One of the most desired cuts of beef in Brazil is called (picanha) . It is also very common in higher end restaurants in Yucatan these days. What is it?
Picanha is a cut of beef called sirloin cap in the United States or the rump cap in the United Kingdom, that is popular in Portugal and Brazil. In the United States, it is little known, but referred to as the rump cover, rump cap, or culotte.
In a Brazilian restaurant it is often served on large skewers…
I chose to roast it whole.
There are THREE steps to the recipe, which involves marinating overnight in the refrigerator (see below) with a citrus-herb salt rub.
Simple Roasted Picanha Recipe
Step One – Citrus-Herb Salt Rub
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Zest of one small lemon, approximately 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Score the fatty blanket on the picanha by making criss-crossing cuts into the fatty blanket covering one side of the picanha. Fat behaves differently than meat when cooked. It loses more liquid and therefore shrinks more. By scoring the fat, you can prevent the piece from curling and dis-forming while it grills.
Rub the salt mixture into the cross cuts of the fat. Refrigerate overnight.
Step Two – Preheat oven to 400 degrees, letting the picana come to room temperature.
Prepare the chimichurri sauce by mixing the following ingredients…
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes (less for milder flavor)
- 2 teaspoons minced oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Step Three – Sear and Roast the picana as follows
Heat a large oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Sear the beef until browned on both sides,approximately 2 minutes per side.Transfer the skillet to the oven with the fatty side of the piranha facing up.
Cook the roast for 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 128-130° for medium-rare. Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature will rise 10 degrees while resting!!
Slice against the grain for tender cuts.
Here is my recent attempt to duplicate that restaurant experience in our oven…in case there is too much snow to fire up the Barbie, mates. Sliced after resting with chimichurri sauce.
I really should make up a Costco Cookbook, since many of the recipes are found because the quantities are so large to use in a short period of time, especially in vegetables! This one was found on Pinterest, since I needed to use up asparagus before it started to spoil. Thanks Pinterest and Costco…Of course, the beauty of this was only one pan to clean!
One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus
- 1-pound asparagus, ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3-6 chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts (breasts pounded to even 1/2 inch thickness – (Mine were already butterflied so no pounding, silly, chicken thighs)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
- Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and herbs and cook another minute or so until the garlic is fragrant.
- Reduce heat to medium, add chicken to pan, and cook for 5-7 minutes, then turn over and cook another 5-7 minutes. (Chicken should be nearly, but not completely cooked through by this point)
- Scoot the chicken over the sides and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the empty portion of the pan. Once the butter is melted, add asparagus. Season asparagus with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, rotating throughout, for 4-6 minutes until tender and chicken is completely cooked through.
- Serve immediately garnished with freshly cracked black pepper and fresh herbs if desired.
Too many Argentinian chorizos…My best friend, Pinterest, shared this recipe! Fortunately I had some chicken thighs, cherry tomatoes and black olives…
Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Traybake
Spanish Chicken & Chorizo Traybake
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal, Whole30
- 1 yellow bell pepper deseeded and cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper deseeded and cut into chunks
- 1 red onion cut into wedges
- 1 white onion cut into wedges
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 4 chicken breasts)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2/3 cup chopped chorizo
- 1/2 cup black olives
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390F)
- In a large pyrex baking dish add the chopped bell peppers, onions, cherry, chorizo, tomatoes and olive.
- In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, crushed garlic, paprika, oregano, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour 2/3 of the sauce over the veggies and toss with your hands to ensure everything is well coated. Place the chicken pieces on top of the veggies and brush with the remaining sauce.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, remove from the oven half way through cooking and spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the dish over the chicken and veggies before returning back to the oven to bake.
- Check the chicken to ensure it’s no longer pink. Sprinkle the veggies with chopped parsley before serving.
“Honey, I’m home!” (for all of those familiar with that old greeting from some TV show?) Welcome back former followers. Your encouragement is appreciated. A recent house sitter left behind some really nice frozen shrimp and (Pinterest to the rescue) I decided to thaw them out- 24 beautiful specimens which only required peeling and deveining. Once done, I put them in some cold water with a little salt and put them back in the refrigerator awaiting dinner prep. Some fresh asparagus was also waiting to be used. Everything came together with very little prepping…
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cocktail sauce for dipping (1/2 cup ketchup + 2 tablespoons horseradish)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with oil.
Place the shrimp in a single layer on the sheet. Evenly distribute olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss together with your hands and spread out again.
*Place the pan in the oven and roast the shrimp until just pink, firm and cooked. This should take 9 minutes. When done sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with whatever side you have chosen.
*NOTE…since the oven was on I also roasted the asparagus which was drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan. If you choose to do the asparagus, put it in the oven 10 minutes before the shrimp and leave them in until the shrimp are done.
Ropa vieja (Spanish for “old clothes”) is one of the national dishes of Cuba, but is also popular in other areas of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Panama. It consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables. This was a dish we had in Havana in 2014. The beauty is that it is done in a slow cooker.
