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HomeNewsArchivesSOME SAY PICADILLO IS THE CARIBBEAN'S CHILI

SOME SAY PICADILLO IS THE CARIBBEAN'S CHILI

Sept. 23, 2001 – If you're still hankering for chili after this weekend's Chili Cook-Off, then you might want to try what some consider the Caribbean version of this dish — picadillo.
Simply described as beef hash, picadillo is a mixture of ground beef, tomatoes, green pepper, onion and garlic, along with signature flavorings such as pimento-stuffed green olives and raisins. Green beans and/or dried cooked beans such as kidney also may be added. Some recipes call for the fiery punch of added chili peppers; other versions are milder. The ingredients are slowly simmered until they reach a stew-like consistency.
In Puerto Rico, picadillo is used as an ingredient for piñón, a lasagna-like recipe in which the beef mixture is layered between strips of fried ripe plantain. In another variation, Puerto Ricans wrap the meat mixture inside pinwheels of plantain and deep-fry them to make piononos or bundle the meat within a flaky pastry to create empanadas.
In Cuba, picadillo is served topped with a fried egg. In its simplest form, it is enjoyed as an entrée accompanied by plain cooked white rice and a basic side salad. Like Texas-style chili, picadillo enjoys a following of dedicated feasters, no matter how it is prepared and served.
Picadillo
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large green bell pepper, chopped fine
2 large onions, chopped fine
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef *
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 cup dry red cooking wine **
12 whole green olives with pimento
1/4 cup raisins
Mash the salt, pepper and garlic together in a mortar until well blended. Pour this mixture, along with the oil, green pepper and onion, into a fry pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion becomes translucent. Stir in the tomato sauce and let simmer 1 minute. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, wine or juice, olives and raisins. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and mixture is thick. Serves 6.
Nutrition per serving: 215 calories, 12 gms fat (51 percent fat calories), 35 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium.
* Ground turkey, ground chicken or vegetarian soy protein chunks can be used in place of beef.
** Apple or grape juice may be substituted for the wine, if desired.

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Sept. 23, 2001 - If you're still hankering for chili after this weekend's Chili Cook-Off, then you might want to try what some consider the Caribbean version of this dish -- picadillo.
Simply described as beef hash, picadillo is a mixture of ground beef, tomatoes, green pepper, onion and garlic, along with signature flavorings such as pimento-stuffed green olives and raisins. Green beans and/or dried cooked beans such as kidney also may be added. Some recipes call for the fiery punch of added chili peppers; other versions are milder. The ingredients are slowly simmered until they reach a stew-like consistency.
In Puerto Rico, picadillo is used as an ingredient for piñón, a lasagna-like recipe in which the beef mixture is layered between strips of fried ripe plantain. In another variation, Puerto Ricans wrap the meat mixture inside pinwheels of plantain and deep-fry them to make piononos or bundle the meat within a flaky pastry to create empanadas.
In Cuba, picadillo is served topped with a fried egg. In its simplest form, it is enjoyed as an entrée accompanied by plain cooked white rice and a basic side salad. Like Texas-style chili, picadillo enjoys a following of dedicated feasters, no matter how it is prepared and served.
Picadillo
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large green bell pepper, chopped fine
2 large onions, chopped fine
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef *
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 cup dry red cooking wine **
12 whole green olives with pimento
1/4 cup raisins
Mash the salt, pepper and garlic together in a mortar until well blended. Pour this mixture, along with the oil, green pepper and onion, into a fry pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion becomes translucent. Stir in the tomato sauce and let simmer 1 minute. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, wine or juice, olives and raisins. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and mixture is thick. Serves 6.
Nutrition per serving: 215 calories, 12 gms fat (51 percent fat calories), 35 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium.
* Ground turkey, ground chicken or vegetarian soy protein chunks can be used in place of beef.
** Apple or grape juice may be substituted for the wine, if desired.