Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beyond Cuban Rabbit Food

Picadillo

There is a vast array of differet soy substitute meats available, but for best results you may want to look for a product that is called TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) from Bob's Red Mill. The reason TVP is the best is because, unlike Boca Ground and Smart Ground, TVP is dry and you have to soak it in a broth before cooking it. Thus, you can control the flavor al gusto, y not worry about some strange added flavor. Also, since it's dried, it's cheaper and lasts longer.

What you'll want to do is prepare a little less than a cup of broth that is brought to a boil and add one cup of TVP (stir and let stand). Depending on your reason for not eating meat, you can either make a broth out of beef bullion or vegetable bullion. Just to make the TVP more tasty I go ahead and add 1 tsp of oregano, 1/2 a tsp of cumino and omit the seasoning when I make the sofrito. That way when it comes time to cook it, the flavor has penetrated the soy and the result is quite tasty.

Since soy doesn't need to be cooked, and burns quicker than real meat, you will have to prepare your sofrito, your sauce, and the alcaparado first, then add the TVP and simply heat and mix the ingredients well.

Everybody has there own nuance to the recipe, since some like their picadillo dry while others (like me) prefer it a little saucy. With that said, here is a simple breakdown of the ingredients:

El Sofrito:
1 Tsp of olive oil.
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 bay leaf
1/2 a cup of raisins (optional)
1/2 a cup of almond slivers (optional)

Sauce:
1 can of tomato sauce
1/2 to 1 cup of cooking wine

Alcaparrado:
An Olive and Capper mixture that generally comes already mixed.

Start with the green pepper and stir fry it until the green color of the pepper fades, and the oil takes on a greenish color. Then add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry until cooked.

Add the Sauce and the alcaparrado. Stir until sauce boils. Lower heat and add TVP. Stir and let simmer for a few minutes. Salt to taste. Goya Sazon is optional.

This is still very experimental and I shoot from the hip when I cook. Everytime I've done it, it has tasted good. However, there is a chance that I didn't give a correct proportion or left something out. Anyhow, suggestions or improvements are always welcomed.

1 comment:

El Gusano said...

You make a good point about the TVP. We use the Boca Crumbles for convenience's sake and it does have a "taste" to it which can get a little pungent when cooked.