For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a lover of science fiction, mysteries and thrillers. I must admit though, I don’t read as much as I’d like, too busy with other things I guess.#toobusy Buuut when I do settle down on a snowy or rainy afternoon by our crackling fire, I love curling up on the couch with a great book. One of my all time favorites is the DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. It brings me back to my adventures in Italy when I was in my twenties.
The mystery that Brown weaves, so piqued my interest that I couldn’t put the book down. Cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories have always intrigued and interested me. I could envision myself in the Vatican library searching for clues, or studying the Last Supper looking for proof of the theories that were intertwined throughout the novel. I was mesmerized by the the words, phrases and quotes the author so skillfully used to get his point across. Knowing the Louvre in Paris, I almost felt as if I were there as Brown started his storytelling and the mystery began. It brought shivers down my spine when the murder and so many other plots played out.
Of course, when I’m lounging on the couch, I also think about having my favorite cocktail and meal. When it’s cold outside, a nice hot soup and some freshly made bread is just what the doctor ordered. If you love soup too, read on…. I’m going to share a few of the recipes we spoke about on our podcast, “We Teach So Hard.” Click the link to listen on iTunes. I know, I know, I talked about one of my favorite books that takes place in Italy, so why didn’t I come up with some Italian recipes? Because I wanted to share something that most of you have probably never tasted. #yummy
First off, cocktails: A dear friend of ours turned us on to Southern Comfort Manhattans. Wanna know how to make one? Here’s how…. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/94362/southern-comfort-manhattan/
- 1(1.5 fluid ounce) jigger sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- 4 ice cubes optional
- Maraschino cherry
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Pour in the Southern Comfort, vermouth and aromatic bitters.
- Shake for about 15 seconds then strain into a highball glass with or without ice.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
I’m going to share a Colombian soup and bread recipe, the first is SanCocho a hearty soup, similar to a stew. It’s the country’s national dish originating from the region of Antioquia, Colombia that combines potatoes, yucca, corn, plantains and meat. For many, this is the ultimate comfort food and is absolutely scrumptious. In Colombia “el almuerzo” is eaten in the afternoon as the main meal of the day, and is usually served with a side of rice and avocado.
- 1 pork chop
- 1 chicken breast or thigh (use more if desired)
- 1 piece of beef
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Tie 3 scallion stalks and 3 cilantro stalks together
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 3 pieces of yucca (about 2 cups)
- 3 ears corn, cut in half (optional)
- 1 small green plantain, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 chicken boullion cubes
- salt to taste
- In a large pot, saute chopped scallions, onions and garlic in oil.
- Add chicken, pork, and beef. Season with a little salt. Saute a few minutes and fill pot with water.
- Add chicken bullion, cumin and scallion/cilantro stalks. Cover pot.
- Simmer on low 40 – 45 minutes.
- After 40 – 45 minutes, adjust salt and add potatoes, yucca, and plantain. Cook 15 more minutes
- Add corn and cook an additional 7 minutes or until corn is cooked.
- Serve in large bowls, and top with chopped cilantro and tomato.
To go along with the soup, I’d like to share a recipe for a popular bread in Colombia, Pan Aliñado Colombiano usually made with flour, powdered milk, sugar, salt, butter and fresh cheese. It’s delicious. https://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/pan-alinado-colombiano-seasoned-colombian-bread
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of powdered milk
- 1 + 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package of rapid rise yeast
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/4 cup of soft butter
- 3/4 cup cup of queso fresco or farmer cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- Combine flour, powdered milk, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and cheese. Mix with your hands.
- Gradually add the water to the flour mixture and mix well. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let rest about 45 minutes.
- Form it into a log and place it in a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise about 60 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven, let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a rack to cool completely before slicing.
Looking for more delicious recipes, click the links below and visit Retta, Kathie and Tracy’s posts in “We Teach So Hard”….Enjoy!!