And Now for Something Completely Different, Dinner.

So I made vague reference to being a well rounded geek in my Opening Salvo and About pages. Well here’s a little something I’d like to share with the world in general another of my interests, food.

Here’s a recipe that I’ve been playing with for a few years for vegetarian picadillo. If you aren’t familiar with picadillo, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

Picadillo is a dish mainly consisting of ground beef typically found in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries.

Now, I’m a bit of a foodie, so some of the things I put in are different from others, but the beauty of picadillo is the versatility of the recipe.

Vegetarian Picadillo

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs of tofu or soy crumbles, or some sort of ground beef alternative
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I use white, but that again it is a taste issue.)
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic [or more] chopped (I mash mine, I like the garlic to infuse with everything.)
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons of olive oil (This may seem to be a lot, but it’s the only fat added to the dish.)
  • 5 ounces [or more] of pitted green olives chopped (Traditionally, green Spanish olives with Pimiento are used, but I prefer green spicy Sicilian. Again use what you like.)
  • 1 8oz can of diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (I use the super condensed stuff in a tube.)
  • A handful or two of raisins
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of rinsed and dried capers
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 cup of water OR 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

In a good sized skillet or sautee pan, pour in your olive oil in a heated pan. Begin to cook your onions until they start to turn translucent, then add your crumbles, garlic, and spices. Mix well, coating the crumbles and onions well, then add your tomato dice and paste, water/wine, olives, raisins and capers. Combine all of the ingredients well, cover and turn the heat down to a low simmer.

Cook down to the consistancy you like, some people like more soupy, some people like entirely dry, and some like my self like something in the middle.

Once you have the picadillo completed, you can do all sorts of things with it, including eating it with rice, sliced bread or flour tortillas. Some recipes make hand pies from the cooled mixture.

One alternative I include in mine sometimes is adding a half cup of soyrizo, which is a spicy soy mixture analogous to chorizo sausage, to the crumbles for a spicier dish.

I hope you try this dish, play with your food and let me know how you like it.

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