You can omit the olives, but trust me on this one. Serve with your favorite rice or use it with fresh tortillas.
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)
- 3 lbs. beef flank steak (or substitute Mexican arrachera)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 (14-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced ( I used red for contrast)
- 1 cup Spanish olives – green
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
Cooked yellow rice for serving*
Slow Cooker Size:4-quart or larger
- Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker. Stir.
- Add the flank steak and flip it around in the sauce so it gets coated. Add the bell pepper, onion, olives and garlic cloves, mix those items together to combine on top of the meat.
- Cover and cook on low for 9 hours on LOW without opening the lid during the cooking time. Shred the meat with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.
If you have been following me you know that our slow cooker cooks faster for some unknown reason. When I looked up cooking on HIGH (because I was short of time) it suggested 5 hours as the equivalent. Guess what? It was done in a little over 2.5 hours using an arrachera of 1.3 kilos.
LESSON—-dont let it cook while you are away at work unless you know your cooker very well. Keep checking for doneness.
Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!
It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!
Creamy cauliflower chowder
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4-5 people
Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup diced Onion
- 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1/2 cup diced Carrots
- 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
- 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- Salt to taste
Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.
Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.
Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.
Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.
There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…
Jambalaya is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.
Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)
- 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
- 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
- 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
- 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.
Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.
Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Thanks to all of you for getting me past the 14000 views this week! You are all awesome. In return is an awesome Aztec recipe for a soup/stew called pozole. Get out your slow cooker.
Pozole can be prepared in many ways. All variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base.
Vegetarian recipes substitute beans for the meat.
The three main types of pozole are blanco/white, verde/green and rojo/red.
Red Pozole is usually made without the green sauce, instead adding a red sauce made from one or more chiles, such as guajillo, piquin, or ancho.
Slow Cooker Easy Pork Pozole
- 2 – 15 oz. cans hominy (white corn), rinsed and drained (fresh in the deli section) In our grocery store here, this is the brand I buy. I use 3/4 package.
- 1 – 16 oz. jar salsa
- 1 – litre reduced sodium chicken broth (I actually used almost 2 to get it less thick)
- 2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chile peppers undrained (to taste, truthfully, I used two thin slices)
- 1 – cup coarsely chopped onion
- 1 – T ground cumin
- 4 – cloves garlic minced
- 1 – tsp. dried oregano, crushed
- ¼ – tsp. red pepper
- 12 oz. – pork loin, cut into bite sized pieces
- Fresh cilantro snipped
In the removable crock pot liner, combine the first 9 ingredients (through the red pepper). Stir in the pork pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Let the liner stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours (depending on your slow cooker)…or on HIGH for 3 to 3.5 hours. Check frequently… mine was done in 5 hours on low!
Sprinkle cilantro onto each serving in large soup bowls. Serve with tortillas if desired.
OPTIONAL – In separate side bowls, provide a few sliced radishes, more chopped onion, oregano, chopped cabbage, avocado, cilantro. Let your guests choose what they want to add. I like to add some sour cream for smoothness.
Makes 6+ servings.
Okay Cousin Bonnie, here is the salad recipe you asked for…it was yummy!
Lemony Chickpea, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe by Michela Chiappa from Michela’s Tuscan Kitchen
600g ripe tomatoes (I just drained a can of diced tomatoes)
1 small bunch fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small handful walnuts
½ jar good quality chickpeas (about 300g)
pinch of dried cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 good handfuls of arugula
1 small round of crumbly, soft goat’s cheese
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to a serving bowl. Rip in most if the basil leaves, keep the baby leaves to one side. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and season with black pepper and salt.
- Place a small frying pan on a low heat, add the walnut halves and cook for 5 minutes until toasted and smelling delicious. When ready tip into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, drain and the chickpeas. Add the cumin, oregano, lemon zest and half the juice and a drizzle of oil. Toss together with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas to the tomatoes and toss together. Add the arugula and crumble over the goat’s cheese and walnuts.
The problem with having a small gas BBQ is not being able to do a beer can chicken because the lid is too low! For those who do not know what I am speaking about, normally one places a seasoned chicken upside down over a full, but open beer can. NOT alive sillies!!! The hot juices from the can permeate the bird as it cooks. Pinterest to the rescue again.
Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken (without the beer can!)
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 (6-inch) strips aluminum foil, each bunched into a ball
- 1 can (16 ounces) beer
- 1 (6 1/2 to 7 pound) whole chicken
- Mix smoked paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
- Place 4 balls of aluminum foil on bottom of slow cooker crock. Pour beer into crock.
- Rinse chicken and pat dry.
- Rub chicken with seasoning mixture. Place chicken on top of foil in crock.
- Cover slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5 to 7 hours. Chicken is well done when meat temperature registers 165°F in the breast or 175°F-180°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
- USDA recommends 165°F as the safe eating temperature for chicken. Chicken is done when meat temperature registers 165°F in the breast or 175°F-180°F in the thickest part of the thigh. For more information on food safety, visit foodsafety.gov.