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Monday, January 25, 2010

Soup for the Soul

So last night, my father (who is Puerto Rican) requested that I make him one of his favorite authentic Puerto Rican dishes called Asopao.  It is a thick traditional soup made with chicken, rice, olives, ham, peppers, capers, other goodies, and ofcourse ... sofrito.  I once interviewed Ted Allen from Food Network and he said that if you put sofrito on anything at all -- it automatically becomes a latin dish!  It was funny.   Anyhow!  I was going to take pictures and put the pictures on this blog  (or should I say Flog!)  along with the recipe.  But as you can see,  there are no pictures.  Well that is because I botched up the meal. Ugh!  I wouldn't exactly call what I made 'soup' -- not even a stew.  It was more like ... just rice with a bunch of yummy stuff in it.  I somehow left the water boiling and went to go watch the football game  (sorry Brett Favre, if you're reading! Ha)  and when I came back to the stove,  yep,  all the water had boiled itself right on out.  Nice job Donna.  Luckily, it still turned out quite good, thanks to the intensely delicious flavors - and my dad was a good sport about it.  It just wasn't his soup. 
Also, for my side dish - I have become obsessed with frying bread.  It may clog up my aorta, but as each bite is swallowed ... I somehow think it's worth it!  All I do is take french bread or cuban bread - slice it into one inch pieces and slather on a big thick layer of butter.  I place it directly into a skillet with sizzling hot olive oil, butter side down.  Flip it after a couple minutes to brown the other side,  and that's it!!  The BEST part comes next.  How to top it!  For my puerto rican dish last night,  I sprinkled on spicy cheese first, topped off by black beans that I had been cooking on the stove, full of delicious seasoning.   You put all that on top of the fried bread pieces and WOW!!!!  Your taste buds will do a little dance!  (although your arteries might hate you)   Last week, I was making an italian dinner  (my favorite)  and fried my bread the same way - but I topped it with provolone cheese and then white beans that I had been cooking in garlic and basil.  YUM!!

I want to say thank you really quick to Eris Garriga who is the author of my incredible Puerto Rican cookbook, and who is coming onto the 'Dishing With Donna' radio show in a couple weeks.  If any of you want her cookbook .... just let me know. 
So maybe my soup didn't turn out as soup,  but having a home cooked meal with your parents is always good for the soul.

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