Cuban Cooking at Sweetnicks

by Cate on April 2, 2006

The Husband had to work today, so Nicholas and I took advantage of our free time and paid a visit to the Easter Bunny. He had to get in his request for goodies for his Easter basket. It was a gorgeous day, ignoring the brief rain shower, and we spent some time at the playground, goofing off.

I had no plan for dinner tonight, so I took to my bookshelves for a belated Rediscovering My Library segment, getting tonight’s inspiration from Steven Raichlen’s Healthy Latin Cooking. I’ve had this book for awhile, but this is the first time I’ve ever cooked from it. I made his Cuban-Style Chicken Fricasse and Baked Plantain Chips. One winner, one not so much. The Chicken Fricasse was good and very simple to make. Healthy to boot and on the table in about 30 minutes – can’t beat that. The flavorful sauce is plentiful, so I served it over brown rice. With the cumin, cilantro and bay, it’s a perfect addition for Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging.

Now the Plantain Chips were another story. His recipe calls for baking them, but they weren’t crispy at all. Seeing that, I fried them up in a frying pan (skipping additional oil since they had some already before baking), and while it crisped them up a bit, they weren’t a big hit and went straight to the trashcan. I’ll have to start looking for another recipe. In the meantime, I did learn a helpful hint for peeling tough plantain skin. To peel a green plantain, cut off the ends and make 3 or 4 slits down the length of the skin, cutting just through to the skin. Put the plantain in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Let it soak for about 10 minutes, or until the skin is softened, then run your thumb under the slits to ease the skin off the plantain. Worked liked a charm.

Sugar joins in the fun for Clare’s Weekend Cat Blogging event. Sugar and Callie gave Nicholas and I quite the scare today. We were gone for about 5 hours this morning, and when we came home, we came up our front steps to find Callie outside, trying to get in. The cats are NOT allowed outside, no matter what they say, so we were trying to figure out how she got outside. I quickly threw my stuff on the ground and let her in. Luckily she was scared enough that she didn’t try to run away – she just wanted IN. When I came back down our front stairs to pick up my stuff, I noticed Sugar in our neighbors front yard, trying to figure out how to climb over the fence to come back home. What the heck is going on?! Considering we were gone for so long, I’m amazed that they were both still right in front of our house; I’m guessing fear had a lot to do with it. I went all around the inside of the house, trying to figure out how they managed to get out. I went to go close the living room window and lo and behold … the screen was gone. We had opened the window the other day to let the gorgeous Spring air in, and either the screen was loose or one of them pushed too hard and the entire thing just popped out. It certainly provided not only easy access for THEM to get OUT, but also for anybody else to get in, so we consider ourselves very lucky – phew! Enough excitement for one day. :)

Just a quick check on what some fellow food bloggers are up to for this week’s Saturday Night Sound Bites… check out what fun new toy Jennifer is playing with at Taste Everything Once. HP sauce and plum sauce? Check out what Tazz is doing with them – the end result is mouth-watering! Gooey melted cheese and mooshed avocado? Yup, it’s all there from The Girl Who Ate Everything. Go check out the food porn – your mouth will be salivating too.

OK folks, all for tonight. Until tomorrow…

A year ago today … it was one of our favorite crockpot recipes.

P.S. Check out my newest discovery here. In the infinite wisdom of Rachael Ray, yum-o!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare Eats April 2, 2006 at 12:58 pm

*Phew*!!! I am so glad we didn’t have any bad news……

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Kalyn April 2, 2006 at 1:34 pm

Love the sound of that chicken.

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sher April 2, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Boy–I know that scary feeling when a cat gets out. Glad it all worked out. Once, I wandered around our neighborhood frantic, trying to find our cat. Finally, I saw that he was watching me from some bushes, with a very smug look on his face!

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The Pearl Onion April 2, 2006 at 10:37 pm

Cate-

Your son is just so adorable! And what a scare about your cats! I seriously do not know what I’d do if my cat, Brighton, got lost. In the event that did happen, though, I took precaution and had one of those “Home Again” chips put into him. They are only about $20 and they are inserted via a needle/shot, so it is a really simple procedure to have done at the vet.

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boo_licious April 4, 2006 at 12:47 am

Glad they are both ok! I freak out too when mine get out too as I have a huge fear of losing them.

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