Tag Archives: stew

Salmorejo de jueyes (Land Crab Stew)

24 Jul
Click photo which I borrowed from http://www.stjohnbeachguide.com/index.htm

Click photo which I borrowed from St. John Beach Guide for more info on prepping

There are a number of land crab species skittering about Caribbean coastlines. Some are edible and the one we eat most here in Puerto Rico (although I am told they mostly are imported from Venezuela these days) is Cardisoma guanhumi which we call juey and — if you are English-speaking — you might call the blue land crab.

If you live in South Florida, you might call it a pest. You should actually be calling it lunch!

Your sofrito

Your sofrito

Salmorejo de jueyes, or stewed land crab, is a delicacy in Puerto Rico. Crabs that are caught are typically held for a few days in a chicken wire cage and fed corn or other vegetable scraps to clean the system. Here’s a link to how they prep them in St. John’s. Folks drive miles on a Sunday to inland restaurants with a good reputation for salmorejo.

You can substitute fish broth

You can substitute fish broth

My dad recently got a pint of meat already prepared and out of the shell (although the carapaces — main body shell — is important for flavor and left in) from the Plaza de Mercado de Mayagüez on a recent Puerto Rico trip and set about making by far the best salmorejo I have ever had. We sucked on the shells and licked the plates.

Cook it up good!

Cook it up good!

So without further ado: salmorejo de jueyes. Continue reading

Advertisements

Guingambó Guisado (Stewed Okra) Even if you think it’s gooey, you’ll like the food history

18 Jul

In Puerto Rico we call it guingambó (geen-gahm-BOH) or variations on that word, which seems to derive from the original African term for it. You may know it as okra (which may be another African derivative) or ladyfingers for the elegant shape of its conical pods. Usually bright green, there are gorgeous red varieties too (the red color doesn’t really hold up in cooking, unfortunately). It’s available year-round in hot places, but in the Northeast, it is a summer to early fall vegetable.

From the farmer's market

From the farmer’s market

It is said to originate in Abbysinia/Ethiopia/Eritrea and made its way across Africa and eventually to the Americas where it was particularly embraced in the Caribbean and Southern — especially French –U.S. There were loads of Africans imported against their will to those regions but okra came with them and it happens to grow well there. And they had to do a lot of the cooking so they incorporated it in creative ways.

Chop Chop!

Chop Chop!

Gumbo, that deservedly beloved stew cook-up from the New Orleans area,was thickened with okra and probably gets its name from that same African word that sounds like guingambó, although you might think that “gummy” has something to do with it too. After all, that gooey stuff inside called “mucilage” definitely brings things together. Today it is gaining popularity amongst non-Southern, non-Caribbean people and that is a good thing! You can bread and fry it, which is on my list to try soon, and when my CSA farm has some I will eat it raw and love it up, but the way I adore it is stewed.

A little ham for sweetness and depth

A little ham for sweetness and depth

My dad claimed not to like okra for the usual reason: TOO GOOEY! But then I brought some red okra home fresh from an organic farm in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico (Productos Sana) and he went at it and changed his mind. Funnily enough, my late maternal grandmother (Puerto Rican) used to make a delicious stew. My dad (Aruban), in his experimenting, inadvertently ended up creating the same dish with nearly the same flavors as she used and I am very happy!

This was the version before Pedro was scolded into chopping it in rounds

This was the version before Pedro was scolded into chopping it in rounds the way my grandmother did. Easier to eat.

The recipe is below, but first, a few valuable links for food history nerds. Continue reading

Chick Pea, Sausage and Winter Squash/Calabaza Stew

9 Nov

Soup and stew season is upon us!

Funnily enough, I was working on a story on Indian food for Edible Long Island when I spotted my kind of calabaza in the pumpkin section of Patel Brothers (a nationwide chain of Indian/South Asian groceries stores) in Hicksville, and made sure to buy a big hunk on the way out after my interview with the manager.

Calabaza

Calabaza

I say “funnily”, not just because I found Caribbean calabaza in an Indian shop — which in and of itself has some sort of sardonic Christopher Columbus karma about it — but that because of immigration patterns, i can no longer find the Puerto Rican variety in Latin groceries where it belongs. All the Puerto Ricans have married out or moved out and been replaced by Central Americans who use kabochas or some other varieties which are not quite right for me!

