Tuesday, June 5, 2007
A year’s worth of Everyday Food has been piling up on my bookcase. When I received my first issue, most of the recipes in the magazine didn't suit my tastes. So every subsequent month, I would simply stick the latest issue on a shelf not bothering to look inside. But over the last year my tastes have definitely changed and the range of foods and dishes that appeal to me have widened greatly. Recently I needed something to read on the bus so I I brought the June issue with me. I was casually flipping through the pages expecting nothing to interest me but to my surprise I liked quite a few recipe and dog eared a few pages. Now I'm slowly working my way back, reading all the magazines that I had previously ignored. In this latest edition, I saw a recipe for pork picadillo that looked pretty good. It was really tasty over rice and I used the fillings in some empanadas that I made for Meeta's Birthday Bash Monthly Mingle.
- Since I didn’t have ancho chili powder, I used 1 tsp of regular chili powder + 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- I made a few changes to the recipe but in the end I felt like it could use a bit more spice. Next time I will up the chili powder to 2 teaspoons. In retrospect, a teaspoon of chili powder hardly seems enough to flavor 3 pounds of meat. But perhaps high quality ancho chili powder would have done the job.
- The recipe makes a lot, about 6 - 8 cups, but it freezes well.
- Other uses include: in burritos, nachos, tacos, on baked potatoes, and empanadas
Pork (or Beef) Picadillo
Adapted from Everyday Food
3 lb ground pork (or lean ground beef)
1 medium onion, diced
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 chiptole chilies (in adobo sauce), minced
1 tsp of the adobo sauce from the chiptole peppers
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp ancho chili power (or regular chili powder + smoked paprika)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I used 1 tsp whole cumin and ground it)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 - 2 bay leaves (depending on the size and potency)
1/2 tsp black pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 C raisins
Salt to taste
Optional: chopped green olives
Toppings: chopped cilantro and/or toasted almonds
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven and brown half of the ground meat, remove, add more oil to the pan, and brown the second half. Drain the fat if you’re using ground beef, pork is pretty lean so draining is unnecessary.
Pour out any accumulated fat if using beef. Add another tbsp of olive oil and add the chili powder and cumin. Bloom the spices in the oil for a few seconds then add the onions and cook until softened. Then add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the browned meat, tomatoes, chopped chilies, bay leaf, cinnamon, and ground black pepper to the pan. Add some salt but leave it a little on undersalted because the flavors will concentrate as it reduces, salt to taste after it finishes cooking.
Simmer partly covered for about 45 minutes. At the halfway point if it's still looking too liquidy, simmer uncovered for the rest of the time. 10 minutes before the dish is done, soak the raisins in some hot water. I did this to leech out some of the sugar, otherwise they're too sweet for me, and to get rid of the gross sticky coating on the outside. Soak them for about 5 minutes, drain, and squeeze the excess water out. Off heat, stir in the raisins and fish out the bay leaves.
Serve over rice with some chopped cilantro and/or chopped toasted almonds on top.