Pollo Guisado and a Rum Spritzer

Trying new foods and eating my way through a new city or country is hands down, my favorite way to travel. You can learn so much about a culture through their food, and there’s nothing better than having a local show you their favorite bbq spot or watering hole as you navigate a new place.

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 It’s hard to believe it (especially with the current temperatures in DC), but we were visiting the Caribbean just a few days ago on the Carnival Breeze. As a food lover, I was so excited to explore all of the offerings both on and off the boat, especially since I’ve never been on a cruise before. In researching some of the cuisine that we’d encounter at our ports prior to sailing, the Dominican Republic stood out to me. I’d been there a few years ago, and fell in love with the friendly people and the incredibly delicious food. Our final stop on the cruise was in the Dominican Republic, allowing us to try some more of the local food there, including some incredible chicken and fish dishes cooked right on the beach (take me back!).

To pay homage to some of the great food we tried on the trip, we opted to try our hand at pollo guisado, a chicken dish that is very popular in the Dominican Republic. Until you make your way to the island yourself, this tasty chicken dish plus a recipe for a cocktail to go along with will have to do!

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POLLO GUISADO
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients:

-2 lbs. of chicken thighs (skin on and bone in)
– 2 limes, freshly squeezed
– 1 teaspoon of oregano
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 2 stalks celery, chopped
– 3 cloves of minced garlic
– 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon of sugar
– 4 small tomatoes, chopped
– 2 bell peppers, sliced
– 1 jalapeno, diced with seeds removed
– 15­-20 green olives
– 1 cup (8 oz.) of tomato sauce
– cilantro for garnish
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1⁄2 teaspoon of pepper

Directions:

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  1. Squeeze the juice of both limes over the chicken thighs in a large bowl
  2. Mix together the chicken, oregano, onion, celery, salt, pepper and garlic. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator
  3. Heat oil in a large pot and add in the sugar, browning it slightly over medium­-high heat. Be careful not to burn it!
  4. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for just under an hour on each side until browned
  5. Add 1⁄4 cup of water. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add onion, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, jalapeno and garlic. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes
  7. Add the tomato sauce and half a cup of water, simmer over low heat for 30-­45 minutes to let the liquid reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Plate each piece of chicken with some fresh cooked rice and top with cilantro

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CITRUS RUM SPRITZER

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Ingredients

– 1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
– 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
– 2 oz. dark rum
– 1⁄2 oz. simple syrup
– 2 oz. seltzer water

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Directions:

  1. Combine the grapefruit juice, orange juice, rum and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds
  2. Pour liquid into a glass and top with seltzer water

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This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

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PITA TWO WAYS

Whew, these past two weeks have been a little crazy between a quick trip to New York, catching up on some work things and starting to search for a new apartment. We are pretty sure we found a place so that’s good news!

Anyway, below are a few photos from two quick pita recipes I shared on The Society Co here this week. Both recipes are really simple to make (the chick pea one is easiest) so they’re great for a lazy weekday meal. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

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RECIPE | APPLE TART

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This is a really simple dessert that looks way fancier than it actually is. It takes no time at all to make and it aside from it looking like you spent a long time on it, it’s completely delicious. I wrote out the crust and filling recipes separately because in a pinch, you can easily use a pre-made pie crust to save time. If you’re using a pre-made crust, just skip the first part of this!

INGREDIENTS (crust):

– 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into inch-size pieces
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons and 1 1/2 teaspoons ice water

DIRECTIONS (crust):

  1. Combine flour, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse for about 10-20 seconds until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Pour half of the ice water into the food processor and pulse again for about 5 seconds.
  3. Pour in remaining ice water and pulse again until the mixture starts to come together.
  4. Set dough out onto a wooden surface, pat into round shape, and flatten it to form a disc.
  5. Wrap your disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until ready to use.

 

INGREDIENTS (filling):

– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 4-5 apples (I used Granny Smith), cored and thinly sliced (technically you should peel them too but I forgot and didn’t feel like it made a difference at all)
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS (filling):

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Place your dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch circle. Place your dough on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
3. Combine your sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon over the dough.
4. Arrange your apples on top of the dough, working your way from the outside edge of the dough to the center overlapping each piece.
5. Once you’ve arranged your apples, sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over them and bake at 425° for 30 minutes.
6. While your tart is in the oven, combine honey and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds.
7. After baking, brush the honey mixture over your tart and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from here and here.

 

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CANDIED PECANS

Today I wanted to share something that isn’t a full recipe, but more of an ingredient that I’m really liking lately.

I recently had dinner at Matchbox before going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel (it was great!), and had a realy good salad with candied pecans on top. I made some at home recently, and I’m so excited to make another big batch to toss on to salads or let’s be real, ice cream.

 

INGREDIENTS:

– 1 cup pecan halves (I used chopped pecans instead)
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon honey

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat
2. Add your pecans to the pan, and coat them in the melted butter
3. Add sugar and stir until caramelized
4. Spread out on wax paper to cool. Drizzle on honey, and sprinkle on an extra pinch or two of sugar while they cool.

Note: be careful – these little guys can start burning quickly!

Recipe adapted from here.
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RECIPE | ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

This is a really good, really easy Brussels sprouts recipe that takes just about no time at all. It’s especially good to make for people who think they dislike Brussels sprouts! Special note: it’s really important to use fresh sprouts vs. frozen ones for this recipe. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

– 1 bag of fresh Brussels sprouts
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
– 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– salt and pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Rinse your Brussels sprouts with water, trim the stems and cut them in half.
3. Toss your Brussels sprouts in olive oil and mix in the honey, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper. I typically use my hands to mix all the ingredients in, and to make sure that all the sprouts are well-coated.
4. Cook your Brussels sprouts in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until you notice some getting browned and crispy.

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