Gandules y Pernil
I created Recetas de Mi Isla ( Recipe Book) first as an ode to the old Jibaro hymnes, songs and recipes I remember hearing my whole childhood. I ended up making so many more recipes that the whole book turned out to be full of the recipes that made me fall in love with Puerto Rico. So in turn, the Jibaro hymn I wanted to exude, after all.
The only memories I have are those stories. The way the whole pork use to be cured with salt over a slow burning Fogon which means that it would take time to cook and preserve for the family at the same time. The Jibaro way. Bringing big pots down to the Fogon every day to make the add in's of Arroz ( rice), Habichuelas ( beans), Viandas ( root veggies) or Arroz Con Gandules.
Gandules, sofrito, adobo, aceite, arroz, pasta de tomate, aceitunas,pimenton rojo y OJO.
Sofrito: Traditonal pepper and herb aromatics at the base of warm meals.
Now for the PERNIL. The pork also came to Islands from the Spaniards as well BUT technique is 100 percent Taino. Agria china a bitter orange that will a soften and sweeten meat baby you'll never try another again. Next, un Pillon ( wood mortal and pestle), fresh garlic, vinagre, adobo, aceite verde, recao y mucho amor Coño. The way we always started in the kitchen, mashing away in the pillon. I always needed a little help to open up those cloves from dad as my arms still hurt to this day from all the mashing. Adding oil as you go and creating a delicious paste. This paste you will end up using for chicken, vegetables, steak, seafood, sauces etc. Mix that up with your agria china and other ingredients and slather away. Does anyone other than Puerto Ricans and Italians still eat pork? I do not promote being unhealthy but I do promote following traditions. So getting that crispy skin is imperative. See you on the other side of this. It better be juicy...
Recao in the Finca Ciales P.R. 2019
Do not forget your Recao ( Culantro or Saw toothed green). The aromatic of my life. Growing like grass in our Finca. Its the most wonderful herb to A smell so sweet, fresher and more citrus then Cilantro it's a great addition to your herb mix.