Tag Archives: olives

Cuban Style Braised Pork

Ropa vieja is a classic Cuban dish that encompasses the taste and style of Cuban cooking. The name ropa vieja means old cloths and it’s said that this dish got it’s name from because the shredded meat looks like old rags. It’s the national dish of Cuba and is a great introduction to Cuban cooking. Ropa vieja is an old dish that dates all the way back to Jewish migrants into Spain around 1000 A.D. Traditionally the recipe is made with a beef roast but I didn’t have a beef roast available so I decided to use pork neck bones instead.  To make this recipe you will need the following:

One and a half pounds of pork neck bones

One 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

Three tablespoons of catsup

One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Two cloves of garlic minced

One and a half teaspoons ground cumin

One 4 ounce can of diced green chilies

One green pepper and one red pepper sliced

One small onion thinly sliced

Three tablespoons of green olives with pimentos

One  tablespoon of the olive brine from the jar

Cooking this meal is amazingly simple. Just throw everything together in the slow cooker, set it on low, and cook it for eight hours. Serve it with cooked white rice and black beans and enjoy.



Continental Chicken

Coq au vin is a very traditional French dish that is made by stewing chicken in red wine along with onions, mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes. I had it as a child and really enjoyed it but never made it as an adult because I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and don’t believe in consuming alcohol. Last year I moved and I have slowly been unpacking boxes and stumbled across a cookbook that I had bought at a thrift store a few years ago. It had a book mark in it and I wasn’t sure why and so I decided to make the recipe to find out why I had marked it. Well the recipe turned out to be a non-alcohol based version of coq au vin called continental chicken. Needless to say I was quite happy with the results.

To make continental chicken you will need the following ingredients:

Eight bone-in chicken thighs

two tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

One medium onion, sliced*

One clove of garlic, sliced

One 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes

One 16 ounce can of sliced mushrooms

One 16 ounce can of medium black olives

One 8 ounce can of tomato paste

One half cup soy sauce

Three cups cooked white rice

In a large Dutch oven heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions start to brown slightly. Add the chicken to the pot, skin side down, and brown on each side (about five minutes per side). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the rice according to package directions. Serve the cooked chicken and sauce over the rice.

*If you can find them try using spring or BBQ onions instead of  regular onions. You’ll need three to replace one medium yellow onion but they have a milder taste and give the sauce a wonderful flavor and texture.


Enchiritos…From Your Kitchen

One of my favorite items on the Taco Bell menu was the enchirito, which was their take on a smothered burrito. Sadly they got rid of the enchirito and replaced it with a fairly generic and less tasty smothered burrito. So I had to learn to make my own. This recipe actually makes quite a bit so when you make it you might want to invite some friends over or freeze them for later use. You will need the following ingredients:

Two pounds of ground beef, cooked

Two 15 ounce cans of refried beans

One package of burrito seasoning

One medium onion, chopped and divided

One 8 ounce can of sliced olives

One 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce, red or green

One package of enchilada size flour tortillas (aprox. 10)

Shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend

Okay, so you start by sauteing half the onions in a hot skillet. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the ground beef and brown it until it is cooked all the way through. Add the burrito seasoning and the refried beans and warm through, making sure that everything is mixed together well. Spoon the meat and bean mixture into tortillas, roll them closed, and put them in a 13×9 baking pan. Over the top of the tortillas layer the enchilada sauce, cheese, the rest of the onions, and the olives; in that order. Cover the pan with foil and place it in the heated oven. Bake until the cheese is melted which will take roughly 20 minutes. Serve with Spanish rice, pinto beans, chips, and salsa for a fabulous fiesta feast.