crushed garlic and chopped
Pepper and salt, to taste
Boil the diced potatoes, but make sure they don’t overcooked. This way they will keep the cube shape.
Heat the oil in a pan with the achiote, onion, garlic and finely chopped cilantro. Let them cool for a few minutes.
Add the shredded chorizo and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now add the potatoes and grated carrots. Cover the mixture and let simmer for a few minutes over low heat.
Once the picadillo is ready, serve with tortillas.
More About This Recipe
- A friend from Costa Rica gave me this picadillo recipe during a family reunion and I must admit that I’m a little obsessed with the delicious taste of this combination of ingredients. She told me that it’s served during lunch, but I like it for breakfast. This potato picadillo with chorizo has become one of my favorites because of its delicious flavor and how easily it’s prepared. I hope you like it.
Mexican Picadillo (Beef & Potato)
Mexican Picadillo. This quick and easy dinner recipe comes together with minimal ingredients. Ground beef and potatoes are simmered in a tomato sauce. Serve this dish up with some rice and fresh flour tortillas for a complete meal.
The Ultimate Cuban Comfort Food: Picadillo
Here is one of the great dishes of the Cuban diaspora: picadillo, a soft, fragrant stew of ground beef and tomatoes, with raisins added for sweetness and olives for salt. Versions of it exist across the Caribbean and into Latin America. James Villas, the elegant hedonist who for many years was the food and wine editor of Town & Country magazine, championed one from St. Lucia, in the Lesser Antilles. But many Cubans claim the dish as their own, a taste of the pre-revolutionary island at its homey best. “Picadillo has a sentimental resonance,” said Betty Cortina, a Cuban-American food writer who is the editor of The Miami Herald’s lifestyle magazine, Indulge. She even took a recipe for picadillo with her to college at the University of Florida. “Everyone who is of Cuban descent has a recipe for it, and each one of those is the most authentic. It’s a comfort food, probably the most consummate example of one in Cuban cuisine.”
Many picadillo recipes derive from the one that Nitza Villapol put in her cookbook “Cocina Criolla,” published in 1954. Villapol, a writer and television host, was the closest thing Cuba has had to a Julia Child. Her shows were broadcast there for more than 40 years, and her cookbooks were a mainstay of Cuban home cooking from the 1959 revolution until her death in 1998.
Cortina’s first picadillo was a Villapol recipe, she said. Her mother had packed her off to Gainesville with the cookbook. “It was probably just beef and raisins then,” she said of her early attempts at the dish. “The first time, I skipped the tomatoes entirely.”
Picadillo roughly translates from the Spanish as “mince.” The dish bears some resemblance to American sloppy joes, or to hash. Some cooks use tomato sauce in the base. (Cortina’s mother, for one.) Others insist on fresh tomatoes. Norman Van Aken, the influential Miami chef whose “New World Cuisine” serves as a kind of encyclopedia of cooking from the Caribbean basin, makes his picadillo with ground turkey, a nod to the Spanish skill at domesticating the wild birds.
Villapol’s recipe calls for a blend of beef and pork. Capers are added at the end. Maria Josefa Lluria de O’Higgins, whose 1994 cookbook and memoir, “A Taste of Old Cuba,” evokes the nation’s pre-revolutionary flavors, garnishes her picadillo with rounds of French bread fried in olive oil. Ernest Hemingway, for his part, used slivered almonds.
The version that follows here nods to all and none of these traditions. It combines ground beef with intensely seasoned dried Spanish chorizo in a sofrito of onions, garlic and tomatoes, and scents it with red-wine vinegar, cinnamon and cumin, along with bay leaves and pinches of ground cloves and nutmeg. Raisins are added at the end, and they plump up beautifully in the sauce. For the olives, you may experiment with fancy and plain, but rigorous testing on family, friends and the occasional stranger suggests that pimento-stuffed green olives are best. Villapol’s capers would be welcome as well.
The preparation of the dish, in keeping with the best sorts of home cooking, is serial work. It is easily accomplished in less than an hour. Cortina and many cooks of Cuban descent cook picadillo in a caldero — a heavy, cast-aluminum Dutch oven that is a standard feature of many Latin American kitchens — but any wide-bottomed, nonreactive heavy pot will do. Simply place it over medium-high heat, then add some olive oil to the bottom and allow it to come to a shimmer. Add the onions and diced chorizo, along with the garlic, and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have started to go soft. Then add the ground beef and brown it, crumbling the meat with a spoon. To this mixture add tomatoes — whole tomatoes this time of year, but canned ones will do when the season turns against them — along with some vinegar and the spices. Lower the heat, and cook, covered, for around a half-hour, then uncover, and add the raisins and the chopped stuffed olives.
