Chicken Brodo

Chicken Brodo

From braising to roasting, grilling, sautéing, or poaching, chicken is so universal and I just can get tired of it. In my house, we eat at least once a week, and I make chicken stock and chicken brodo from the bones every time a chicken is served. I have adapted this recipe to this situation- carcass from a chicken that was dinner.

I suggest creating a habit: every time you cook a chicken for dinner, don’t toss the bones out. Not even the bones that were in your husband’s or children’s plate. Make chicken brodo! Even a very small amount of bones, from 1 little bird, will yield about 2 cups of bordo. And with that small amount, it only takes 30 minutes to make brodo. Bird by bird, my freezer is stocked with chicken brodo.

And what is the difference between chicken stock and chicken brodo, you might ask? There is a very fine line between the two. Chicken brodo is chicken stock that has been seasoned and simmered longer than chicken stock. Chicken stock is used for cooking, brodo is used for drinking, like tea. But can you cook with chicken brodo? You can, just remember the brodo is already seasoned.

 

Chicken Brodo

Makes 3 to 4 cups

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 pounds of chicken bones from a rotisserie chicken

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1 stalk of celery, cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 to 3 bay leaves

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

 

  1. Remove excess fat from the bones. In a large stockpot, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bones, vegetables, and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until bones are hot and vegetables are cooked about 20 minutes. Add enough cold water to cover the bones, about 1 inch above the amount of bones. Don’t add too much water, or the brodo will be watery and lacking flavor. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 30 to 45 minutes, skimming the foam occasionally.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the liquid. When the brodo has a rich, bright chicken flavor, remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon and strain the stock, first through a medium strainer then through a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Place the brodo over an ice bath then chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours – chilled is the best way to judge the quality of the liquid. The more gelatinous, the better. Carefully remove any fat that accumulates on the top and discard it. Divide the brodo into several small plastic containers, label them, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

 

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Eggnog Cocktail

Eggnog Recipe

This season, I’m here to help you craft the new chapter of your unique cooking story. The rich bold tastes of the season, the unique ingredients, and some very special occasions are designed and curated to be an integral part of the moments that matter—like sitting by the fireplace drinking an eggnog cocktail.

Raise your hands if you heard about eggnog many times before but never made it, and don’t know when or how to drink it? Welcome! You’re not alone. This delicious drink is one of the greatest pleasures of the Holiday season, unknown to a lot of people.

Many international cuisines have a version of eggnog cocktail. In France, it’s called Lait de Poule or “hen’s milk”. In Mexico, it’s called Rompope and it’s made with Tequila and sometimes Mezcal.

In Brazil, it’s called Licor de Ovos and it’s mostly prepared with cachaca. I have to admit I didn’t grow up drinking eggnog, as no one in my family used to make it. But as my taste buds evolved and I moved to a winter climate region like New England, eggnog fits the Holiday season like a glove.

In the U.S, the drink is so popular that is even sold in cartons at the supermarket this time of year. As always, the homemade version is so much better, and you can add whatever alcohol you want, in the dosage you want.

Most recipes for eggnog call for whole milk and heavy cream. While I certainly enjoyed the taste of the recipe prepared this way, I also noticed that it made it so filling that I could barely eat anything after drinking it. On a quest to make a lighter version, I opted to use coconut milk instead, still delivering a smooth, delicious, and satisfying drink

I like to add rum to my eggnog, but as you can see, the drink is receptive to a wide variety of liquors. So, go ahead, follow the recipe as a guideline, and add your favorite alcohol.

As this year we’re all confined at home, it might be a great idea to sit around the fire with the family and enjoy a round of eggnog while talking about life.

At least we’re done talking about the elections!

 

Eggnog Cocktail

 

Serves 6 to 8

 

4 cups coconut milk, divided

¾ cup (160g) organic cane sugar

5 large egg yolks

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream

¾ cup dark rum

 

  • In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of coconut milk, but don’t boil.
  • In a bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until nice and thick.
  • Pour some of the warm milk into the yolk mixture, whisk well, and then pour the rest. Return this mixture back to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened and smooth. Turn off the heat, add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir in the cream.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl over ice water. Stir occasionally until chilled, then add rum and the remaining 2 cups coconut milk. You can prepare the recipe up to 3 days ahead of time. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Serve slightly chilled, or at cool room temperature with a small dollop of whipped cream on top and a dash of ground cinnamon.

