Tuesday, February 21, 2012

GIVEAWAY DETAILS!!!!! (Tostones y Arroz Amarillo)

A year ago this month, I began to write this blog.  I really did it as a hobby, sort of do-it-yourself therapy because health problems prevented me from working, and I was about to pull my hair out.  I didn't really think anyone would read this, and if a few did, I thought they would read it once and forget it.  I seem to have insecurity issues.  Anyway, never in my wildest dreams did I think that in a year over 500 people on Facebook would have clicked that wonderful little "Like" button.  I am shocked, thrilled, and downright bumfoozled.  (A good Southern word for when you're way beyond confused.)  So, in light of this auspicious occasion, I am doing another giveaway.

So many of my recipes involve seasonings and marinades not found in all parts of the country, so I decided to make up a prize package of some of the things I use the most often.  That way, if you can't find these things and don't know if you would like cooking with them, you'll have a chance to try them.  Then, if you do like them, I'll be happy to point you to several good websites where you can order these products if you haven't found them yourself.  The package includes Spanish-style tomato sauce, Sazon, Adobochon, Adobo con Pimiento, Mojo Criollo, Naranja Agria, and Amarillo. If you notice, I usually buy Goya products, but a lot of that is just habit.  In this package the Mojo Criollo and the Naranja Agria are Badia brand, because they come in plastic bottles.  We were afraid that Goya's glass bottles could break in shipping.  I have also included a tostonera to use for making tostones.  And, IMHO, the most awesome thing--your very own "Self-Taught Cook" T-shirt!  The shirt as Jorge's idea.  It is so cool.  BTW, it's a size Large.   Not being psychic, we just had to pick a size and hope for the best.

Here's how to enter.....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, in light of the fact that the package includes these items, I decided to rerun a couple of recipes that use some of these products.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. BADIA Amarillo Yellow Coloring
1/4 tsp. GOYA® Adobo con Pimiento (With Pepper)
1 packet GOYA® Sazón with Coriander and Annatto (con Culantro Y Achiote)
1 packet GOYA® Chicken Bouillon
1 Tbsp. GOYA® Frozen Recaito, thawed
1/2 C. tomato sauce
2 C. water
2 C. medium-grain white rice
1 Tbsp. diced ham
2 Tbsp. alcaparrado

To effectively cook rice, you need to find just the right pot in which to cook it.  I use a caldero, which is the traditional cooking pot used for cooking rice and other foods in Puerto Rico.  Basically, it's a Dutch oven.  Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the next 7 ingredients.  When the water comes to a boil, add the rice.  Turn the rice down to low.  When the water has evaporated until it is level with the rice, add the ham and alcaparrado, stir once, put the lid on and turn heat as low as possible.  Let rice simmer approximately 20 minutes.  Now, you don't want your rice to be too wet.  This should not be a sticky rice; but, of course, you don't want it to stick and burn.  The only way this will work is to LEAVE THE RICE ALONE!!  This is very difficult for me.  My usual approach to cooking is to hover over the stove, checking, stirring, sometimes even praying.  With yellow rice, you can't do this.  Well, you can pray, but you need to do it from a distance.  I have learned that when I turn it down and put the lid on, it's best to just leave the room.  Really.  You have to do this.  Now, as for alcaparrado, it is a combination of olives, capers, and pimentos.  If you can't find it in your store, don't sweat it; just use pimento stuffed olives.  If you can't find the packets of chicken bouillon, again, don't worry.  Just use a chicken bouillon cube.  It's basically the same.

1  plantain
5 Tbsp canola oil
Kosher Salt

The first step is to peel the plantain.  If you have never cooked plantains before, remember, they may look like green bananas, but they are different.  They cannot be eaten raw, and the peel is thicker and tougher than a banana peel.  It must be removed with a knife.  If you are really adept at this, you can make a slit down the side and open the peel right off.  I can't always do this.  If you can't either, don't feel bad.  As long as you get the peel off, that's all that matters.  Here is a video of Jorge removing the peel the correct way.
Looks easy, right?  After peeling the plantain, you need to chop it into 5 or 6 pieces.   

