Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Spoonful of Sofrito: 40 Easy, Homemade Holiday Food Gifts

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

40 Easy, Homemade Holiday Food Gifts

Sofrito Lovers,

If you're still scrambling around for gifts for those friends or family that are impossible to shop for I suggest you do what I do: COOK SOMETHING GOOD AND CALL IT A DAY!

During the holidays, there are way too many things to stress over so don't let those folks who are impossible to please get you down. Check out this post from Good House Keeping and cook up some undeniably delicious treats.  

If they still aren't happy, then take back the treats, eat them yourself, and scratch them off your holiday list permanently.

Happy Holidays! Don't stress!  ¡Buen provecho!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Happy Holidays/Arroz con Gandules!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

Happy Holidays Sofrito Lovers!

Sofrito Lovers,

I wish you all an amazing holiday season!  Cook, eat, and have an incredible time!  My gift to you is my personal recipe for Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican style Rice with Pigeon Peas)!  I pieced this priceless recipe together from friends, cookbooks, cooking tutorials, and input from fellow foodies/cooks.

Cook, taste, and share with everyone you love! ¡Buen provecho! ¡Felicidades! Happy Holidays!

Arroz con Gandules

1 Tbsp of canola or olive oil
1 cup of Jamon de cocinar (hamsteak)
1/2 cup of Green bell pepper or light green Cubanelle pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow Onion
1 Tbsp of Sazon
1 Tbsp of Sofrito
2 minced Garlic cloves
1/2 cup of chopped Cilantro
1 Tsp of Oregano
1 1/2 cups of rice
1 15 ounces can of Gandules
1/2 cup of Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup of olives
1 1/2 cups of water
Salt to taste


1. Heat oil in a medium Caldero over medium-high heat.  Add the jamon/hamsteak and cook until it's brown and has released some oil.  Then add the onions and peppers and saute them until the onions are translucent.

2.  Add the Sazon, garlic, cilantro, and oregano and cook until fragrant (usually about 1 minute).

3. Add the rice to the Caldero.  Mix and coat the rice for a minute.  Stir in the gandules, tomato sauce, olives, 1 1/2 cups of water, and mix.  Taste the broth for salt, if necessary, add to your taste.

4. Cook uncovered until the water evaporates.  Once evaporated, gently stir the rice from the bottom up.

5. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Gently mix the rice to make sure it's tender and cooked through.  Remove the caldero from the stove top and let cool.


A Spoonful of Sofrito: Cook like Jamaican!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

Cook like a Jamaican!

Sofrito Lovers,

On a cold winter's night, there is nothing better than a plate of Curry Chicken, Brown Stew Oxtail, or Gungo Pea Soup to warm you up.  For the uninitiated, I just mentioned some of the most common and widely enjoyed Jamaican dishes. Jamaican cuisine combines African, Native, and European ingredients and cooking methods; the result is a cuisine that is simple to prepare, yet full of incredibly complex flavors.

A few months ago, I was researching Jamaican recipes online and came across Cook like a Jamaican; I instantly fell in love!  The recipes and cooking tutorials, on YouTube, are easy to follow and prepare.  

Fay DeLeon, the site manager's mother, hosts the cooking tutorials. Fay patiently walks us through the cooking process with an attention to detail that a novice like me deeply appreciates! She blends cooking techniques with good old fashion Caribbean wisdom and culture. 

I love the Curry Chicken recipe so I decided to post it here!  You must try it! Watch the video, get to cooking, and taste for yourself!  ¡Buen provecho!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Spoonful of Sofrito: 2016 Super-foods you need to try!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

 2016 Super-foods you need to try!

Sofrito Lovers, 

As 2015 winds down, some of us are thinking about which New Year's Resolutions we want to make and which ones we want to re-do for 2016.  Being an intrepid healthy foodie, I'm already researching for new 2016 Super foods I will be incorporating into my daily food adventures.

In my research, I came across another one of those handy dandy Super-food lists posted on a blog called, "Nature's Happiness."

I find the list fascinating and informative.  I'm eager to start cooking with Kefir, eating kelp salads, and sipping protein packed bone broth.

Don't get me wrong! I'm still eating Cuchifritos, Burgers, Pho, Ramen, Pasta, and all the other delicious dishes I love.  I don't believe in deprivation, diets, or denial of cravings.  I believe everything in moderation and balance.  For every fried chuleta, there should be an organic salad.  For every gooey flan, there should be a fruit salad sprinkled with organic Probiotic powder.  It's all about balance.

Click the link below for the 2016 Super food list and go taste some of these delicacies for yourselves!  Buen provecho!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Spoonful of Sofrito: El Atoradero Soft Opens in Prospect Heights

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

Denisse Lina Chavez's El Atoradero Soft Opens in Prospect Heights

 Sofrito Lovers,

I'm excited and overjoyed to re-post this amazing article from about the re-opening of El Atoradero!

Last year, I posted a review of Carnitas El Atoradero, a small Mexican restaurant in the South Bronx with some of the best food you could ever find. I was devastated when I found out  the restaurant closed down due to a rent hike. 

I heard a rumor that it had reopened somewhere in the City, but never followed up on visiting the new spot.  Imagine my sheer joy, when I received this article about El Atoradero (without the Carnitas?) opening up in Brooklyn!  Yet again, another sign from the universe that I have to start trekking out to the BK!

Folks, read up, and go taste for yourself!  ¡Buen provecho!

Denisse Lina Chavez's El Atoradero Soft Opens in Prospect Heights by

Its menu will be rotating to see what people like.

Chef Denisse Lina Chavez has started slinging her famous carnitas at El Atoradero, a Prospect Heights iteration of her now-shuttered Bronx restaurant Carnitas El Atoradero. The new restaurant at 708 Washington Ave. soft opened last week and currently has a daily rotating menu, which will be posted on the restaurant's Instagram regularly, says partner Noah Arenstein. "We’re trying out different stuff, seeing what people want," he says.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Puerto Rican Style Mac'n'Cheese

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

Puerto Rican Style Mac'n'Cheese

Sofrito Lovers,

Christmas, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day and a few other holidays are coming up pretty soon!  If you're like me, then you're looking for side dish recipes to accompany the Pernils (roasted pork shoulders), Pavos (turkey), and Pasteles (kind of like Puerto Rican tamales) that you're cooking!

The video below comes from Sweets and Beyond, which is an amazing Youtube cooking channel that I frequent.  I consider Ida, the channel host, to be one of my culinary mentors.  I l love her simple, delicious, and easy to follow recipes. Trying out her recipes has bolstered my confidence as a beginner cook.

I've posted the video for her incredible Puerto Rican Style Mac'n'Cheese recipe! Also, I've included a photo of my version of her recipe, which I cooked last night. Check out her channel, cook, and taste for yourself!  You won't regret it!¡Buen provecho!