 

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Leticia

 

 

Orange Coconut Shake

Orange Coconut Shake

I’m not always in the mood for a mocktail, but that doesn’t mean I just want water. Consider this Orange Coconut Shake, a refreshing drink made with orange juice and coconut milk. Think of it as a nonalcoholic drink that uses simple ingredients that you probably have on hand. It can be a menu addition to your small family gathering in times of Covid. Especially if this means you get to have a chic adult cocktail without any alcohol.

 

Orange Coconut Shake

Makes 4 small shakes

 

1 tablespoon cardamom pods

¼ cup (50g) organic cane sugar

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup sour cream

½ cup crushed ice

 

  • In a small skillet over high heat, toast the cardamom pods lightly until they are fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Let it cool completely. Reserve 3 pods for garnish.
  • Place the cardamom, sugar and coconut milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  • Strain the coconut milk mixture directly into a blender, along with the orange juice, sour cream, and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into 4 tall thin glasses (or champagne glasses) and grade a little bit of cardamom on top as garnish. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Let’s suppose someone opened a Mason Jar and poured you a glass of Mint Lemon Agua Fresca. It’s refreshing, full of zest and sweet intensity from the coconut water, and if acidity can be thrilling, this recipe has it. Would you be surprised to learn this is a staple from my cookbook Latin Superfoods? I usually drink it right after exercise, or as soon as I wake up, on an empty stomach. It feels pretty awesome. And you can watch a video of this recipe on You Tube. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!

 

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Makes 2 Ball Mason Jars

 

6 sprigs fresh mint

10 thin slices of cucumber

1 lime, sliced thinly

4 cups coconut water

Ice cubes

 

  • Divide the mint, cucumber, and lime between the 2 Ball Mason Jars. Fill each with coconut water.
  • Close the jar and let it steep in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add ice before serving.

 

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See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Here’s to the New Year Cleansing, with an inspiring drink:

An Avocado Spinach Smoothie! Because juices and smoothies are high on the list to fuel all of my hopes and dreams!

Hope you’ll join me on this new decade!

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie:

½ avocado

1 cup spinach

¾ cup almond milk

¼ teaspoon honey

Few drops lime juice

½ cup crushed ice

 

Procedure: Beat everything in a food processor until nice and smooth.

Drink and enjoy!

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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See you next time!

Leticia

Meyer Lemon Caipirinha

Meyer Lemon Caipirinha Drink

Of all things Brazilian, you’ve probably heard of Caipirinha, our heraldic emblem and one of Brazil’s greatest contributions to the food and wine world.

Essentially, caipirinha is a simple cocktail based on a mixture of mashed lime with sugar, ice, and cachaça. As elementary as it is, there are a few variables that could make all the difference in your drink. The lime should be cut into medium-sized chunks. It is then mashed with sugar by a wooden muddler until the lime releases its oils. Transfer this mixture to a shaker, add some ice, cachaca, shake it, and pour. Done!

It was OMG at first sight when I saw some Meyer Lemons at the farmers market and used it as an inspiration for this gleaming new recipe. It subtly glimmers for an occasion that blends easy Connecticut elegance with a casual, Latin spirit.

 

Meyer Lemon Caipirinha

 Makes 1 caipirinha

 

2 Meyer Lemons

1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons cachaça (adjust amount to taste)

Ice cubes

 In a grinder, mash lemon and sugar together.

Transfer to a drink shaker. Add Cachaca, and ice; shake well and pour into a cup.

Cheers!