Meanwhile, make rice to accompany the stew. Cortina and others fry diced potato in a separate pan as a kind of double-starch garnish for the finished dish, a technique that is used in Puerto Rican picadillos as well. But it is not strictly necessary. The result is crazily comforting: an island dish that is warm though hardly spicy, at once sweet and savory, a dish that exiles and immigrants brought to the United States when they couldn’t bring anything else.
Picadillo – sweet potato chorizo & chicken
Comes from the Spanish word picar which means “to mince” and is similar to a hash. Traditionally made with ground beef, onions, garlic and tomatoes with regional variations like potatoes, chilies, raisins, capers, olives and spices . Picadillo can be served as is with rice/beans or used as a tasty filling for tacos, empanada, or croquettes.
W hen preparing the picadillo I like to make extra and keep in the freezer for a fast and easy dinner or an impromptu party. You can heat the Picadillo and toss with lettuce for a quick salad, use as a taco filling, roll in a burrito or filling for a quesadilla, layer into a grain bowl, toss with pasta or spice up your favorite queso.
I made this recipe with ground turkey and sweet potatoes. Ground beef, chicken, pork or chorizo can easily be substituted along with regular potatoes. For added flavor try combining the various proteins especially the chorizo. Adjust the heat level but varying the amount chilies added.
How to make our gordita recipe
To make the gordita dough, you use masa harina, which is an instant tortilla flour made from nixtamalized (lime treated) corn. This is the same ingredient you would use if you were making corn tortillas.
In fact, if you&rsquove ever made fresh corn tortillas, making gorditas will be an incredibly familiar process to you. For gorditas, you simply shape them a little narrower in diameter and thicker.
The dough should be soft and not crack around the edges when you flatten the dough ball into a gordita shape. (If it does, get a little bit of water on your hands as you shape the gordita. The dough will absorb the water from your hands as you work.)
We&rsquore dry frying our gorditas on a skillet, exactly the same way we would for a corn tortilla.
If you&rsquore really adventurous, feel free to deep fry these in oil though, as that would make a deliciously crispy gordita for your filling!
When you are done cooking the gorditas, the outside should be crisp and the inside soft.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef (85% lean)
- 1 cup diced yellow onions
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 3 cups crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup currants or raisins
- ½ cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives, or to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and break up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula as it browns. Cook until meat completely loses its pink color, 8 to 10 minutes. Add diced onion and salt. Cook until onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pepper, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Stir in red wine vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and water. Cook a few minutes while deglazing pan. Add currants bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low cover and cook until meat is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
My Family Costa Rican Picadillo Recipe
Costa Rican food writer Melissa Guzman grew up in the Cartago mountains where they grow amazing potatoes. Her cherished childhood memories include eating her mother’s and grandmother’s picadillo de papa. Here she shares that picadilo recipe with you.
Picadillos are famous in Costa Rica as one of our most typical dishes.
Picadillos are small chopped vegetables seasoned with meat, like a hash, and they’re usually served as a side dish to the traditional casado and accompanied with tortillas.
The most popular picadillos in Costa Rica are potato, chayote, and vainica (green beans). Less common but also delicious is picadillo de arracache and green papaya picadillo.
The recipes and vegetables vary depending on where you are in Costa Rica, but all have the common denominator of vegetables chopped into small pieces with some meat.
The picadillo de papa (potato picadillo) is popular in the highlands of northern Cartago, where they grow many potatoes.
For me, this picadillo is more than just another dish. For me, it’s sentimental and every time I eat it, it brings back beautiful childhood memories of where I grew up, Llano Grande de Cartago.
Llano Grande de Cartago is a small town in the foothills of the Irazu volcano with soil rich in minerals ideal for agriculture. My grandparents were farmers who grew corn and potatoes. Then my parent’s generation started growing flowers and strawberries, which are now the main crops in the area.
So I grew up surrounded by agriculture, eating vegetables and strawberries we, or our neighbors, grew ourselves. The traditional potato was always an important part of our diet and we ate them as picadillos more often than not.
My grandparents were not rich.
My grandfather lived on a small pension and my grandmother did housework. They couldn’t afford cookies or desserts for us when we visited, but when we did, my grandmother prepared a potato hash, often without meat.
Meat was expensive and sometimes they didn’t have money for it, so often it was only the potatoes chopped with onion and pepper, served in a tortilla with some coffee. But still, that dish had a delicious flavor I still remember today because its unique ingredient was love. That picadillo tasted a thousand times more delicious than if she had added kobe beef or the most expensive ingredient in the world. And that’s why this dish not only fills my stomach but my soul and my heart every time I eat it.
I learned the below recipe from my mother, who learned it from her mother – my grandmother. It’s the best potato picadillo I have ever eaten and brings back so very special memories for me.
