Cook’s Corner

Arroz Campesino a variation on Cuban favorite


Main Dish

Arroz Campesino Cuban-Style

1 whole chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick

6 garlic cloves, smashed

1 green or red bell pepper, sliced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Salt to taste

1 envelope sazon seasoning with saffron (such as Goya brand)

4 bay leaves

1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce

4 cups chicken broth or water

2 cups raw converted rice

2 small Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced, or 8 strips bacon

2 (15-ounce) cans corn or 2 ears fresh corn, sliced 1 inch thick

1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

1 4-ounce jar pimientos, sliced in strips

Cut chicken into serving pieces (cut breast halves in half). In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high. Brown the chicken on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside.

Sauté the onion, garlic and peppers in the same pot over medium-high heat, stirring often and scraping up any browned bits, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, salt, sazon, bay leaves, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil, stir in rice, adjust heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken on top of rice in Dutch oven. Add chorizo and corn. Cover pot tightly and bake 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Remove lid to allow chorizo to crisp and bake 15 minutes longer, adding water if needed. Just before serving, scatter peas and pimientos on top. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 600 calories (42 percent from fat), 27.8 g fat (8.4 g saturated, 10.8 g monounsaturated), 115 mg cholesterol, 8.2 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 170 mg sodium.


Taylor’s Frozen Key Lime Pie

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup premium vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice

1 deep-dish graham cracker pie shell

Fresh whipped cream for serving

Beat the sweetened condensed milk with the ice cream and Key lime juice. Pour into the prepared crust. Freeze for several hours before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 388 calories (30 percent from fat), 13 g fat (6.6 g saturated, 5.1 g monounsaturated), 38 mg cholesterol, 8.2 g protein, 62 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 170 mg sodium.


Ca Va Brasserie Media Noche Sliders

For the marinade:

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic

1 pork tenderloin

For the garlic mayonnaise:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (optional)

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 strips smoked bacon, cooked crisp and minced

To finish:


Cumin, toasted and ground

12 slider-size rolls

4 ounces smoked ham, sliced thin

1 Kosher dill pickle, sliced into 1/4-inch disks

2 ounces Gruyere or Swiss cheese, sliced thin

1/2 cup finely shredded Romaine lettuce

Measure marinade ingredients into a self-sealing food bag. Add pork and refrigerate at least 12 hours, turning from time to time.

Mix garlic mayonnaise ingredients and refrigerate, covered. (Can be made up to five days ahead; you will have extra.)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Remove pork from marinade, and pat dry. Season with salt and cumin. Set on a rimmed, foiled-lined baking sheet and roast 15 to 18 minutes. (This will produce pork with a slightly rosy center; let it roast longer if you prefer.)

Set cooked pork aside. When cool enough to handle, cut into 12 slices (about 1/2-inch thick).

Split rolls in half and place on a clean baking pan, cut sides up. Liberally spread with garlic mayonnaise.

Place a pork slice on each roll base. Tear the ham into roll-sized pieces and place on top of pork. Add pickles, and top with a slice of cheese. Put sandwiches in 300-degree oven for about 3 minutes, until cheese melts.

Remove from the oven, add lettuce to each sandwich and cover with roll tops. Insert toothpicks to keep sliders intact. Serve immediately. Makes 12.

Per slider: 232 calories (50 percent from fat), 13 g fat (2.8 g saturated, 3.8 g monounsaturated), 36 mg cholesterol, 14.4 g protein, 14.8 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 533 mg sodium.

Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I have been searching for a pastry recipe from La Glace bakery, which was in South Miami when I was in high school. They had what I believe were called Fancy Cakes that looked like small tartlets. They had a cookie dough-like crust, some kind of almond paste crumb filling and a hard shell sugar frosting. I am 69 years old, so this goes back a while.

Janet T. Andrews

Q. My mom used to make a dish called Arroz Campesino from a recipe she clipped from The Herald. She’s been gone since 1988, and I lost the recipe. It contained white rice, chicken, chicken broth, bacon, canned corn, tomato sauce, peas, peppers and onions. It was definitely not arroz con pollo. It was layered and baked as a casserole.

D.D. Long

We don’t have a recipe for Arroz Campesino (peasant rice) in our electronic database, which goes back to 1982. I don’t even remember running across the dish at a Cuban restaurant, and I could not find mention of it in any of my Cuban cookbooks. But when I turned to the Internet I did find some Spanish-language recipes, which I’ve translated, compiled and adapted.

I think the recipe you remember had been Americanized to use bacon rather than chorizo and canned corn rather than wheels of corn on the cob. I wrote the recipe so you can choose to make the dish the way your mom did, or with the more authentic ingredients. Some versions called for chicken thighs only, and some added pork.

Q. At chef Todd English’s Ca Va Brasserie in the InterContinental New York Times Square we had a wonderful munchie I’d love to make for my Super Bowl party. It was a Cuban-style slider. Can you find out how to make them?

J. G.

Chef de Cuisine Matt Corbett graciously provided the recipe. Make sure you let the pork marinate at least 12 hours for full flavor. For a party, you’d probably want two or three sliders per person.

Key lime pie

Taylor “had to write” after seeing my recipe for frozen Key lime pie. “My mother passed this recipe down to me over 20 years ago. I agree with your philosophy that being asked to share a recipe is the highest compliment for a cook. I have received tons of compliments over the years on this pie and love to share it.”

Send questions and responses to or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.

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