Tuesday, February 12, 2013

& BooBoo Too!

Wow. I can't believe it's been almost six months since my last post.

The holidays were filled with comings and goings, including a trip to Florida for Mima. I flew down with her and she stayed to visit with my sister while I flew back home, where we hosted all our kids and my husband's folks. Then it was back to Florida for me to fly back with Mima. It was a whirlwind, but we really enjoyed being able to focus on our kids and my in-laws.

The clan at Christmastime

Since then, things have changed around here. A LOT.

We are thrilled to have my niece, BooBoo (aka Annette) living with us. She arrived in January, specifically to spend time with her Abuela and give me and my husband a bit of respite. This means we can spend some much-needed couple time without hiring a "mommy sitter." We are looking forward to our a weekend getaway that doesn't involve flying in a family member, and the stress it puts on Mima to have "strangers" in and out of the house.

I recently cooked one of BooBoo's favorite meals - Caldo Gallego. It was the perfect dish for a rainy, cold February evening. Mima made this while I was growing up, and the neighbors would show up out of nowhere! It's best served with fresh Cuban bread, but lacking that, I made some cheddar biscuits instead.

Caldo Gallego

2 cups white navy beans, rinsed (soften however you prefer - I use a pressure cooker)
1 ham bone (with some meat still on it) or some salt pork
2-3 chorizo sausages (the dry, Cuban style)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 large potatoes, diced
3 cups shredded collard greens

Place softened beans in dutch oven (or in pressure cooker). Add enough water to cover by one inch, then add ham bone or salt pork, onion, spices and bell pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and simmer for one hour. Add more water as needed to maintain a "stew" consistency.

Add chorizo, potatoes and collards. Simmer over low heat about 30 minutes. Remove ham bone and sausage; cut meat from ham bone and return to pot. Slice chorizo and return to pot. (Remove and discard salt pork).

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve with fresh hot Cuban bread if you are fortunate to live where you can get it! Enjoy.

BooBoo says she doesn't sew, but we'll see if we can't get a needle in her hand ...

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