Saturday, May 4, 2013

Raving on Picadillo

I bought my copy of Cooking Know-How: Be a Better Cook with Hundreds of Easy Techniques, Step-by-Step Photos, and Ideas for Over 500 Great Meals used on Amazon for a few cents plus shipping, but I have since seen copies at my local thrift stores. I really can’t urge you enough to pick up a copy used somewhere yourself. What a gem. I’ve mentioned before how this is a collection of 64 recipes, which really is 62 recipes since two of them are bird and beef divided into two separate recipes by weight (ie, “roasted birds over 4 1/ lbs” and “roasted birds under 4 1/2 lbs”). Each recipe begins with a very clear step-by-step description of the process, with an instructive picture or two when needed. There is a little sidebar with history and serving/side dish suggestions. But then comes the thing that makes this cookbook unique: the chart. I needed some dramatic music with that – use your imagination :-). The charts are what turn 64 recipes into the "over 500" of the title.

For example, down the left side of the Picadillo chart there are the following:
  1. Heat
  2. Stir in and soften
  3. Add and brown
  4. Stir in
  5. Pour in and reduce before seasoning
And across the top are the following:
  • Cuban Picadillo
  • Asian Picadillo
  • Hawaiian Picadillo
  • Argentinean Picadillo
  • Turkey Picadillo
  • Italian-Style Picadillo
  • Vietnamese Picadillo
  • Caribbean Picadillo
Filling in the chart are all the ingredients that make each variation unique. I’ve blogged about Picadillo before, but we continue to have a fun time exploring the various flavor combos. It is a fast food, too, but my last post was getting pretty long! Paleo people eat on romaine leaf bowls or crisp kale leaves if we’ve got some nice giant ones and those who are able eat it on corn chips or tortilla wraps.

Keep your eye out next time you’re in the thrift store and grab a copy if you see one! Better yet, buy one for yourself and keep buying until you have one to hand each of your children when they grow up and leave home.

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