ROASTED CORN AND BACON WAFFLES

Fresh corn on the cob is in season, and we always try to take advantage of the harvest before it’s over. Our favorite way to prepare fresh corn is to boil it for a few minutes, slather it with butter, season it with salt and pepper, and eat it directly off the cob. In our family, there are those who use the circular approach, eating the kernels in orderly fashion as they turn the ear of corn in their hands, and there are those who use “the typewriter” approach, working systematically from one end of the ear to the other before starting over. Either way seems to work.

Very atypically, we had some boiled ears left over after a recent meal, but I didn’t want them to go to waste. My first thought was to make corn soup or chowder. That can be delicious as we found out when Sarah and Evan served it at one of their demonstrations in Shreveport. Then I remembered, I had some leftover bacon (Is there such a thing as leftover bacon?) and that made me think of waffles.

First, I cut the corn kernels off the cob using my special corn cutter. It really doesn’t work all that well, but it is one of those gadgets I am reluctant to throw away. I think a sharp chef’s knife works as well or better. I roasted the corn by popping it in a medium oven for twenty minutes until some of the kernels were lightly caramelized. Then I added the roasted kernels to the cornmeal-based waffle batter and went from there.  Here’s the recipe.

Corn kernel cutting tool

Corn kernel cutting tool

Waffle iron

Waffle iron

 

Roasted corn

Roasted corn

Roasted corn and bacon waffles with butter and maple syrup

Roasted corn and bacon waffles with butter and maple syrup

RECIPE

Roasted Corn and Bacon Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 ears boiled corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup melted bacon fat
  • 8 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch squares

Method

  1. Cut the kernels of  corn off the cobs with a sharp knife or with a special tool. Place the cut kernels in a rimmed baking sheet and place in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 350° F. Turning every five minutes, roast the corn kernels until they are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Then stir in the buttermilk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cornmeal, whisking together with a spoon or fork
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients until smooth
  5. Stir in the roasted corn kernels.
  6. Add the bacon fat, and stir until incorporated.
  7. Ladle the batter into a heated waffle griddle, making sure the corn is well mixed in.  Then sprinkle 4 to 6 bacon pieces on each waffle segment.
  8. When the waffles are brown, repeat until the batter is used up.
  9. Serve the waffles while still warm with a poached or fried egg on top or with butter and maple syrup.
  10. Makes 8 to 10 4½ inch square waffles.

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A TALE OF TWO PEACH ICEBOX PIES: STRAWN’S EAT SHOP REVISITED

During our recent visit to Shreveport, we stopped at our old neighborhood haunt several times. The chicken-fried steaks, hamburgers, and fries were all tasty and much as we remembered them. But the main purpose of our frequent visits was to get a slice of one of their famous icebox pies. Strawberry is probably the most popular, but the fresh peach and coconut cream are not far behind. Although the names identify the fillings, the rest of the contents are very similar: a good down-home crust, a layer of custard, the fruit, and real whipped cream on top that hides the contents. To assist the serving staff, every pie has a slice of fruit plunked down in the middle of the whipped cream. You can buy a whole pie and take it home. Many folks do that, and we did, too, but an honest-to-goodness North Louisiana lunch consists of the plate special of the day, along with sweetened iced tea (Is there any other kind in Louisiana?) and a big slice of pie.

Sarah decided to create a new dessert for Rich Table based upon Strawn’s peach pie. Hers became a deconstructed version with dollops of custard and whipped cream topped with fresh peaches. Along side were pie-crust sables. It turned out to be a very sophisticated dessert that became a big hit the first night it appeared on the menu.

The deconstructed version of peach icebox pie served at Rich Table, San Francisco

The deconstructed version of peach icebox pie served at Rich Table, San Francisco

My version is a little more straightforward: cream pie topped with fresh peaches and whipped cream. Since peaches are in season right now, it is a perfect dessert for a patio meal at sunset.

RECIPES

Almond Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons ice water

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in the beaker of a food processor fitted with the metal blade
  2. Pulse several times and then process until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Remove the ball of dough from the processor and wrap with plastic film. It may be a little sticky from the heat of the blade. That’s ok. It will firm up in the refrigerator.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. When you are ready to bake the crust, press the dough into the bottom and along the sides of a 9 inch metal pie pan, forming an edge of dough on the rim of the pie pan.
  5. Pierce the bottom and sides of the crust all over with a fork. Bake in the middle of an oven pre-heated to 425° F for 12 to 14 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely in preparation for filling.

Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten until smooth and slightly foamy
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Method

  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and turn off the heat
  2. Combine the sugar, four, and salt in a medium bowl. Very slowly pour the hot milk into the dry mixture, whisking continuously to prevent lumps of flour from forming. As you add the milk, you can increase the rate of pouring until it has been completely added to the mixture.
  3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and adjust the heat to medium. Stirring continuously, heat the mixture slowly until it boils and thickens.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool for a minute. Beat in the egg yolks. Then return to the heat, and return to the boil for one minute. Remove from the heat, and beat continuously for another minute, allowing it to cool slightly.
  5. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and butter until they are completely incorporated. Transfer to a bowl. Cover directly with plastic film and refrigerate for at least one hour until you are ready to assemble the pie.

Peaches and Whipped Cream Topping

Ingredients

  • 5 medium ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar (or to taste)

Method

  1. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 10 seconds and then cool
  2. Peel the blanched peaches and cut them into slices. Sprinkle with sugar and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
  3. When you are ready to assemble the pie, whip the cream with confectioner’s sugar until it forms  stiff peaks.

Assembly

  1. Spread the pastry cream evenly on the bottom of the pie shell.
  2. Drain the peach slices if necessary, and arrange over the top of the pastry cream
  3. Cover the peaches completely with the whipped cream. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

 

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DILLED-SALMON PANZANELLA – ITALIAN BREAD SALAD

It’s summer, and the perfect time for a refreshing salad. In our family, recipes for panzanella, the traditional Italian bread salad, are currently all over the place. Sarah and Evan made a version for their cooking demonstrations in Shreveport that included pork from their pig-butchering demonstration. Now they have a recipe in the July issue of Food and Wine (pages 172-173)  for a version that uses rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and fresh strawberries. Carol in Los Angeles made her recipe for us during our recent visit there. Hers was a more classic rendition that was equally delicious and went well with barbecued pork ribs.

Here is my spin. It contains Romaine lettuce and salmon, which are not included in  traditional recipes, but I think they add to the flavors.  I know, I know -salmon doesn’t even sound Italian, but Marcella Hazan has two salmon recipes and a commentary in her  Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1992). I felt justified in using salmon. Try to use wild-caught fish if you can, but farmed salmon will also work. If you don’t like salmon, then shrimp or shell fish would probably also be tasty.

As well, don’t even bother trying the recipe if you don’t have a good quality artisanal rustic loaf of bread, or the end result will be a limp dough ball. The bread in this recipe was the farm loaf from a wonderful local artisanal bakery, Sage Bakehouse.

RECIPE

Dilled-Salmon Panzanella

Ingredients

  • 4-6 ounces salmon fillet, pin bones removed
  • fish stock, enough to cover salmon
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dill fronds
  • salt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 large Santa Fe Grande pepper, seeded and sliced into ¼ inch rings (any sweet yellow pepper may be substituted)
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 cups 1-inch bread cubes (4 1-inch slices of a good artisanal rustic loaf should yield about 4 cups. Remove crusts if you like)
  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small snacking cucumbers cut into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 Romaine heart washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a saucepan large enough to hold the salmon, bring the fish stock to the boil, and then reduce to simmer. Add the prepared salmon and poach for 5 minutes or until cooked through, turning once. Remove the salmon to a plate to cool
  2. Remove the skin from the cooled salmon, and with a fork, pull the fish into bite-sized pieces. Place in a covered dish, salt to taste, and add the chopped dill. Chill in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to add to the salad.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, anchovies, and capers into a coarse paste. Transfer to a small bowl and add  the pepper rings along with ¼ cup of olive oil and the vinegars. Mix well and let stand at room temperature until ready to assemble the salad.
  4. Slice the red onion into rounds, preferably suing a mandoline, and place in ice water until ready to be drained and added to the salad.
  5. On a small rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the bread cubes with the remaining olive oil, and place in the middle of an oven preheated to 350° F. Toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. When the bread cubes are lightly browned, remove from the oven to cool.
  6. Place the bread cubes in your serving bowl. Cut one of the tomatoes into large chunks and squeeze over the bread, using a food mill to release the juice and bits of pulp, leaving skins and seeds behind. Stir the bread cubes so they absorb the juices and let stand for 10 minutes. (Actually, I used a potato ricer, which is much easier to clean than my food mill)
  7. Blanch the remaining 2 tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds. Cool, peel, seed, and cut into ½ inch chunks.
  8. Assemble the salad by adding the  peppers and their marinade, drained red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce to the bowl of bread cubes. Gently stir in the salmon and chopped dill. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Toss and serve immediately.

