Picadillo Is My Pillow
In March 2014 my awesome Cousin Julie gifted me the recipe for this ole time family favorite.
What a great gift! I remember Mom talking about “picadillo” but the recipe wasn’t in her cookbook. Luckily, it was in her sister Delores’ cookbook that Julie has in her care!
Totally flexible, this Cuban-inspired dish made its way to San Antonio kitchens before the days of the internet … and into my heart 4ever. A foodie’s BFF.
♥ The original recipe scan below makes mountains of this delicious stuff. My Cousin Julie said the portions were large because her Mom, “Delores,” would often serve this dish at parties. I divided the recipe down, down, dowwwwwn into 6ths below. And yet after Joe and I ate it all, we wanted more.
♥ Cousin Julie was very specific – unless you don’t mind soggy almonds, sprinkle the almonds on top just before serving; or set them aside in a serving bowl with a spoon.
♥ Cousin Julie also said this picadillo freezes well. Sweet! If you freeze or refrigerate it overnight, add more dry sherry when reheating. It’s the honest thing to do.
♥ You can serve picadillo many ways – on top of scrambled eggs, breakfast tacos, nacho chips or inside tacos. This stuff is so good I even ate some with a shovel-spoon or two… :)
1 pound | ground round
⅓ cup | dry sherry
1 teaspoon | salt
⅓ teaspoon | pepper
3 | japaleños, chopped
1 clove | garlic, chopped
splash | oil
4.8 ounces | canned tomatoes
⅔ cup | tomato sauce
2 tablespoons | pimiento
to taste | raisins
⅓ teaspoon | oregano
½ cup | water chestnuts, sliced
⅔ cup | canned mushrooms, sliced
flour or corn tortillas
tostitos brand scoops
⅓ cup | salted almonds, diced
ii. what to do
1. In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, bring the first 5 ingredients (see “marinate”) to a happy sauté.
2. Add “the mixture” ingredients (the 9 ingredients) above and simmer, covered, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
3. Uncover and stir until “mushy.”
4. Serve with your preferred foodie accents and style (above). And smile. :)
Green, white and red make this colorful all-in-one dish a hearty way to satisfy your meat, veggie and carb craving in every bite.
Did somebody say carbs? ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
foodie tip ~
♥ Turkey stove top will make great use of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers (sliced or cubed).
10 ounces | frozen cut asparagus tips and pieces
1 can | campbell’s cream of celery soup
1 ⅓ cups | water
1 ½ cups | diced cooked turkey
½ teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
dash | fresh cracked pepper
1 ⅓ cups | minute rice
3 tablespoons | pimiento, diced
to garnish | parsley
ii. what to do
1. Prepare asparagus according to package directions. Now drain.
2. In a large saucepan combine the asparagus, soup, water, turkey, salt, worcestershire sauce and pepper.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and simmer or 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
4. Stir in pimiento and garnish with parsley.
I was just a tot of 9 when this recipe was published.
Not that I remember or should remember, but I’ve developed a sixth sense affectionately termed “internet stalking.” Rather than use my acquired skills for ill will, I use my skills for the betterment of nostalgic foodie-ism. Which brings me to this recipe.
I really had no reason to turn over the “sweet and sour slaw” recipe (see the two-sided scan below) Mom had apparently torn from a magazine. But “curious me” did turn it over!
Reading the recipe’s back revealed an authors name “James Farrell.” And his book, “The Dunne Family.” In two clicks I found the book’s publish year of 1976, our nation’s bicentennial. Keying in a few words from the article – specifically “james farrell 1976 it was late afternoon when we picked up our boat in Newton Falls” and I was taken to this. A scan of the article which revealed it was from the May 2, 1976 issue of FAMILY WEEKLY.
I then found this black and white of the original cover that was from Florida (I think each city just printed their name on the front). Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert was on the cover with her two Moms. Melissa was a kid-time favorite of mine – bonnet and all. <– Shakes head, but true!
This recipe was a great find! It’s a kissing-cousin of cole slaw and the dressing is what makes it truly unique. Pineapple and lemon juice are the key dressing ingredients that make this crunchy salad a reacquired family favorite.
