ARROZ CON POLLO a la TATA-Shared by Chef Sasha

And yet another staple in the Cuban kitchen to be featured on Friends Let Friends Share Recipes. Thanks, Chef Sasha, for sharing your Tata’s recipe!
“I like my arroz con pollo “a la chorerra” so the the thing that makes this dish most authentic to me is the fact that you use arroz valencia (but we don’t have that in Manhattan so I had to substitute with risotto rice) and the faint taste of beer. And if it starts drying out, throw in more beer or chicken broth (I’m not one to do things to measurement and just taste things along the way as I had to when I used risotto rice instead). To make this quicker, don’t use an entire chicken, instead use chicken things or pieces because if not it will take you a long time to break it up and to cook the chicken in its’ entirety (but I do think the chicken bones give it good flavor).” -Sasha
What you’ll need:
  • 1 paquete de arroz valencia (instead I had to use 3 cups of risotto)
  • 1 pollo entero (con pellejo y todo)
  • 1 sobre de sopa de cebolla (liptons onion mix)
  • 2 sobresitos de sazon goya con azafran
  • 1-2 cervezas a gusto (no importa el tipo)
  • 1 lata de pitipua con el hugo (sweet peas)
  • 1 lata de pimentos morron (canned goya roasted red peppers)
  • 1/2 taza de pure de tomate
  • 1/2 aji verde
  • 1/2 cebolla
  • 1 cuadrito de pollo (boullion cube)

How to make it:
1. in a large pot with water boil the whole chicken with the sliced up 1/2 onion and 1/2 green pepper and salt to taste. this will take about 1.5 hours.
2. reserve about 3-4 cups of this water that you cooked the chicken in bc you will use it as the water to cook the rice. save the onions and peppers (what i did was use a straner to collect them)
3. break up the chicken with your hands, discard the pellejo
4. ideally you want to make it in one of those special arroz con pollo pots, make the sofrito with olive oil cebolla and aji. once that is done you add in all the other ingredients ( rice, 3 cups of chicken water, goya sazon, onion mix, boullion cube, tomato sauce, sweatpeas with juice from can, and chicken) stir it up bring it to a boil and then reduce it to low/medium and cook it slowly bc if not the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot. cover it.
5. once you see that the rice is almost cooked you add in the beer (i put one and then saw that the rice wasn’t cooking and it wasn’t totally wet so I ended up putting two cans of beer, the water to rice ratio is the only problem with this recipe bc she gave me instructions with the arroz valencia so i had to change things a lil so just eye it and make sure it doenst get too dry)
6. when its all done you cut up the slices of red pepper and decorate the rice.

Sasha recommends: “serve dish with agaucate salad and goya platano maduros (maduros come already made and are really good).”

“I bought all this stuff and it was only like 20 bucks and it feeds a lot of people! Enjoy!” -Sasha


The Meal-Shared by Chef Sasha

“My roommates from college will know this dish plenty well (GO GATORS!). It was brought to our attention via good ole Publix Aprons and it made these college students look like chefs, the familiar aroma of rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes resonating throughout our hidden lake apartment gave this popular dish the name nickname…”The meal.” It’s a great stew for a cold night and a complete meal on its’ own without any need for side dishes, I have made it once for a dinner party and paired it with roasted broccoli (massaged with olive oil, garlic, salt/pep and baked at 350 until browned, sprinkled with Parmesan and lemon once removed from oven). And as Jessica Mendoza would say, it’s “Nutrish and delish.”- Sasha

Photo Credit-

Photo Credit-

THE MEAL, also known as Rosemary Tuscan Chicken
What you’ll need:
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely snipped)
  • 1 pound of frozen chicken tenderloins, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 (19-ounce) can of Cannellini beans, undrained
  • 1 cup of Swanson’s no MSG chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, julienne-cut
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch/flour, something as a thickening agent
  • 1/4 cup water (or 1/4 of broth from the pan)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium high for 2-3 minutes and coat pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add chicken, sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook 2 minutes, cooking occasionally. (Note: I cooked the chicken earlier for quicker prep time in the evening.)
  4. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes.
  5. Stir cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and slowly add to pan, stirring continuously.
  6. Heat to boiling, reduce to medium and simmer 5 minutes.
  7. Serve.

Curry Carrot Soup-Shared by Chef Sasha

“Now that I’ve told you most of my culinary secrets you know I’m more of a creep on the internet rather than a chef (this one is brought to you via your highness Rachel Ray), but anywho, here goes another one….”- Sasha

Curried Carrot Soup (6 servings)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds packaged baby carrots, from produce section
  • 6 cups chicken stock, available on soup aisle
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry paste or 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder (curry powder is what I have… thank you, Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt

How to make it: (Original)

Preheat medium pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil, butter, onions and carrots and saute 5 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken stock, curry and cayenne, and about 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. Place pot on a trivet next to food processor. Process soup in 2 or 3 small batches until soup is smooth and carrots are fully pureed. Transfer processed soup into a large bowl as you work to make room for more soup in the food processor. Return completed soup to the soup pot and place back over low heat. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock, up to 2 cups, to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasonings.

How to make it with ALTERATIONS a la Sashie:

I used whole carrots because they are cheaper and I heard baby carrots are soaked in lye or chlorine as a preservative and whole carrots were on sale for 75 cents but I digress. If you follow the recipe after blending the carrots/onions what you will get resembles mashed potatoes more than soup and you will have to add more chicken broth/water and seasonings to taste. Beware when using chicken bouillons or broth, the first time I made this was with chicken bouillon which was very very salty and I had to dilute it later with water which was OK because it gave the desired soupy consistency. The second time I got chicken bouillon packets that were low sodium and after diluting the carrot/onion mash I had to re-season everything to taste because I felt it was a bit bland. Also, I don’t even have cayenne pepper and I’m cheap so I used chile powder, paprika, and red pepper. It works.

Tacos de Camarón-Shared by Chef Sasha

“Shrimp tacos from Mercadito…so good I don’t crave going there anymore. This little gem of a recipe I found in the Village Voice….”- Sasha

Tacos de Camarón

Yield: 4 tacos

What you’ll need:

For the chipotle puree:

  • 1 can chipotle peppers (In a blender, puree chipotles until smooth)

For the shrimp marinade:

  • 6 ounces diced shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

In a bowl, combine shrimp with chipotle puree, garlic, and oil. Set aside.

For the tacos:

  • 2 tablespoons canola/olive oil blend
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 5 ounces marinated shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle puree
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 homemade corn tortillas
  • 4 slices avocado

How to make it:

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, and sauté 1 tablespoon of garlic until brown. Add red onion, and sauté 30 seconds. Add the marinated shrimp, and cook 1 minute. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chipotle puree, lemon juice, and butter, and season with salt. Cook for another 2-4 minutes.

In a skillet or on a grill, heat up your corn tortillas. Top each one with shrimp and 1 slice of avocado, and serve.