 

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CREAMED PEAS, NEW POTATOES, AND PEARL ONIONS – BOUNTY FROM THE FARMERS MARKET

I went to the farmers market this weekend and was surprised to find that the fruits and vegetables usually available this time of year were missing. We live at 7,000 feet, so the growing season is usually later than in other parts of the country. We also had a late spring,  and things are just behind schedule. On top of that, I’ve recently visited farmers markets in Southern California, Texas, and Louisiana where the season is much further along.

The market did have a lot of greens and root vegetables, but not many stone fruits or tomatoes. I found a few heirloom tomatoes that had been grown under protective tents. I’m going to use those to make panzanella. I also found the first peaches of the season, and I plan to use those for my version of Strawn’s Café Famous Peach Ice Box Pie.

The big finds, though, were green shell peas and tiny new potatoes. When I was growing up, we always planted green peas by Saint Patrick’s Day to assure a good crop. Then, when they came in, my grandfather, father, and I would sit on the back step, eating them raw, fresh out of the pod. In the American South, green peas are called English peas to distinguish them from the black-eye, Crowder, purple hull, and cream peas that are so important there. I don’t know what the English call green peas. Maybe one of my blogger friends from the UK can help me out.

The freshly dug potatoes looked delicious, and at one stand they had been carefully sorted by size, so that one basket was filled with tiny potatoes no more than an inch and a half across and all practically the same size. Boiled new potatoes like those are among the luxuries of early summer.

All of that reminded me of one of my favorites of childhood: creamed peas, new potatoes, and pearl onions. So that’s what I made for supper. Even though that’s an old-timey dish, it was every bit as good as I remembered.

RECIPE

Creamed Peas, New Potatoes, and Pearl Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 pound small new potatoes, washed
  • 1 cup pearl onions, fresh or frozen
  • 1½ pounds unshelled green peas, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill fronds, snipped

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, return to the boil and cook until the potatoes are pieced with a cooking fork, about 20 minutes. They should be not quite cooked through.
  2. Add the pearl onions and return to the boil for another 5 minutes. Then add the peas and boil for another 5 minutes or until the peas are done. Drain.
  3. In the meantime, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. The mixture should be foaming. Stir for a few minutes to cook the flour.
  4. Pour in the milk and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. It is alright if it begins to boil, but at that point remove from the heat.
  5. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add sesame oil to taste. Be gingerly, as sesame oil can be overpowering. Stir in the snipped dill
  6. Pour the sauce over the drained vegetables. Mix until well combined. Serve immediately.
  7. Serves two to four as a side dish.

 

 

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CHOCOLATE VELVET ICE CREAM

Our older daughter, Carol, loves to cook. During our recent visit to help her unpack, we thought that we would order a lot of take-out, but she insisted on cooking in the midst of unpacking, dealing with repairmen and installers, working as a full-time attorney, and serving as scheduler and chauffeur for many adolescent activities. Never mind her role as a health care activist.

Carol is a great all-around cook, but her specialty is desserts for which she always gets her kids to “help”. Mostly because of that, we usually gain at least five pounds on any visit to Los Angeles.

This time, she made some delicious outdoor meals (It is summer near the beach in Southern California, after all.) along with two outstanding desserts: a cherry/peach tart made from fruit she bought at the farmers market, and this chocolate velvet ice cream.

The original recipe for the ice cream was published in the August, 1997 issue of Gourmet magazine. It is now on the web at the Epicurious web site where it gets a four fork user rating, and 88% of correspondents say they would make it again. . It has enough chocolate for even the most serious chocoholic and is amazingly creamy and smooth. Chocolate ice cream is my grandson’s favorite dessert, so he was in heaven and enthusiastically helped with the preparation.

You will need an ice cream maker, but the handy little Cuisinart countertop model will work just fine.

