Cooking · Countries · Olympic Games Rio 2016

Puerto Rico – Rio 2016

Next stop on our culinary world tour is Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico is a commonwealth that is a U.S. Territory.  What does this mean – it means it is complicated.  Puerto Ricans are natural-born citizen of the United States, but they do not have a vote in the United States Congress or a vote for president.  However, the U.S. Congress governs the territory under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950.   In 1952 the U.S. Congress approved a local constitution allowing U.S. citizens living in the territory to elect a governor.

Flag of PR

This is the eighteenth appearance for Puerto Rico at the Summer Olympics. Of the eight medals they have over the years of competition, six are in boxing, one in wrestling, and the other in the men’s 400 meter hurdles.  Puerto Rico has 41 athletes participating in fifteen different events: boxing, diving, equestrian, judo, road cycling, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Puerto Rico-2

UPDATE – Monica Puig won Puerto Rico its first gold in Women’s Singles Tennis at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games!

For this culinary to-do I decided to make Pineapple Flan, and Chicken Asopao.

My favorite desert ever is flan. The texture is wonderful and it is served cold.  This was my first attempt at making a flan and it fell short.  It was too thin and soupy.  What I did wrong was not cooking the pineapple juice into a thick syrup.  The next attempt at making this will use the recipe from Laylita’s Recipes.

Asopao is a similar to gumbo and can be made using chicken, pork, beef, or pigeon peas.  This turned out to be yummy.

I began making the flan first because it need to bake for an hour and cool before serving.

Pineapple Flan

  • 3 cups of pineapple juice
  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 7 eggs
  1. Combine the pineapple juice with two cups of sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook until a thin syrup if formed or you reach a temperature of 222 degrees on a candy thermometer.
    • Invest in one of these – I do not have one and am convinced this temperature was not reached and therefore the flan when flop.
  3. Remove the syrup from the stove and let it cool completely.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Combine the remaining cup of sugar with the water and let simmer for eight minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture immediately into a nine-inch cake tin and place over low heat.
  7. Cook long enough to caramelize – do not let the syrup burn.
    • This was easy enough and fun to watch the color change.
  8. Immediately swirl the pan around to coat the inside bottom and the sides.
  9. Use a fork to stir the eggs – do not beat them.
  10. When the yolks and whites are blended but not frothy, strain them into the pineapple syrup.
  11. Then, strain this mixture into the caramel-lined pan.
  12. Set the pan into a vessel containing hot water and bake for one hour.
    • The vessel I used was a paella pan because I did not have anything large enough to fit a nine inch cake pan.
  13. Let it cool before unmolding.
  14. Serve cold.

Chicken Asopao

  • 3 1/2 pound chicken cup into 8 serving pieces
    • I had leftover chicken that I used for this.
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled and crushed
  • 1 ounce salt pork – coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces ham – coarsely chopped
    • the ham that is in the meat section instead of the deli section
  • 1 medium yellow onion – peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper – cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 medium tomato – chopped
  • 1/2 pound Chorizo Sausage
  • 1/4 cup pimento stuffed olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon Annatto Oil
    • I could not find this at Whole Foods or Publix nor could I find Annatto seed used to make annatto oil.
  • 2 cups of rice
    • I had leftover rice that I made the nigh before that I forgot to serve.
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
    • I left this out because peas are on the list of foods I am not a fan of eating.

Have all of your ingredients ready for the pan before you start cooking. 

  1. Place the cut up chicken in a large bowl.
  2. Add the oregano, pepper, paprika, salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Toss to evenly coat the chicken.
  4. Heat a large nonstick frying pan and brown the chicken over medium high heat.
  5. Heat a large stove-top casserole.
    • I used my small dutch oven.
  6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic, salt pork, and ham a few minutes.
  7. Add the onion and green bell pepper, and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  8. Add the tomato.
  9. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the tomato collapses.
  10. Add the browned chicken and chorizo.
  11. Simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes.
  12. Add the stuffed olives, capers, annatto oil, rice, and water.
  13. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  14. Add the frozen peas.
    • I left these out but continued to cook the additional 5 minutes.
  15. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  16. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  17. Serve as soon as it is ready.

 

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