiday season and finding all the right details to make our dinner table shine. Our wine of choice is definitively one of those. We want to pick something with personality and is also enjoyable for everyone.

Tempranillo wines happen to be a very popular wine back home in Puerto Rico. They are bold and fruity, with notes of cherry and stone fruit, and coat the glass of wine beautifully. It’s a sign of our Spanish heritage that lives on and it’s the good stuff you want to serve your special guests with an elegant dinner or get-together.

It’s such a good wine that it even has its own #TempranilloDay on November 12th. It comes from Rioja, Spain. It actually occupies more than 75% of the vineyards in Rioja and what makes it so unique is that the red grapes used for the wine are harvested early being the reason why it’s called tempranillo. 

We like a tempranillo called Muga, Reserva 2011. It’s a well-balanced smooth wine that pairs with pretty much everything, which is why it’s our wine of choice for the holidays.

To make it pop on our table when guests arrive, we’ll place it in a basket with a nice white cloth to integrate it with all of the elements that make our table ours. 

Pairing tip: If you get the Muga tempranillo, try it with jammie things like a good pasta de guayaba with cheese. Or add fruit to hearty salads, like our roasted brussel sprout salad with dried cranberries and walnuts. Just roast everything with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. (A little goat cheese is optional too!)

You can learn more about this wine at the Rioja Wine page or follow them @RiojaWine for inspiration. You are also invited to celebrate #TempranilloDay by just following the hashtag. Happy holidays!

30 octubre 2015

Encurtidos de watermelon radish

(Scroll down for English)
Los watermelon radishes están en temporada. Estos rábanos son una versión nativa de los rábanos típicos chinos. Son tan bonitos y coloridos que se me antoja ponerlos en todo: tostadas, ensaladas, en tacos y como un detallito sobre las sopas. El fin de semana pasado decidimos transformarlos también en unos pickles que le dan un toquecito avinagrado y refrescante a nuestros platillos.

Todo lo que necesitas es un frasco de cristal, vinagre y algunas especias. Estarán listos en unos dos días, pero los puedes dejar en la nevera hasta por un mes. Pruébalos en casa. Serán una grata sorpresa en tu próxima cena con amigos.

Encurtidos de watermelon radish – Ingredientes
  • 2 Watermelon radishes grandes
  • 1 Diente de ajo, cortado a la mitad
  • 2 ½ Tazas de vinagre blanco
  • 1 Cucharadita de sal
  • 1/3 Taza de azúcar
  • ½ Taza de agua
  • 1 Cucharadita de pimienta en granos rosa

  1. Corta los rábanos en lascas finas. Colócalos en el frasco con todos los ingredientes.
  2. Manténlos en la nevera por al menos dos días antes de comerlos. Cada vez que abras la nevera, aprovecha para agitar el frasco suavemente, de manera que se incorporen bien los sabores. 
  3. Sírvelos como condimento para tacos, en sándwiches y ensaladas. Pruébalos también sobre tostones con aguacate y queso fresco. ¡Buenísimo!

Pickled watermelon radish

Watermelon radishes are in season, an heirloom version of the Chinese daikon radish. They are so gorgeous and colorful, I want to put them in just about everything: tartines, salads, in veggie tacos, as topping for soups. Last weekend we decided to try something different by turning them into deliciously tart pickles that add a fresh dimension to our dishes.

All you need is a large glass jar, vinegar and some spices. They will be ready in about two days, but you can keep them in the fridge for up to a month. Give them a try. They will be a nice surprise in your next gathering with friends.

Pickled watermelon radish - Ingredients
  • 2 Large watermelon radishes
  • 1 Garlic clove, sliced in half
  • 2 ½ Cups of white vinegar 
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 Cup of sugar
  • ½ Cup of water
  • 1 Teaspoon of pink peppercorns 
  1. Slide the radishes thinly. Place them in the jar with all the ingredients. 
  2. Keep them in the fridge for two days before eating. Every time you open the fridge, shake the jar to make sure the flavors incorporate nicely. 
  3. Serve them as a toping for tacos, on sandwiches and salads. Or top some tostones with cubed avocado, queso fresco and our radishes. So good!