Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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“Arroz Con Pollo” is simply the Cuban version of Chicken and Rice but it is the ingredients that sets it apart from the day to day version. Additions like Safron, Cumin and Olives bring out the “exotic” flavours that make this dish work and that makes it something you want to make again and again.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 4 Chicken thighs and 2 Chicken legs
  • 2 cups Rice
  • 2 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil for frying
  • 1 large yellow Onion – chopped
  • 1 large Red Pepper – chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 medium Tomatoes – rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 cup stuffed Green Olives
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron or Tumeric
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven or frying pan with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan
  3. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the chicken fat and cook until the onion is translucent
  4. Add the remaining ingredients except the Olives and Peas and mix well. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.
  5. In the last 5 minutes add the peas and mix. When the rice and chicken are done top with the olives and serve.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit


Navy bean soup


Navy bean soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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The first time I heard about this soup was back in 1974 when I was watching the iconic Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles”. In the end there is a massive fight in the commissary of the studio the movie was being filmed in (you have to see the movie to understand) and at some point someone gets pushed through the checkout line covered in Navy Bean soup. So when Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball the other day and go from spring like weather to freeze your butt off it became clear that soup was in order and that scene from the movie jumped into my head and a little voice said……….. “Navy Bean” (the voice sounded surprisingly like Cleavon Little lol).

One additional point—- I used a Smoked Ham/Pork Hock because I like the smokiness and flavour it adds. If you don’t want to use one then simply substitute some diced ham.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound Navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large smoked Ham hock, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 medium Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups of Cold water
  • 8-10 black Peppercorns
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Cheesecloth and butchers string

Putting it all together:

  1. Put the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cover with water and soak for about 20 minutes
  2. Drain the beans and set aside
  3. Make a Bouquet Garni by putting the peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf in the cheesecloth and tying together with the butchers twine.
  4. Place all the other ingredients in the pot or dutch oven and cover with the water.
  5. Tie one end of the butchers twine to the handle of the pot and put the other into the pot
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer
  7. Cook until the hock and beans are completely tender, about 1 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off the heat and remove the hock.
  9. When cool enough to handle strip the meat off the hock discarding the fat, bone and skin
  10. Chop the meat into small pieces and add back to the pot
  11. Remove and discard the Bouquet Garni
  12. Blend about two cups of the beans with some liquid and add back to the pot
  13. Mix well and adjust seasoning
  14. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                          Bon Appetit

Lancashire hot pot


Sundays, before life got even more hectic than usual, used to be a day of fix breakfast for my wife and let her spend a few hours in front of the “tely”, that’s U.K. English for television, watching Coronation Street which for those not in the know is an English television series that has been on the air forever and appears to be not going anywhere soon. It was on this show that I first came across this recipe and I was thoroughly enthralled so much so that I went in search of the ultimate version. 

After searching the Internet and various cook books and talking to relatives in the U.K. I was soon to discover that in fact there IS NO definitive recipe. In fact the only thing the various and sundry recipes had in common was Lamb and Potatoes and even then the debate raged on about “which cut of lamb to use”, neck-leg-kidney,  or “what potatoes were the best”, white or Yukon gold, or even whether or not to use Lamb stock or Chicken stock.

Now I rarely make this recipe because I am supposed to avoid red meat (I have Hemochromatosis which is a fancy Doctor term for excess Iron stored in my liver)  so to me it does not make much difference which part of the Lamb to use  with the exception of the Kidney—- I’m not a big fan of Kidney— nor does it matter which potato although I am partial to Yukon Gold . All that matters to me is that the dish comes out flavorful and satisfying.

So I now present to you my take on Lancashire Hot Pot which by the way is the one my late Father-In-Law just loved and being that he was from Manchester England I take it as a very big compliment.


Approximately two pounds of lamb- cubed

Two and a half pounds of potatoes sliced like you were making Scalloped Potatoes

One large white onion- diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour— more or less ( I like a nice thick sauce )

2 Carrots- thinly sliced

Healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Three finely chopped garlic cloves

Two cups chicken stock

Three tablespoons butter

Two tablespoons Canola Oil

Tin foil (or for you Brits—- Aluminum foil lol)

Putting it all together:

Heat the Canola oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until translucent – about two minutes

Remove the onions from the heat and set aside

Add the Lamb, butter, Worcestershire and garlic to the skillet and fry, in batches if necessary, until it is medium rare (Lamb is the best when served Medium)

Remove the Lamb from the heat and set aside

To the liquid in the skillet add the flour and make a Roux

Add enough Chicken stock to get the Roux to the consistency you want

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large greased casserole dish spread a layer of potatoes followed by carrots and the Lamb mixture

Repeat until all the ingredients are finished

Pour the Roux over the contents of the casserole and give it a bit of a shake to distribute the Roux throughout the casserole

“Bung” (another Brit term—- thanks Jamie Oliver) it in the oven for approximately an hour and a half

Dish it out, tuck in, and be in heaven………….

So there you have it……. another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time…………..

                                                           Bon Appetit