May 29, 2012

Staycation con Sizzle: Spanish Pork Chops and Quinoa

I mentioned in my Garam Masala post that we order delivery or eat out way too often. It eats into our budget (pun intended) and I want Savannah to grow up with the smells and tastes of home cooked food. Thanks to the generous women behind Chulita's Famous, a NYC-crafted gourmet Latin seasonings company, we were gifted jars of sofrito and adobo so I could attempt Spanish cuisine at home for a yummy Latin staycation. 

Sofrito con Spices smells good!
For my Latin cooking debut, I adapted their Pork Chop con Spices and Yellow Rice recipes. I roasted rather than grilled our chops because I have a needy toddler that doesn't like focused on the stove for more than a few minutes at a time.  For this same reason, I could only imagine making one side dish while solo parenting, so I adapted their yellow rice recipe and turned it into a multi-food-group quinoa with tomatoes, black beans, and peas instead of cooking a separate vegetable and/or additional protein.

Food bloggers don't usually post pics of raw meat, do they? Whatever.  I slathered on a teaspoon of sofrito to both sides of each pork chop and sprinkled them with Adobo Sabroso before baking at 350 for an hour-ish. Seemed impossible to over season. Next time I will allow them to marinate in the mixture prior to cooking.

I'm really proud of the quinoa dish I cooked up and will include the recipe below as well as additional serving suggestions.  Here are photos of the cooking process:

Oil, Sofrito con Spices, chunks of tomato (instead of tomato sauce which I didn't have on hand)

Mini kitchen = Mini mis en place

Water and sofrito mixture is a'boilin'. Time to stir in the quinoa!

Keep toddler busy while I'm sweating in the kitchen - get her painting!

Wall as easel, paper plate as pallet, and q-tips as brushes. Only the best for Savvy ;)

Beans and peas added at the last minute, and we're ready to eat!
A sprinkling of cilantro and dinner is served. Proud, sweaty Staycation Mama conquers Latin flavors at home!

Savvy samples the sizzle

Then the pork con spices

She loved it I swear.

There's the smile!

The perfect bite - the seasoning packs a powerful punch and permeated throughout the quinoa and pork.

I had no idea it could be so easy to cook such flavorful dishes! There was no guesswork at all. All the flavors are in the Chulita's jars--I didn't need to chop onions, dice and sauté garlic, constantly add salt and pepper to taste, nada.

And here's the quinoa recipe that I'm calling Staycation Quinoa con Sizzle.

Staycation Quinoa con Sizzle 
adapted from Chulita's Famous Yellow Rice
(I hope this isn't plagarism)

1 1/2 cups pre-rinsed Quinoa
3 cups water
3 tablespoons Chulita's Famous Sofrito con Spices
2-3 tomatoes on the vine, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chulita's Famous Sazon con Sizzle to taste (approx 2 tablespoons)
1 bag Steamfresh Frozen sweet peas
1 can low sodium Goya black beans, drained & rinsed
Fresh cilantro, chopped as garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat oil, sofrito and tomatoes until they begin to caramelize. Add water and bring to a boil. Add quinoa and sazon and cook to package directions, stirring occassionally.  When water is absorbed by the quinoa and nearly all evaporated, add the frozen peas and beans, stirring to combine. Heat 1-2 additional minutes.

Serving suggestions for leftovers:

-Turn this into "nachos" you can eat with a spoon by melting cheese on top of your serving, adding your favorite salsa verde or sliced jalapenos, and dollop of sour cream.

-Serve as a side dish to a cheese omelet for an easy breakfast, or for a fancy brunch at home, serve as a bed for poached eggs and your favorite salsa. 

-Make a quick lime vinaigrette with lime juice & olive oil and serve with the refrigerated quinoa over a bed of romaine lettuce. 

Chulita's Famous is a woman-owned NYC start-up food company. Their products are available at gourmet shops throughout NYC and via their website. I definitely recommend checking them out, whether you cook Spanish food regularly or are a complete newbie like me. All the Spanish flavor you need is in the jar. Let yourself experience the umami explosion of peppers, cumin, garlic and other seasonings they manage to cram into their products.

{Disclosure: I was given samples of Chulita's Famous products for review purposes. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.}

1 comment:

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

That looks delicious! I love that the lil' lady was willing to try it!

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