Monday, July 29, 2013

Meet Carlos!

Hello, everyone. My name is Carlos, and I am thrilled to be the latest addition to 37 Cooks! I am born and raised in New York, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I live my life through various art forms - music, perfume, cooking and photography. I am of Latino descent, but my mom married an Italian man and I was raised in Bensonhurst, a VERY Italian neighborhood. As a matter of fact, I’m a childhood friend of 37 Cooks own Chiffonade and her brother Ernie. I was exposed to both Hispanic and Italian cuisine while growing up, as well as typical all-American. I am a member of the N.Y. based group "The GoodSmellas", and I also run a Facebook group called "Peace Love Perfume". For me, perfume and cooking are very closely related, especially through the sense of smell. Plating and presentation are very important. I would definitely consider myself a food stylist, particularly when taking pics of my dishes. I wasn’t professionally trained, I just have years of creating in the kitchen experience. Cooking comes easy for me, and I feel just as comfortable behind a sauté pan on the stove as I do playing the piano. I hope to bring that little extra Latino flair to 37 Cooks. 

I chose Picadillo. It is a popular dish in many Hispanic cuisines. It is typically served with white rice and beans, but can also be used in Pastelillos, Pastelitos, Pastelon de Maduros, and Rellenos de Papa. In my picture, I have the Picadillo plated over white rice and garnished with maduros (fried sweet plantains). The name "picadillo" comes from the Spanish word "picar" which means "to mince" or "to chop". 

by Carlos

2 Tablespoons Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1/2 cup of Goya Frozen Sofrito (I usually make my own, but we’ll get to that another time) 
¼ cup of Goya Pitted Alcaparrado, finely chopped 
1 pound of ground beef, pork or chicken (my personal preference is pork) 
1 Tablespoon Goya Tomato Paste 
1 packet of Goya Sazon with Culantro and Achiote 
sea salt and ground pepper to taste 

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute sofrito for a few minutes, then add the alcaparrado. Add the ground meat and stir to break up any lumps. Saute until meat is fully cooked. Add tomato paste and Sazon, stirring until meat is colored throughout. Add salt and pepper to your liking, as the Sazon and the alcaparrado already have salt. Serve with white rice and beans, or with any of the other options I listed in my bio. Buen Provecho!

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