Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Hit Restaurant Alleges NYPD Arrested Undocumented Immigrant Owner Without Cause!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

Hit Restaurant Alleges NYPD Arrested Undocumented 
Immigrant Owner Without Cause!

Sofrito Lovers,

The Foodie world is not exempt from police corruption and abuse.  I want you all to read the article below from and think about how our undocumented brothers and sisters navigate, survive, and thrive within the foodie world.

I't a lot to think about.  After you read it, go taste the amazing food at La Morada and support this extraordinary family of activists.

Hit Restaurant Alleges NYPD Arrested Undocumented Immigrant Owner Without Cause!
But police say the officer entered the restaurant “to seek refuge” and had “a safety concern”
by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya Jan 15, 2019, 3:45pm EST

The family behind critically acclaimed Oaxacan restaurant La Morada in Mott Haven, Bronx alleges that the NYPD wrongfully arrested and detained one of the restaurant’s owners — claiming that her status as an undocumented immigrant activist made her a target.

Yajaira Saavedra, an owner and the daughter of La Morada’s chef-owner Natalia Mendez, was taken into police custody on Friday, January 11th, which the family called an act of “injustice” in a statement.

The family believes police went into the restaurant because of their activism, they say: Saveedra and Mendez, who are open about their status as undocumented, have been vocal about rights for undocumented immigrants and about gentrification in the neighborhood, leading the New Yorker to call La Morada a “crucible for resistance” in the South Bronx.

But an NYPD spokesperson says in a statement to Eater that an officer entered the restaurant after making an undercover narcotics purchase from an individual “who became aggressive and began to follow her.” The officer went into La Morada “to seek refuge and avoid a physical altercation,” the statement says.

When the undercover cop identified herself as a police officer, staffers asked her to leave and began to film, the statement says. According to the NYPD, this “created a safety concern for the officer,” and that during the incident, “a female was taken into custody and released a short time later.”

Eater has also reached out to the Bronx District Attorney’s office.

Rose Weber, a civil rights attorney who has been hired by Saavedra, calls the NYPD’s version of events “a complete fabrication.”

“Anyone who knows Yajaira and her family knows that if a woman came into the restaurant in distress — no matter who that woman was — they would sit her down and comfort her and give her a cup of coffee to calm her down,” Weber says.

Saavedra tells Eater that two, not one, undercover cops came into the restaurant around 4:30 p.m. on January 11 and demanded that the restaurant be shut down due to an investigation, she alleges, though she did not get a clear answer on the purpose of it.

The officers left the restaurant when she asked them to, she alleges, but shortly after, one of them returned with about 10 other officers and arrested her. Saavedra claims they did not present her with a warrant or probable cause, and that they did not say her rights. She was taken to the 40th precinct in a van and was never told the reason for her arrest, she claims.

Saveedra’s siblings livestreamed the incident; a video of the arrest remains on the restaurant’s Facebook page and shows her being restrained by several plainclothes cops as Saveedra says that she has not been told why she is being arrested. In the video, she is led out of the restaurant, and an officer instructs the person filming to not to follow.

By 6:34 p.m., she was released without charges, but Saveedra maintains that she was never told why she had been initially arrested even while at the precinct. Weber plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit, she says, calling it “absolutely” a civil rights issue.

“I feel like mass policing is a side effect of the gentrification that’s going on in the South Bronx,” Saveedra says, “and I think we were selectively targeted by the NYPD due to our political involvement in Black Lives Matter, as well as pro-immigration efforts and abolishing ICE.”

Though she was not charged, Saavedra reiterates that any arrest by the NYPD “is not a good thing for undocumented folks.” She believes the arrest could have led to her deportation.

While NYC is a sanctuary city, undocumented residents are still at risk for detention and deportation. And while the NYPD does not typically hand detainees to ICE, according to Times, arrest information is sometimes sent to the state and then to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which ICE can then access. Since President Donald Trump took office, New York immigration-related arrests of residents without criminal records have reportedly more than tripled.

Mendez and her husband Antonio Saavedra opened La Morada in 2009. It received positive reviews since then, including from Eater’s critic Robert Sietsema and from the Times’ Hungry City column in 2015. The restaurant has reopened.

Originally publish on

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Puerto Rican Chicken Rice Soup/Asopao de Pollo!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

Puerto Rican Chicken Rice Soup/Asopao de Pollo!

Sofrito Lovers,

Winter time is soup time, that's right folks, shitty winter weather gives me the soup cravings.  But, not just any soup, I'm talking about that delicious bone-warming Puerto Rican delicacy called, Asopao de Pollo.  

Loosely translated as, Puerto Rican Thick Chicken Rice soup, Asopao is an incredible cure-all for the winter blues.  Made with hearty chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, cilantro, and cubanelle peppers, this miracle in a caldero (dutch oven) will warm your mind, body, and soul.

