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Asopao Cooking Class

Asopao Cooking Class

Ingredients Vegetables 2 medium yellow onion, 1 quartered 2 garlic head, 1 halved 2 large carrot, sliced 4 celery stalk, sliced 1 green bell pepper, halved 2 small sweet pepper, halved 1 lemon 1 ear corn (frozen ok) ¾ cup frozen green peas Spices & Herbs 3 ½ tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon garlic powder 4 teaspoon onion powder 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seed (ground ok) 1/2 teaspoon ground black peppercorn (ground ok) 1 teaspoon annatto seeds (ground ok) 2 bay leaf 1 bunch fresh cilantro  1 bunch fresh parsley 1 bunch fresh thyme Pantry 1 6-oz can tomato paste 1 cup white medium grain rice ½ cup dry white wine or 1 tablespoon white vinegar 3 tablespoon green olives  16 cup filtered water  ¼ cup olive oil or refined coconut oil Protein (select one) 1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized pieces  14 oz firm tofu Equipment measuring spoons measuring cup peeler  large soup pot large spoon knife cutting board 1 clean kitchen towel 2 ceramic plates 4 small or medium bowls Procedure 1. In a large stock pot, add water, 1 halved onion, 1 halved garlic head, carrot, celery, corn, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and half the cilantro. Bring to a boil and lower heat so that it simmers for at least 2 hours. 
 2. If using tofu, press tofu by wrapping it in a clean dish towel and sitting it between two  plates. Then place a heavy item, like a gallon of juice, on top of the plate. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. 
 3. In a small pot, prepare an achiote oil by heating ¼ cup oil and 1 teaspoon annatto seeds. Keep heat on the very lowest setting, so that the oil just barely simmers. 
 4. In a blender, prepare sofrito by blending 1 yellow onion, 6-8 clove garlic, 1 green bell pepper, 2 small sweet peppers and ½ bunch of fresh cilantro. 
 5. Prepare an adobo  mixture with 2 ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 4 teaspoon onion powder, 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seed (ground ok), 1/2 teaspoon ground black peppercorn
 6. Season your protein, chicken or tofu, with the adobo mixture. 
 7. Thinly slice olives.
 8. Once broth is ready, strain and reserve liquid. Use the same pot to heat 2-3 tablespoons of achiote oil. 
 9. If using chicken, add chicken to hot oil and let it brown on each side for a few minutes. If using tofu, add to hot oil and saute for just one minute.
 10. Add sofrito and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
 11. Add tomato paste and olives. Cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn.
 12.  Add broth, corn and peas. Bring up to a boil. Then add rice. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.
 13. Serve hot and garnish with lemon juice and cilantro.
Vegan Coquito Class

Vegan Coquito Class

Coquito is a traditional beverage made during the holiday season in Puerto Rico. As the name suggests, the base is made with coconut milk. Recipes almost always include evaporated milk and condensed milk. The following recipe substitutes those ingredients to make this a dairy free version. I've also included a few optional flavors using herbal medicine making methods. Ingredients 1 can Coconut Milk (full fat & unsweetened) 1 can Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut 1 can Nature’s Charm Coconut Evaporated Milk 1/2 can Nature’s Charm Oat Condensed Milk 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1 pinch Nutmeg, freshly ground 1/8 teaspoon Vanilla extract ½-1 cup White Rum 2 Cinnamon Stick *optional 2 teaspoon unsweetened Coconut Flakes *optional 2 34-ounce Glass Bottle (for storing) 16 ounce mason Jar with lid (large enough to fit rum with a little extra space) *optional Rose Hibiscus Flavor 4 tablespoon Rose Petal 2 tablespoon Hibiscus Spiced 1 Star Anise 1 1/2 Cardamom 1/2 tablespoon Allspice 2 tablespoon Cinnamon Bark (or 1 small cinnamon stick) Almond 3 tablespoon almond (roasted & unsalted) 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Procedure In blender, puree coconut milk, cream of coconut, evaporated milk, and condensed milk, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract until smooth. For the basic coconut flavor, add rum to milk mixture. I like to add 1/2 cup first and taste before adding more to get it to desired alcohol level. For additional flavors, pour rum and herb/spice blends listed into mason jar, close with lid, and place into a pot with boiling water for 2 hours, adding water to ensure water remains at the level of the rum. Place a cinnamon stick and 1 teaspoon of coconut flakes (if desired) in each bottle. Pour mixture into bottles, leaving about 1 inch at the top. Store in refrigerator and shake before serving.
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