Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Monday, January 26, 2009


Picadillo - a very traditional dish from Mexico where the recipe varies from pne place to another. You may find it with ingredients like chopped tomatoes, raisins, almonds, green chiles, canela or even cloves. Fresh serranos might be nice!

When I was very young and living in Laredo, Texas, we had a wonderful lady named Santa that came in to clean a couple of times a week. I don't remember all that much about her, but I remember her picadillo. This recipe is my attempt to reproduce it as a tribute to her good eats.

3 T vegetable oil
1 lg onion, minced/chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb. chuck, ground
1 medium baking potato, peeled and 1/4" diced
1 t dried oregano, heaping
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne or chile arbol, ground
1 T AP flour
1 t salt
3 C beef stock
salt & pepper
tortillas - 2 per person, flour(easier) or corn (authentic)

Plate - all purpose flour, cayenne pepper, salt and dried oregano
Tray - garlic, onions, potato, ground chuck, and veg. oil; beef broth

TOPPINGS - Mix & Match
shredded lettuce
diced tomato
grated cheese (mild cheddar or Monterey Jack)
jalapeno hot sauce
Pico de Gallo
sour cream

Warm the oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Sautee the onion and garlic until translucent and softened.

Add the meat and potatoes. Stir the mixture until the meat is cooked and the potatoes are cooking as well. Stir in oregano, flour, cayenne and salt until well incorporated.

Add the beef stock and mix well. Reduce to simmer and let simmer until liquid reduces by 2/3 or so. Maybe 45 minutes to an hour or so. You do want to watch it some. Stir it occasionally to keep any ideas of sticking out of it's mind.

After it has reduced, it will resemble a very thick soup. This is a good time to take a taste and adjust with salt or pepper to suit. You will notice that, although not in the above recipe, I added a chopped up bell pepper. It was starting to turn red, so needed to be used. A perfect fit!

Time to do some plating! As you see it below, it was served on flour totillas and dressed with chopped tomato and cilantro. Many will add cheese too, I suspect. It can also be served as an entree, along with appropriate sides as Mexican rice, refried beans, or maybe a lettuce and tomato salad.

NOTE: If you want to use corn tortillas, you'll have to do a bit more. Heat about 1/2" of oil in a separate skillet until the surface shimmers. Using tongs, slide each corn tortilla into the oil until it just softens, just a few seconds. Not too long, you don't want it to harden at all. Set them out to drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag.

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