Check out the link below to an amazing recipe for Asopao posted on The FreakinRican YouTube channel!  Chef Derrick's recipe is unique, easy to make, and delicious!

Go taste for yourself!  ¡Buen Provecho!

The Freakin Rican
Asopao de Pollo

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Peanut Butter Ding Dongs!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

Peanut Butter Ding Dongs!

Sofrito Lovers,

This week I bring you, Peanut Butter Ding Dongs!  LIKE, FORWARD, SUBSCRIBE, AND CLICK THE NOTIFICATION BELL!

Go taste for yourself! ¡Buen Provecho!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Mexican candy taste Test!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

Mexican Candy Taste Test!

Sofrito Lovers,

Check out last night's FB Live taste test video!  I tried a stack of Mexican candies my co-worker bought me for Christmas and my birthday!  Check out the video and see if I enjoyed them or not!

Go taste for yourself!


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Flu-fighting Ginger And Garlic Soup!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

Flu-fighting Ginger And Garlic Soup! 

Picture from

Sofrito Lovers,
The old adage, "Feed a cold, starve a fear" is a bunch of horse shit.  When you're sick, good food can be as medicinal as any pharmaceutical product, if not, more!
So, if you're like me-constantly fighting a cold in winter- the recipe below from Health-Holistic-living is for you!  I won't drone on and on about the myriad healing properties of ginger and garlic, but what I will say is that I've tasted this soup and it's delicious.  I love it when roasted chicken is added to the recipe, it enhances the flavor and gives you an extra lean protein kick.
Check out the recipe below and start brewing; this soup will be a life saver for us all!  Go taste for yourself!  ¡Buen provecho! 

Flu-fighting Ginger And Garlic Soup
Read the article on the health benefits here! 

Here is a recipe by ITrustNaturalCures that combines these two superfoods into a soup, and is bound to alleviate the symptoms of colds, flus, and sinus infections.

4 green onions, finely sliced
50g of grated root ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
7 cups of chicken broth or stock (or vegetable stock for vegans)
1 finely diced medium-hot chili pepper

Place the onions, garlic, and ginger in a large pot and gently saute on a low heat for 2 minutes.
Add the stock or broth and bring the soup to the boil.
Gently simmer until all the ingredients are softened.
Add the chopped chili pepper and simmer for 5 minutes before serving with warm, crusty bread
If you are not a fan of spicy, try swap out the chili pepper and add sprinkle in some cinnamon instead for other health benefits. 

For a heartier soup, add carrots and butternut squash to the pot. Allow them to simmer until softened and then puree the soup. 

If you want to turn the cold-fighting benefits of this soup into a full meal, add sliced mushrooms, chopped broccoli, and cubed organic chicken cutlets into the pot. 
For vegan options, add beans instead of chicken. Add some wild rice or quinoa into the individual bowls and you have an easy and flu-fighting meal!

Monday, January 7, 2019

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Korean Ground Beef and Rice!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

Korean Ground Beef and Rice!

Sofrito Lovers,

I really wanted to cook Sunday night but after a whole day of running errands around the city and visiting my mother, I needed something quick simple and with little preparation.  So, I visited The Recipe Critic, one of my favorite sites, and found this awesome recipe for Korean Ground Beef.  

The ingredients alone piqued my interest! I knew I had to prepare this dish for dinner. It was simply delicious; David loved it! Whenever my finicky partner enjoys it, I know it's a hit!

Check out the recipe below and do yourself the favor of preparing this dish, I'm sure you'll love it too!

Go taste for yourself! ¡Buen Provecho!

Korean Ground Beef from The Recipe Critic

Author: Alyssa
Serves: 4


1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups hot cooked white or brown rice
sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish


In a large skillet cook the ground beef and garlic breaking it into crumbles over medium heat until no longer pink.

In a small bowl whisk brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes and pepper. Pour over the ground beef and let simmer for another minute or two.

Serve over hot rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

A Spoonful of Sofrito: NYC’s Newest Food Influencers Are Its Squirrels!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.

NYC’s Newest Food Influencers Are Its Squirrels!

A few discerning diners. Photo: WestSideRag via YouTube; WhatIsNewYork via Twitter; Henry Zhang via Facebook

Sofrito Lovers,
There's nothing better than a good ole food parody! Check out this funny article below from GrubStreet about how Squirrels are becoming the newest food influencers in NYC.

Yes, Sofrito Lovers, we're taking our cues from those annoying, yet adorable, bushy-tailed tree rats now!  It's about damn time this happened!

Read, laugh, and go taste for yourself!

NYC’s Newest Food Influencers Are Its Squirrels

Originally posted on Grub Street

Just a few days after a squirrel was spotted eating an egg roll and a few months after another went to town on an avocado, a third squirrel has entered the foodie squirrel pantheon. This time, according to the New YorkPost, the little guy chose America’s favorite cookie, the Oreo. An impressive and sound choice.