 

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

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Leticia

 

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

It’s snowing outside. You’re wearing flannel shirts and velvet blankets. You are cozy in a soft couch and craving for the memories of your childhood hot chocolate. I got you! This Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon and Cocoa Nibs will satisfy your cravings and make you want to stay under the covers! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs

Makes 4 small hot chocolates

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

1 cinnamon stick, more sticks to serve as garnish

4 ounces (115g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 teaspoons cocoa nibs for serving

 

1- Bring the milk, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat.

2- Add the chocolate, reduce the heat to low, and whisk constantly until it becomes thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Yes, this is the secret to a good hot chocolate, you have to whisk non-stop until all of the water in the milk has evaporated and it becomes creamy.

3- Let it cool for 5 minutes.

4- Strain through a fine sieve and serve in small cups.

5- Garnish with cocoa nibs and a cinnamon stick.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

Red Fruit Juice

Red Fruit Juice (Berry Juice)

Ingredients:

4 large(80g) strawberries

1/3 cup (60g) Raspberries

1/3 cup Blueberries (60g) or Cherries or Blackberries

1 cup coconut Water

1 tablespoon honey

 

Place all ingredients in a blender, puree for 3 minutes or until very smooth Strain over a tall glass

Makes 1 tall glass.

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

It’s freezing cold again! This weekend my kids asked me for “my famous” creamy hot chocolate, which I am sharing the secret here with you. The glass in this photo is really small, about 4 ounces—all you need is a small shot of hot chocolate with this recipe! Perfect for the freezing temperatures of the North East these days, and a nice way to  warm up!  Let me know how you like this recipe!

 

Creamy Hot Chocolate

Makes 4 small shots-hot chocolate

2 cups whole milk

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

4 ounces (115g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1- Bring the milk, water and sugar to a boil over medium heat.

2- Add the chocolate, reduce the heat to low, and whisk constantly until it becomes thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Yes, right here it’s the secret to this creamy hot chocolate, you have to whisk non-stop it becomes dense and creamy.

3- Let it cool for 5 minutes.  Serve in small shot cups and enjoy!

 

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Vanilla Extract

Brazilian Vanilla Extract

One night last month I spent several hours baking all kinds of goodies: cookies, brownies, cakes, and so on. The one ingredient they all had in common was vanilla extract.

Vanilla is for baking what salt and pepper is for cooking— it enhances the flavor of everything! Vanilla pods are enclosed in beans produced by orchids, which only opens once a year, justifying their expensive prices. It is cultivated in a number of tropical countries like Madagascar, Indonesia, Uganda, India, and Papa New Guinea, but the most prized ones come from Madagascar, Mexico, and Tahiti.

When vanilla beans are harvested, it doesn’t really taste as we know it. The aroma develops later, during the drying and fermentation process. And the result is a bean that is soft and oily, slightly sweet, tasting almost caramel, with a far undertone of camphor, perfect for cookies, brownies, cakes and a world of baking.

Length matters: the longer, the better— the more flavor it will have.

A good vanilla bean, with its astounding range of familiar tastes, transports you to a mystical place. After hours of confectioning and flavoring everything with vanilla, I decided to step back and started to contemplate on how the extract is made. The answer is simple: essentially alcohol infused with vanilla beans or compound.

And then my typical self came out: why not try to make a vanilla extract at home? And with a Brazilian alcohol beverage instead? Cachaça of course! The national spirit of Brazil varies in flavor from floral to cinnamon, herbal to fiery, and it might just work great!

I made a trip to The Container store and bought a jar/ glass bottle with a cork top, like this

http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/foodStorage/commercial?productId=10019593

My experiment was easy and pleasureable. And now I can give a touch of Brazilian flavor even to the most American of sweets.

Brazilian Vanilla extract

Makes 1 small jar of 4 oz

2 vanilla beans, very moist and oily, split length-wise

½ cup (125 ml) cachaça

1- Sterilize the container by simmering in hot water.

2- Put the vanilla beans inside the glass jar and cover with cachaça, completely submerging the beans. If the beans are taller than the jar, cut it.

3- Close the bottle and let it stand in a cool dark place for at least 6 weeks before using. The extract is done when is dark and fragrant.

Have fun making your own! And let me know about it!

Hugs,

Leticia

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