I just got a request to "resend that email about the crockpot taco soup" so I thought why not share it with you all? Chicken Taco Soup is light on your wallet, waistline, and watch! Take 10 minutes prep time before work and it is ready by the time you get home! To quote my husband, "Out of a 1-10 scale, this meal is a 10." Enjoy!
Que rico! That’s all I can say about the Cuban feast we enjoyed last night. I adore getting back to my roots and chowing down on some home style Latin fare. This recipe isn’t a family heirloom (we actually don’t have one for Lechon Asado). It’s derived from the trustworthy 3 Guys from Miami one along with a little Flavor Appraiser flare. Being that I had to get this meal done on a weekday and revolve it around my work lunch break (I went home to get this sucker suckling in the oven), I didn’t get to cook the roast as long as I wanted to (a little longer and the meat would have been shreddable), but the flavor of the pork was so amazing, it didn’t matter what shape each bite was in.
My first go at Lechon Asado went over very well (just ask the guest of honor, birthday girl Vrenda) and I am proud to share it with you all. If you liked the Ropa Vieja recipe, you’ll love this other Spanish favorite. The next time I make the roast, I’m using the slow cooker (and finishing it off in the oven) so that I can put it in the pot in the morning and avoid the heart palpitations about leaving my oven on unattended. I’ll even provide the slow cooker method that I anticipate using in case anyone out there wants to give that a try!
Make sure you read the recipe all the way to the end for the bonus part of the meal!
The Cuban side of me loves authentic Cuban cooking and I can be sure to find such cuisine here in South Florida, however I wanted to be able to show off my heritage in my own kitchen. After searching up and down for the perfect Ropa Vieja, I opted to use a life line- I called my mom. We talked it out and came up with one together that could be done in the slow cooker. I executed it last night and the family (including Mom) approved! Phew. Now, for those of you who aced Spanish 101, you may be thinking "rope vieja" means "old clothes." Well, you're right! There are several theories out there for the origin of its name, but my Cubana pal (Julie) tells me that in Spain they used to get a roast and cook it all week to make a broth. By the end of the week it was looking old and ragged so they would shred it and spruce it up with sauce to make it more tender, all the while resembling "old clothes." Either way, it tastes amazing and I am so glad to have a recipe for one of my favorite dishes of all time!
Every Wednesday night, my family gets together for "Franco Family Fun Night." What makes it fun you ask? We eat! Although, my recent marriage has turned me into a "Staples," my taste buds will always cling onto my maiden name. This week, Mom cooked up Picadillo, which is in my top 5 favorite dishes of hers. Even better than making it, she accepted my challenge of writing down the recipe for me (not an easy task for someone who never really has an answer when I ask for specific measurements). I am so excited to share this one with you all because it represents a piece of my Cuban heritage with beautiful, healthy flavors.
Picadillo, whos name comes from the Spanish word "picar" meaning to chop/mince, is typically made with beef, but as with most dishes requiring ground meat, we use turkey. Picadillo tends to taste even better reheated so this makes a great meal if you're looking for a dinner to cook in advance.
This recipe is a newer crock pot creation, however in the past couple of months, I have made it on a number of occasions, primarily when serving many mouths (8+), hence why I call it the Party Paella. It is so good that it's worth making for a regular sized dinner and enjoying the leftovers for a couple of days (the husband prefers it reheated).
Originally, I started this Paella out as a Vegetarian dish per a dinner request, but it has evolved into a meaty meal with the addition of turkey sausage. Both versions are great and share similar flavors resulting in pure satisfaction. My Spainard ancestory almost guilts me a little for calling this recipe "Paella" since there are no creatures from the sea debuted, but its savory taste makes it deserving of the Paella title.
Holy frijoles! These Black Beans will complete your favorite Latin meal like Lechon Asado or Ropa Vieja, but also have enough flavor to be eaten solo as a soup. I cheat by using canned beans instead of dried ones (hey, I'm only half Cuban so I can take short cuts like that) and I think the canned work better for the slow cooker in my opinion because they won't turn to mush if you leave them in there a long time. You could of course use dried beans but that would require soaking them overnight. Nonetheless, these beans are delicious and I could eat them just about everyday with fresh white rice. Speaking of rice, check below the recipe for bonus tips on using a rice cooker!