Welcome to my blog. My blogging journey began about in August 2009 as a photo-a-day blog which has since transitioned to combine my love of good food and photography. Today, using as many local and fresh ingredients as we can, my boyfriend and myself spend time researching recipes, making our own adaptations, cooking, taking photos, eating, and finally reflecting on all or part of the above listed process here. I hope you take the time to not only read and look at our photos, but please cook some of the recipes yourself. You are invited and encourage to leave feedback as we continue our culinary journey!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Patatas Bravas with Chicken and Veggies

I do admit that much of my cooking is Spanish influenced after living there. I do plan on branching out to try other international foods (possibly some Indian, Mexican, something Asian), but I always seem to steer back to the traditional Spanish tapas that I love so much. I have perfected Salmorejo but am still working on the others, including Spanish tortilla and patatas bravas. I've also decided to add another traditional Spanish dish to my repertoire---pulpo a la gallega, which was one of my favorites when I lived in Spain. Pulpo is octopus in Spanish, and when I was shopping in Whole Foods for the sushi meat, I discovered they sell octopus!

Anyways, I guess that is something to look forward to in the future. This week I decided to try patatas bravas, a spicy potato appetizer/side dish, after D told me it was one of his favorites. The dish actually turned out quite well, and we cooked it with some chicken and vegetables.

Patatas Bravas
1 lb small yukon gold potatoes
2tbs red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (I think you are actually supposed to use 3 dried red chilies, but we improvised)
1/2 teaspon cumin
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
1 red or green pepper

Start by boiling the potatoes for about 10 minutes, and then drain the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into small pieces and afterward heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and add the potatoes. The potatoes will need to cook until they are golden and slightly crispy (maybe 20-30 minutes). While they are cooking, cut the garlic into pieces and mix with the red pepper flakes, cumin, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. It is helpful to have a mortar and pistil for this, but if you don't have one it is possible to improvise (like we did). Also while the potatoes are cooking, slice the bell pepper into strips. After the potatoes are golden, add the bell pepper strips and the brava sauce to the potatoes and cook approximately five more minutes.

Chicken and Veggies
Chicken breast or thighs
1 tomato
small onion
dried porchini mushrooms
marinade sauce
cooking wine

This is a recipe that Daniele and I cook frequently, whenever we want to have some chicken mixed with some vegetables. It works well with whatever we have and is very easy. First, we cut the chicken into small cubes and pour some marinade on the chicken. We have a sun dried tomato marinade that we have been using and like very much. While the chicken is marinating, we slice the veggies, in this case: onion, tomato, and broccoli. The broccoli will need to be boiled or steamed for about 5 minutes before cooking it with the chicken. If using porchini mushrooms, they will need to soak in hot water for about 5 minutes to rehydrate before cooking with the chicken. After the veggies are sliced, start by cooking the onion. After 2-3 minutes add the tomatoes and the chicken mixture. When the chicken is approximately halfway cooked, add the broccoli and porchini mushrooms. (We also added some of the water the porchini mushrooms were soaking in to give the chicken some extra mushroom flavor). Add chicken wine to taste and cook for approximately 10 more minutes before serving.

And of course, enjoy!

Today is a rainy day in Chicago, therefore D and I are having a cooking spree. Homemade egg noodles, gnocchi, and pesto sauce coming up! Daniele will be happy, I think he feels slighted that we haven't had any traditional Italian pasta recipes on the blog yet.

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