My family’s Costa Rican Picadillo Recipe
- 2.5 lbs of potatoes
- 300g of ground beef
- 4 bacon strips, chopped
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 1.3 cup chopped red pepper
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano minced
- 11/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp achiote paste
- 1 cup water
Heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat in a heavy pot and once sizzling add the ground beef, bacon, onions, peppers, garlic, salt, achiote and half the cilantro.
Stir frequently and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
Then dice the potatoes into approximately 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the pot along with the water and oregano. Reduce the heat down to medium, cover and let simmer until the potatoes are soft – that should be about fifteen minutes.
Uncover, add the rest of the cilantro, stir and cook for five more minutes to let the potatoes soften further.
At this point, your picadillo de papa is ready to plate up and serve.
I like to use it as an appetizer with corn tortillas, or for breakfast with some eggs.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, which is about as authentic Costa Rica as you can get, delicious and simple to make. Please don’t forget to check out my book or my blog for many more recipes from Costa Rica.
Melissa Guzman is the author of the book “Living Longer, Healthier, Happier – Recipes from Costa Rica”, available through her website. Born and raised in Costa Rica, she also runs cooking classes and food tours in her country. She lives in Jaco, Costa Rica. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more information.
Costa Rican Cooked White Potatoes Recipe
- 1 pound white potatoes
- 1 tablespoon chicken bullion (Maggi)
- 4-5 cups water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion or yellow onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
Roughly chop the potatoes into evenly sized pieces. Place them in a medium saucepan or stockpot and cover with water. Stir in the Maggi seasoning. Bring everything to a boil and boil until potatoes are fork-tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, you can make your sofrito. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, cilantro and garlic and cook on medium heat until the onion is translucent and the red pepper has softened significantly.
Once the potatoes have cooked, drain all of the water except about 1/2 cup. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. You will roughly mash these potatoes- you want some small chunks of potato in there. This doesn&rsquot really affect the flavor, but it&rsquos the traditional texture of this recipe.
Add the potatoes to the sofrito and stir until evenly combined. You may need to add a bit more oil to the pan to keep the potatoes from sticking as you stir fry. Check for salt, and serve!
More Chorizo to Love
Right off the bat, you must understand: I heart chorizo. Especially the kind I grew up eating in Mexico. It comes in deep-burnt-reddish links of fresh, moist, exotically seasoned ground meat that, once fried, becomes crisp and filling bites with bold flavors and a thousand uses. My oldest son’s quick choice for breakfast is chorizo fried until it browns and crisps, with a side of white toast. Add some lightly beaten eggs as the chorizo is starting to brown and some ripe and creamy avocado slices on the side, and that’s my kind of rich-tasting brunch dish. Of course chorizo is delicious in sandwiches, in tacos and quesadillas, on top of enchiladas, in mashed potatoes, as a topping for heartier salads, in some of the tastiest bean dishes I have tried, in pastas with a ton of personality and on pizzas with pickled jalapeño peppers on top.
I am really trying to stop myself here…
When I moved to the United States, more than a dozen years ago, I was thrilled to find chorizo in international grocery stores. Lately, I have been intrigued and surprised to see that my Mexican chorizo is now accompanied by many other kinds in the refrigerated sections of bigger, more mainstream stores: Argentine, Colombian, Guatemala, Salvadoran and Honduran chorizos have arrived. Like the Mexican kind, some of those varieties are being made with chicken, turkey or beef in addition to pork. There is even kosher chorizo, made with beef, at Koshermart in Rockville and vegan chorizo at Trader Joe’s (which I haven’t felt the urge to try). Many come in spicy, spicier, spiciest and hotter than hot.
Through Sunday afternoon asados, or grilling parties, at friends’ houses and trips to Argentina, I had become familiar with the garlicky chorizo Argentinians are so proud of. But I was clueless about the other kinds. So I shocked my regular grocer by buying a variety of links, then cooked them at home to sample the differences, filling my kitchen with chorizo-tinged smoke. Later, on a cold and rainy day in November, I set out to explore the chorizo universe, including local manufacturers, in this part of the Americas.
It was clear from the start that Latin chorizos share a common difference from Spanish ones. Most Latin chorizos are made with heavily spiced, freshly ground meat, and the must be cooked. Spanish chorizos typically are dried and smoked cured links of chopped meat, seasoned mainly with garlic and paprika they tend to be ready-to-eat and have a salami-like soft and chewy bite.
Although Spaniards introduced the pid and the techniques of making chorizo to most of Latin America, through the centuries chorizos were adapted with local flavors and ingredients. (The Spaniards, for their part, borrowed paprika from those new lads and made it one of their signature chorizo seasonings.) Interestingly, the version that took root in Latin soil was raw and uncured, which is the least-common kind in Spain.