(For more on calabaza and a classic Puerto Rican rice and beans recipe, click here!)

This smells ever so good bubbling up on the stove....

This smells ever so good bubbling up on the stove….

So, the calabaza inspired me to soak some garbanzos, dig out some chicken andouille from Aidell’s that was in my freezer and get busy making stew. I brought some to my colleague Jainy, who is from India and was my guide through the research for the article, and she loved this different treatment of pumpkin. So did her mom, apparently, which is high praise indeed. They had them with parathas…I love New York and our jumble of cultures!

Thick and delicious and packed with interesting textures!

Thick and delicious and packed with interesting textures!

Chick Pea, Andouille and Winter Squash Stew

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Cup onion, chopped

1 Cup green pepper, chopped

1-2 Tbs garlic, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

1 Cup andouille or other spicy heat and serve sausage

4 Cups cooked squash or pumpkin in the cooking liquid

2 Bay leaves

1 tsp oregano

2 Cups garbanzos, drained

Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot until fragrant. Saute the onion for a minute at medium, then add the green pepper, cook another minute, then the garlic, cook another minute, then add the tomato and allow it all to cook at low for another five minutes, adding a bit of oil if you need more moisture.

Stir in the sausage and raise the temperature to medium high. Add the sausage and sauté for 2 minutes or until it stats to brown. Then add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. Serve with rice or couscous.

 

Garbanzos con chorizo (Chick peas and chorizo – the last of the hearty winter meals?)

1 May

Spring is definitely here – rain, fresh green smells, vegetable garden popping up all lively and bright, lily of the valley spreading lush fragrance low to the ground, lilacs towering above and spreading their own heady perfume, birds and bees doing their spring dances, kids going mental.

But there is still a chill in the air, especially at night, and there is certainly time for one or two more heavy comfort meals.

One of my favorite is Garbanzos con chorizo – chick peas or ceci with Spanish hot sausage. I don’t make it that often, because the little guy won’t eat garbanzos (yet), but after the crazed month or two I’ve just put behind me, I deserved to slather on some favorites.

Here it is – simple as pie and tasty as all get out.

Garbanzos con chorizo 

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 Tbs sofrito, if using prepared, 3-4 ice cubes worth if using homemade frozen (see Sofrito for Freezing) or follow the recipe below for making fresh sofrito to order*

3-4 oz Spanish-style spicy chorizo sausage (you may substitute hot dry Italian sausage, or one of those hot supermarket brands that comes fully cooked), peeled and chopped into 1/4” pieces.

2 Tbs tomato paste

15 oz can diced tomato

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs dried oregano

¼-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

1 pint soaked garbanzos (or 2 15 oz cans, rinsed and drained)

Heat oil in a large saucepan at medium-high until fragrant. Stir in onions to coat, then lower heat and sauté, about five minutes. Add garlic and sofrito and cook until fragrant. Add chorizo and heat until it begins to release its oil, then immediately add tomato, cumin, oregano, salt to taste and garbanzos. Cook at a lively simmer for 20 minutes and serve over rice.

*Here is a quick sofrito recipe that will work for this dish if you are actually making it to order. If using this sofrito recipe, do not use additional onion. The garlic stays the same.

SOFRITO

  1. 3 Tbs olive oil
  2. 3 oz ham steak or jamón para cocinar, diced (optional in this dish)
  3. 1 oz bacon, chopped rustically (optional in this dish)
  4. 1 green cooking pepper (cubanelle or Italian pepper), diced
  5. 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  6. 6 culantro leaves (recao), minced
  7. 4 sweet small peppers called ají dulce in Hispanic markets (do NOT purchase Jamaican ají or scotch bonnet! They look the same but the Jamaican/scotch bonnet are HABANEROS, deadly hot and inappropriate for this dish!) seeded and minced
  8. ½ Cup cilantro leaves, minced

Heat olive oil in whichever sauce pan you are making your dish in. Add ham and bacon, if using; cook until done (bacon can be crisp) then add other ingredients and saute until soft and fragrant.

%d bloggers like this: