Arroz con Pollo ( chicken and rice)

I call this dish the Cuban version of  paella  or it can also be a risotto like dish.  This is my mom’s recipe so I will try to write down the measurements as best I can. I’ll use the Cuban Chicks can Cook recipe as a baseline. There’s a lot of different versions of this out there. It really depends if you want it sticky risotto like dish. This was typically served with an avocado salad and tostones.

1 whole chicken cut into pieces

2 cups of rice (you can use Valencia rice)

3 to 4 cloves of garlic minced

1 onion chopped

1 green pepper coarsely chopped

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

1 small can of tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

dash of Bijol

1 jar or can of pimientos, reserve some for decor

1/2 cup of dry white wine

1/2 bottle of beer

1 small can of peas, reserve some of the liquid with half of the peas for decor

4 cups of water

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of cumin

Place the rice in a bowl covered in water, set aside. Season the chicken. In a large pot heat the oil and sear the chicken, 4 to 5 minutes on each side till golden brown. Set aside, add the onion, pepper and garlic. Saute till tender. Add all the seasonings.  Add the water and wine. Place the chicken back in the pot. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the beer and let it come to a boil.

Meanwhile wash and drain the rice. Add to the chicken. Reduce the heat to simmer covered. When the chicken and rice are done add the peas and place some of the reserved roasted peppers on top.


Carrot Ginger Soup with Roasted Chicpeas

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! This year I decided to cook different dishes to change it up a bit. This soup was very easy and delicious to make. The great thing about soups is that it can be made ahead. This recipe is courtesy of Ayurveda. the recipe only serves 4 so I had to double it.

For the  roasted chicpeas:

32 oz can of chicpeas

2 tbsp apple cider

2 tsp Spring Spice Mix   ( see below)

1 tsp of cumin powder

dash of salt

2 tsp sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and drain the chicpeas well and dry with a towel. Place in a bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix well using your hands.IMG_0943

Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Stirring every 15 minutes.

Spring Spice Mix:

1  tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seed

1 tbsp whole cumin seeds

1 tbsp tumeric powder

1 tbsp ginger powder

1 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of clove powder

For the soup:

4 cups of water

2 tsp coriander powder

1 pound of carrots, coarsely chopped

2-3 inch fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped

2 tsp ghee or sunflower oil plus for drizzling

dash of salt and pepper

roasted chicpeas

In a medium saucepan boil the 4 cups of water with the coriander powder. Add the carrots and ginger. Add all the seasonings.  Boil covered for 15 to 20 minutes till tender. Using a hand blender, blend till smooth. Serve in bowls topped with the roasted chicpeas and drizzle with oil or ghee.

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

I hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. In honor I made Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner last night. I have been making this dish for a few years. I use the base of Tyler Florence’s recipe, I found it to be a bit confusing so I made my own adjustments.

For the brine:

1 ( 2 1/2 to 3 pound) brisket ( but the good quality)

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons whole coriander

1 1/2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns

1 1/2 whole allspice

4 sprigs fresh marjoram

4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Rub the brisket with the spices. Place on top and add water to cover.  Cover the bowl in plastic and place a dish on top so the meat won’t float. Place in the fridge up to 10 days.


2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter(optional)

1 pound of small potatoes

1 pound of baby carrots

1 pound of baby turnips

1 pound of baby parsnips

3 or 4 celery stalks roughly chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3 sprigs of marjoram, leaves only

3 sprigs of thyme, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced (optional)

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 bay leaves

Preheat oven at 300 degrees F.

Heat the oil and butter if using in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme , marjoram and bay leaves, cook till soften. About 10 to 15 minutes.


Add the potatoes and root vegetables, cook till soften. I move some vegetables to the sides of the pan and place the brisket on top after I washed it from the brine and pat dried it.


Add water enough to just cover and salt pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Uncover add the cabbage that has been roughly chopped.


Place in the oven for 3 hours. Take the brisket out of the pot and cover with foil and let sit for about 20 minutes.  Slice off the fat , should come off easily and slice thinly against the grain.IMG_0908

Serve with along side  the vegetables. We are making Rueben sandwiches tonight with the left overs.

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Spicy Chicken Tagine

Here’s another recipe from chef  Einat Admony that I made last week. I was surprised how easy and how delicious it was to make. I invested in a tagine pot, but I don’t think it’s necessary. It can be made in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. I adjusted some of the spices and yet I thought it was still a bit too spicy for some members of my family. I will adjust it again the next time I cook this dish.

1 orange

3 pounds of chicken pieces with skin and bones, preferably thighs and drumsticks

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

2 or 3 heaping tablespoons of Harissa (found this spice in Whole Foods) I only added 2

2 tablespoons of Hungarian Paprika

1 tablespoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of ground tumeric (optional) I did add this

1 preserved lemon or 1 fresh lemon, cut into small wedges

10 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges

2 leeks, white and green parts or 1 yellow onion cut into 2 inch pieces

3/4 cup of pitted black olives

1 cup of fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

2 cups of chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350F.

Reserving the orange peel, peel the orange leaving the white pith on the fruit and squeeze the juice making 1 cup. If it doesn’t make it use store bought orange juice or water. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside. Add the chicken stock, orange juice, harissa,paprika, cumin,and tumeric into the pot. Stir well. Throw in the lemon, orange peel, garlic cloves, fennel, leeks, olives and half the mint. Add the chicken and toss to make sure it’s full coated.

IMG_0872Turn the chicken skin side up and bake in the oven covered for an hour. Crank up the temperature to 425F, remove the lid and allow the skin to crisp and the juices to reduce, about 30 minutes.   I moved the chicken around to allow all the pieces to get crisp every 10 minutes or so. Serves 4 to 6.



Turkey Balls with Okra

This week I am featuring recipes from chef Einat Admony owner of several restaurants in NYC.  I made a couple of adjustments, I ‘m not a fan of cilantro so I left it out and added more parsley. I also found what it appears to be an error in the recipe. It called for 3 tablespoons of kosher salt which was way too much salt for the turkey balls.

for the Turkey balls;

1 pound of ground turkey

1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil

1 teaspoon of sweet Hungarian paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup  of crumbs from Challah bread

for the okra sauce;

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 pound of frozen or fresh okra, cut into thirds

1 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste

4 plum tomatoes, finely chopped (I used canned)

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet Hungarian paprika

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

2 teaspoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the turkey balls in a large bowl. Mix well and make golf-sized balls. Set aside .


Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat, add the onions and saute till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the okra and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and lemon juice. Stir in the coriander, paprika, chile flakes, sugar , salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and add the turkey balls. Bring to a boil again, the lower heat to a rapid simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice. Serves 4 to 6.

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