Fry the plantain pieces in the canola oil until lightly browned.  (I got the oil a little too hot and mine are more than lightly browned on one side.  No bother; they were just fine.)   
When browned, remove and drain on paper towel.  Now they have to be flattened.  You can do one of two ways.  You can buy a tostonera which is made for this purpose, or you can use the bottom of a saucer.  The tostonera does not have to be expensive.  I think I paid $1.99 for this one and I found it in, of all places, an Amish store in Crofton, KY.  Go figure that one.... Anyway, here is how you flatten the browned pieces.
After flattening, return the pieces to the pan and refry until they are crispy. 
Remove from the pan, drain on a paper towel, and salt to taste.

And now, for the garlic sauce.  Some people want a dipping sauce for their tostones, some eat them alone.  Either way is fine.  I happen to like the sauce, so I serve it on the  side so that everyone has an option.  This recipe originally came from A TASTE OF PUERTO RICO by Yvonne Ortiz (PLUME, 1997), but the changes are mine. 

8 garlic cloves
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. GOYA® Adobo

The easier, modern way is to use a food processor.  If you have a mini-food processor, even better.  Otherwise, you can use a mortar and pestle, and yes, I have done it that way.  The food processor yields a smoother sauce, though. 

Ironically, The Self-Taught Cook got so busy with her giveaway today that she didn't have time to cook dinner.  Thank God for Bravo and their deli!  : )

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )


Kim Bee said...

This is such a cool recipe. Congrats on a year. You are doing amazing.a

Marko said...

Nice giveaway and good recepies :)

Sharona said...

I am loving your blog :)

Ammie said...

Congrats to you on the success of your blog! I'm glad I found it!

Laura said...

Thanks for the chance.

Laurasu82 at yahoo.com

Amanda said...

thank you for the giveaway.

Silent Poet said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Rachael Henzman

Annalisa Diaz said...

Those tostones look so good! Hopefully I can make some of my own someday =)

Sara Wood said...

Thanks looks delicious!

kerry santillo said...

Hungry now, thanks this looks amazing ♥

Katrinna Brooks said...

What a truly lovely blog page to come to. Great recipes, awesome giveaway..Many Thanks! Time to start Cooking!!

spog777 said...

Damn I'm so glad Ive now discovered a cooking site that even I can make sense of - brilliant!!

The Self-Taught Cook said...

I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments. And Spog777, you made me laugh out loud!

Sarah said...

yum, thanks! :)

Allisha Gold said...

Mmmm I've still got quite a bit to learn when it comes to cooking, so I'd love to win this to include in my "experimentation" (:
Thanks so much!

1porkchop said...

Thanks for offering this great giveaway, y'all.

Emilie C said...

thank you!! :)

Rebecca said...

"Hola, y'all!"

Rebecca said...

"Hola, y'all!"

1froglegs said...

What did the snail say when he was riding on the back of the turtle? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

T and C Sligh said...

those recipes sound great and i would love to try some of the products that you are giving away!

jayedee said...

hola ya'll! thank you for the giveaway!

Diane W said...

Just found you! Love to cook. Look forward to many meals together.
Always looking for new ideas.

diane dot wortman at gmail dot com

dawkinscj said...

Hello and thanks for a great giveaway and I love the recipes!

beautytolove said...

Thanks for offering this!

Email: starseeds88 (at) yahoo dot com

Valerie & Its the SimpleThings said...

Hola y'all! Thanks for the giveaway


Brittany Boardley Renaldi said...

looks yummy!

Rachel said...

I love your recipes and your blog!! Keep up the good work :)

The Self-Taught Cook said...

I want to thank all of you for entering my "500 Likes" Giveaway and for all the kind comments you left. Don't forget to check back; I already have over 800 "Likes" on FB, so the 1000 giveaway should be coming up soon! and 1Froglegs, I loved the joke, so I'm passing it on to my FB friends. Gracias, y'all!

dawkinscj said...

Is the winner Cindy Inskeep-Dawkins or another Cindy I?


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