Latin chorizos differ greatly from one another in flavor. Mexican is the spiciest of the lot. It also has the most complex layering of flavors, and I won’t deny that it’s my favorite. Mexican chorizos can have variations as well, but they generally contain dried chili peppers such as ancho, pasilla, guajillo and/or chipotle a mix of spices that might include oregano, cumin, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander seed, allspice, paprika, achiote and cloves most times garlic and sometimes onion and always vinegar, which makes the meat flake or crumble as it browns and gives it a welcome hint of acidity.
If you like really spicy sausage, Chorizo Cabal of Fairfax produces a Mexican one called Perrón, which translates from Mexican-Spanish slang as brave or aggressive. It’s clear as soon as you see the label: A fierce dog looks ready to give you the bite of your life.
For a chorizo that isn’t spicy but has a colorful pungency, the way to go is Salvadoran. That happens to be the favorite of Clifford Logan Jr., vice president of the Logan Sausage Co. in Alexandria. His company sold 50,000 to 60,000 pounds of its Latin-style fresh chorizos in the Washington area last month. Logan is so passionate about chorizos that when asked to describe them, he seemed to be poetically describing bottles of wine: “The Salvadoran,” he began, with a deep romantic sigh and a sudden distant gaze, “has a robust flavor and a subtle finish.”
It seems that around Washington, Mexican and Salvadoran chorizos have been wrestling for bragging rights for a long time. Chorizo Cabal sells more Salvadoran chorizo than Mexican (except in grilling season, when the Argentine chorizo is most popular) Logan Sausage sells twice as much Mexican chorizo as Salvadoran. But the choice has as much to do with flavor and recipes as with the local immigrant population and the popularity of each cuisine. Companies often start to produce chorizos based on where the owner or employees come from immigrants nostalgic for the flavors of home find a way to replicate their native recipes.
The companies’ Mexican, Honduran and Salvadoran chorizos are made with vinegar, yet the Honduran kind is much more sedate. The Guatemalan, Logan says, is somewhere in between the Salvadoran and Honduran, flavor-wise. Betty Guerrero, who runs Chorizo Cabal, agrees, and revealed to me that a bit of spearmint is added to Cabal’s Guatemalan spice mix. Colombian chorizo is plain and quite salty. The Argentine kind has white wine and a heavy dose of garlic in its mix, as well as oregano, nutmeg and a bit of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes. It seems to me that Argentine-style chorizo really lets the flavor of the meat shine through. (See “Use this for that,” above.)
Of course, different brands and regions have different variations, which some purists question, especially when borders are crossed. Guerrero says, “My mother tells me that this is not the way chorizo is made in Mexico, that I am changing the ingredients, that I am changing its ways.” But Guerrero, an experienced chorizo maker, says her company sells about 50,000 pounds of chorizo per month.
One thing I have noticed is that chorizos made in the United States have less fat than those I knew and ate in Latin America. Logan and Guerrero confirmed that, saying their chorizos are made with no more than 20 percent fat. Typically, Mexican chorizo contains at least 30 percent fat. Whole Foods Market makes its own chorizo with no more than 15 percent fat, according to company spokeswoman Katie Hunsberger.
Another thing purists might question is why parts of the chorizo-making process are simplified here. For example, chorizo shops in Mexico soak and puree whole dried chili peppers and add fresh garlic and onion. Chorizo makers here, including Cabal and Logan, generally use custom-made prepared spice mixes that come with already-ground chili peppers and dehydrated garlic.
According to these producers, the mixes not only are convenient but also help ensure quality: “Dried garlic imparts flavor and doesn’t turn black as quickly as fresh garlic does,” Clifford Logan says. They also promote consistency. Hunsberger says that Whole Foods works with Barron’s spices to create a spice mix for its house brand.
No wonder chorizo makers are hesitant to share ingredient information. Their recipes are treated as highly classified state secrets that outsourced spice companies are legally forbidden to share. Dealing with such sacred formulas also may explain why many chorizo companies have longstanding and loyal employees.
Or maybe they just heart chorizo, like me.
Article written for and published by The Washington Post click here.
23. Cuban Chicken Noodle Soup
Looking for something warm to partner with your Cuban sandwiches? Well, the timing couldn&rsquot be more perfect.
This Cuban chicken noodle soup is what you need!
This dish is the ultimate Cuban comfort food in soup form. It&rsquos so hearty, with all the bite-sized pieces of chicken swimming in a light, well-seasoned soup.
The addition of angel hair pasta makes the dish extra filling. You might only need half of the Cuban sandwich.
But that&rsquos definitely not the case for me. I can&rsquot get enough of that sandwich!