Hopefully this story reminds us all that sometimes things are greater than their initial face value. Turning over a stone here and there can be a good thing. In this case, I discovered another publication my Mom read when I was too young to take notice … plus I was able to reignite fond memories of a childhood friend … in just a few clicks.
foodie tips ~
♥ Unless you’re feeding a small village or love cabbage, I’d suggest easily “halving” this recipe! There were easily 15-25 servings based on the original recipe. I was eating slaw for days! The hips do not lie.
♥ This stored extremely well in the fridge. I think the flavors were able to buddy-up and become BFFs. At least that’s what my taste buds say.
♥ Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients vs. canned – in this case use fresh bean sprouts as I’ve never seen fresh water chestnuts.
2 ½ pounds | cabbage, shredded
2 cans (16 ounces) | bean sprouts, drained
2 cans (8.5 ounces) | water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups | mayonnaise
6 tablespoons | lemon juice
⅔ cups | unsweetened pineapple juice
2 teaspoons | salt
1 ½ cups | onion, finely chopped
2 cans (4 ounces) | pimiento, drained and diced
ii. what to do
1. In a large bowl mix cabbage, sprouts and chestnuts. Cover and chill in the fridge.
2. Combine mayo, pineapple juice, lemon juice, salt and onion.
3. Pour dressing over the chilled veggies and toss until well coated.
4. Stir in the pimientos and serve!
Yields: 4 Quarts. QUARTS!
A Desperado For Avocado
This recipe held first position in the soups section of mom’s index card file, so undoubtedly it was a favorite. This was the first of mom’s recipes that I made, since I can’t locate the calabacita recipe just yet.
I don’t remember eating any avocados as a child. And despite my mom’s great culinary skills, I remember one night when a pairing of split pea soup and liver arrived in front of me at dinner, which almost ruined my love of green-colored foods (I’ve never liked liver). Hah! Regardless, now in my 40s, I’m a huge fan of avocados, so let’s eat up some avocado soup!
Wait! You didn’t think I’d jump right into the recipe makings without sharing my favorite avocado-inspired commercial with you. Whelp – here you go!
Foodie Tip ~
♥ I couldn’t find “madrilène” – canned or otherwise… even online – so I’m including extra info below for a recipe I found for making the consommé from scratch.
Overall, the avocado soup recipe would be much faster to make if canned madrilène was available. I’ll keep my eyes out for it and post an update here, if I ever find it. I wrote to Pepperidge Farm and they wrote me back saying they no longer made madrilène but I’m including a picture of it (below) that I found online.
i. soup ingredients
1 ½ | avocados
1 pint (2 cups) | sour cream
1 | chicken bouillon cube
10 ounces | water
1 can | madrilène (a tomato-flavored consommé. see recipe below)
to taste | cayenne pepper
to taste | salt
ii. what to do
1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend, until smooth. That’s it! Well, almost…
2. Since you may have trouble finding madrilène, below are the tidbits for how to make it.
6 | large tomatoes, peeled*, cored and diced
2 | green bell peppers, cored, seeded and quartered
1 | leek, trimmed and cut into chunks
4 | egg whites, lightly beaten
8 cups | chicken stock
to taste | salt & pepper
1 | small bunch chives, chopped
2 oz | pimiento, chopped
Foodie Tip ~
♥ For an easy way to remove the tomato peel, boil the tomatoes in water one-at-a-time for 1 minute. Remove tomato and plunge it in a cold water bath. Cut the tomato in ½ and you should be able to easily remove the peel. A presto!
madrilène : what to dos
1. In a large saucepan, add ⅔ of the tomatoes and the green peppers, leek and egg whites. Mix well.
2. Add chicken stock and season to taste with salt & pepper.
3. Place pan over medium-low heat and slowly bring to a boil, 5-10 minutes.
4. Strain the mixture through a sieve or strainer lined with cheesecloth or a linen towel.
5. Discard vegetables and refrigerate consomme until serving time.
6. Just before serving, mix the remaining ⅓ of the diced tomatoes with the chives and pimiento. You now have a garnish for the soup!
* To enjoy the consomme as “full-on” consommé ~ Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of the tomato mixture in the bottom of each soup bowl. Pour chilled consommé over the pimiento mixture and serve at once. The consommé Madrilène should be thick and syrupy, but not “set.”
** To use part of the consommé in Betty’s Avocado Soup recipe (above) ~ Add 1 ½ cups of the consommé into the blender along with a dash of diced tomatoes, chives and pimiento and blend away. You can garnish with more of the tomato mixture (shown above).