The original recipe called for Dutch-process cocoa, which I was unable to find in my local grocery stores. The so-called “natural” cocoa is more common in the USA, although you can probably find the Dutch version if you look hard. You can also order it on the internet. According to Harold McGee in his classic On Food and Cooking, Revised, Scribner, New York, 2004, p. 705 “dutching” is the process of alkalinizing cocoa with potassium carbonate. That gives it a smoother taste, but it also means that in baking you may need to use baking powder because the cocoa won’t react with baking soda to give a rise. Since there is no baking here, it’s fine to substitute natural cocoa in this recipe although it may give a sharper, more bitter taste to the final product. In my view, that is not enough to worry about.

Also, you will notice that the recipe for the custard is basically a chocolate crème anglaise finished off with a ganache. How can you possibly go wrong with that combination? After you have chilled the custard you will see that it is quite dense. For that reason, it is important to beat it until it is lighter and more fluffy before you spin it in the ice cream maker. In the end, the ice cream is like eating a frozen chocolate pot de crème because that is basically what it is. This recipe makes about 1 quart of ice cream.

RECIPE

Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate nibs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened  cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks

Method

  1. Chop the chocolate or measure out the chocolate nibs and set aside.
  2. In a 4 quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cream and milk with a whisk. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks until smooth  in a bowl large enough to contain the milk and cream mixture.
  4. Whisking the eggs continuously, pour the hot milk and cream mixture very slowly into the beaten yolks. You may scramble the eggs if you add the hot mixture too quickly. If that happens, you will have to start over.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan, set over medium low heat, whisking constantly. Use a thermometer so that the temperature does not rise too quickly, especially toward the end of cooking. Otherwise, you will again get scrambled eggs and have to start over.
  6. When the mixture reaches 170° F (79 °C) , remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. Continue whisking until the chocolate is completely melted.
  7. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl. Use a sieve, chinois, or tamis. Cover the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
  8. When you are ready to spin the ice cream, beat the custard with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy. Then transfer to the freezing vessel of the ice cream mixer and spin until the ice cream has reached the desired consistency, probably about 45 minutes.
  9. Ripen the ice cream by transferring it to an air-tight container and storing in the freezer until hard – at least 2 hours.

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THE TRAIN FROM HELL (OR IS IT TO?)

Our older daughter and her family just moved into a “new” house, so we decided to spend some time with them to help unpack. We have driven the Interstate many times, and it has become very boring. We have also flown to LAX many times, and that also has its own stressors. That inspired us to think about riding the Amtrak from our home station in Lamy, New Mexico to Union Station in Los Angeles. The trip was supposed to start at 2 PM, catching the Southwest Chief that had originated in Chicago at 8 AM and arriving in Los Angeles at around 8 AM the next morning. At least that was what was supposed to happen.

The day before our trip we received an e-mail announcement that the train would be 24 minutes (very specific) late because of delayed connections from the East Coast in Chicago. That seemed innocent enough.

The day of our travel, just as we were about to go out the door to go to the train station, we received another e-mail stating that the train would now be 4 hours late. OK. We hung around home a little while longer and then our neighbor took us for the drive to Lamy. When we arrived, we learned that the train would be even more delayed. The report was that it had been through some very heavy wind and rain storms. The engine struck a fallen tree lying across the tracks, so the engine had to be inspected and a second engine was added just in case. That seemed like cautious good judgment.

Finally, the train pulled into the station at 8 PM, a full six hours late, and we abandoned our plans to enjoy the scenery of New Mexico as the darkness enveloped us even before we got to Albuquerque. Still, we thought we might be able to enjoy the scenery on the other end the next morning. (Barstow??)

We had the car attendant make up our births and we went to sleep, expecting to awaken somewhere in California. That was not to be. The train came to a dead stop in Gallup and didn’t move for two hours. It seems that a drunk had driven his car around the flashing guard gates and smashed his car into the ill-fated engine. He survived without injury, but the engine again was subjected to a careful evaluation. As well, only emergency power was available while they checked the engine. That meant that the toilets did not work and there was no water for 2 hours with a train full of people.  Enough said.

Finally, the train started up again and made it to Winslow, Arizona, a highway distance of only about an hour and a half. Then it ground to a halt. By this time, the engineer and the conductor had used up their travel time so that a new crew had to be brought in from someplace else in order to complete the trip. After another 2 hours or so, the new crew arrived, and the train resumed its travel. By now we were over 12 hours late, but we were assured that the crew “would make up time across the desert.” Nothing like that happened, and the dining car and lounge car staffs were beginning to worry about running out of food as additional provisions had not been arranged.

Which might have been not all bad. It is a pleasure to watch the scenery while you have a meal served with silverware and a cloth napkin, but the flimsy plastic “china and glassware” flew off the table when I tried to puncture one of the slippery whole cherry tomatoes in the salad. In fairness, the staff was very accommodating and just as frustrated as the passengers at being 12 hours late, but their solicitousness didn’t make up for the food.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a worthwhile food image to make or a dish that I wanted to try to replicate when I got home. On the other hand, my daughter outdid herself with cooking in her new kitchen – barbecue and all the trimmings, panzanella, chocolate velvet ice cream, and cherry-peach crumble. On top of that, she took us to a local seafood restaurant where we feasted on cioppino, raw oysters, and linguine with steamed fresh clams and clam broth.

As to the train, we arrived over 12 hours late, but there turned out to be some very special parts of the trip. We got to see some beautiful scenery around Flagstaff, Arizona, and we met some very nice fellow travelers at the dining table as well as outstanding staff members in the station attendant in Lamy, our railcar attendant, and the wait staff in the dining car. In fact, we would even be willing to chance another trip to Los Angeles.  Surely, there can only be one train from (to?) Hell.

 

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ROPA VIEJA

Old clothes – that’s what it means in Spanish for reasons I’m not sure about, although the explanation I’m most attracted to is that the stew looks like clothes in the wash tub. At the same time, when I enjoy the dish I always think of the plaza at the foot of the Santa Fe Bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez surrounded by warehouses filled with old clothes and signs on the fronts that read “Ropa Usada” (used clothes) where old clothingis sold by the pound.

None of this has anything to do with this delicious Cuban classic for which I developed a hunger for. Unfortunately, our Cuban restaurant recently went out of business, so the only way to satisfy my craving was to make it myself, along with the usual accompaniment, yellow rice.

Ropa vieja must surely be counted as a genuine comfort food. It certainly has a great taste, and it is filling. It takes a little effort to put everything together, but the long, slow cooking assures you that it will be melt-in-mouth tender.

There are probably as many recipes for yellow rice as there are cooks who make it. The most important thing is that the rice is yellow, and there are several ways you can accomplish that. You can use achiote or oil made from heating the seeds, called annatto. You can use saffron if you have an unlimited pocketbook. You can use turmeric. You can use paprika, although that really makes the rice more red than yellow. Lots of cooks use a packet or two of Sazón made by Goya Foods and which contains cilantro, annatto, cumin, and a bunch of other ingredients. I guess you could even use yellow food coloring. Then, of course, you can use a combination of two or more of the above.

The other thing you can do with yellow rice is to add various vegetables. Green peas and chopped bell peppers are common, and pigeon peas or gandules  are also popular. It may be difficult to find gandules if you don’t have a well-stocked ethnic market.

RECIPES

Ropa Vieja

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 2 pounds flank steak cut with grain into 2 inch strips
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, halved
  • 4 ounces (1 jar) diced pimentos
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Method

  1. In a large Dutch oven, render the bacon over medium-high heat. Remove the bacon and transfer to a plate.
  2. Season the flank steak with salt and pepper. Then brown in in the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the onion and peppers to the Dutch oven. Add vegetable oil if needed. Cook until soft.
  4. Add the tomato paste, cumin,thyme, oregano, garlic, and bay leaf. Stir until lightly caramelized.
  5. Deglaze the pot with wine. Then return the bacon and steak to the pot. Bring to the boil. Then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 3 hours until the steak is tender.
  6. Remove the steak to a cutting board. With two forks, shred the meat and then return to the pot with olives, pimento, capers, and vinegar.
  7. Simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Garnish with cilantro and serve

Annato Oil

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup annatto seeds
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Method

  1. Combine the annatto seeds and oil in a very small saucepan and bring to the simmer over a medium-low flame
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cool, and strain the oil into a small jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Yellow Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons annato oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, sweat the onions in the annatto  oil over medium heat, being careful not to let them brown.
  2. Add the water and bring to the boil.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and reduce the flame to the lowest setting.
  4. Cook the mixture, covered, for 25 minutes. Test for doneness. If liquid remains, stir, return to the boil and cook uncovered until the moisture is absorbed. Otherwise, cover the pan again, turn off the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve.

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