Dominican Chimichurri Burgers

Did you enjoy watching the Olympics earlier this month?

I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t able to watch as much of the competition as I’d have liked. Being on the West Coast [for the first time] made watching Prime Time a little difficult as I saw everything on social media posted by my friends and family and NBC in the afternoon before it was finally broadcast out here.

And to add insult to injury, Prime Time happens to be bed time for my boys. I’d hit “record” on the DVR but by the time I sat back in front of the TV I was definitely falling asleep.

What does any of this have to do with the recipe I’m blogging about today?

For the Opening Ceremonies we were invited to an Olympics party. Everyone was to bring a dish representing a different country; the hosts were taking care of America.

I took on both the Dominican Republic and Poland – taking the opportunity to delve into my family’s heritage. (My dad is Dominican and my mom Polish.)

Unfortunately we had to back out the day of the event due to the hectic-ness that had been my husband’s work that week. I’d even had to take two attempts at my Polish dish (which I’ll share during the holidays)!

The dish representing the DR: Chimichurri Burgers! My dad thought I was insane when I told him what I was making. “The DR is not known for their burgers.” A Google search tends to disagree. The “chimi” is quite a popular street food burger.

The chimi, as it’s known, is also now quite popular in my house! As I do with all burgers now, 1/4 of the mixture was formed into meatballs for the boys. The remaining three patties were were devoured! Yes, I had a burger and a half myself. Yes, I want more.

Dominican Chimichurri Burgers

Ingredients for burgers:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, divided use
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tsp garlic powder, divided use
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 C sliced cabbage
  • 1 tomato, thickly sliced
  • sliced red onion
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 patties.
  2. Grill burgers 4 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.
  3. Heat in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the cabbage with remaining soy sauce and garlic powder until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil to the same skillet and sear tomato slices and onion slices for a minute on each side.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup and mayonnaise with a dash of soy sauce.
  6. Assemble burgers: Spread some of the ketchup mixture on the bottom hamburger buns. Top with a burger patty, tomato, onion, cabbage, and more ketchup mixture.

*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://thecrumbycupcake.com/dominican-chimichurri-burger/*

"The Chimi" is a popular burger from the Dominican Republic, flavored with soy and Worcestershire, topped with sauteed cabbage, onion, and tomato. | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Dominican Beet Potato Salad

Remember that beet potato salad I said I made with the beets from the Farmer’s Market? Well, today’s the day I finally share the recipe!

It’s National Potato Day!

This potato salad recipe comes from one of my dad’s aunts. It’s one of those family recipes that doesn’t actually have measurements – and the ingredient values I did have were huge! I went with the flow and did my best at recreating this Dominican side dish. I used Yukon gold potatoes instead of Russet because that’s what I had, and instead of canned beets I used a fresh one from the Farmer’s Market. I will say, I added way too much onion so I’ve adjusted for that in the ingredients, I would still suggest adding it sparingly and to taste. There was a note on the “recipe” to gently mash the salad after it’s all mixed so that there’s a creamy texture but still with chunks of potato. Because I didn’t peel the potatoes this didn’t quite work, but I enjoyed it without the extra “mash” texture.

I don’t remember caring for these potatoes when I was a kid – but I definitely remember them! How does one forget pink potatoes!? My little man though greatly enjoyed it. Check out this video I posted to Instagram of him humming while he ate. 🙂

Tia’s Beet Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 small beet
  • 5 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 hard boiled egg, diced
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp grated onion (or less, to taste)

Steps:

  1. Peel beet and cut into quarters. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water, salt. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool. Finely dice the beets.
  2. Cut potatoes into quarters. Place in a saucepan and cover with water, salt. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut potatoes into bite sized chunks – remove skins if desired.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together mayo, olive oil, and vinegar. Add potatoes and hard boiled egg. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Grate the onion over the bowl so as to collect the juices. Add the beets and mix until pink. Season to taste again with S+P. Note: If the onion taste is too strong, add more mayo.

Dominican Beet Potato Salad | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chicharrones de Pollo

Today is my dad’s birthday! And that means he gets to be front and center on the blog today.

I have no shame in admitting that I am a Daddy’s Girl. Just talking to my dad on the phone can make me homesick. I could pull out every positive adjective from the dictionary to describe my father. He is a very successful man who never once puts family second behind work. He travels a lot for his job and growing up we really only saw him on the weekends, but I never felt deserted. My dad knows how much I appreciate everything he has done for our family, I tell him in every Father’s Day and Birthday card. Yes, I’m one of those softies who just can’t buy the funny card – no matter how fitting.

Dad

Wedding photography by Cher Hanna

My dad’s birthday dinner is typically pierogi. It’s the test batch before Christmas Eve. With pierogi already on the blog Dad got free reign on the recipe I should post today. He asked for Chicharrones de pollo. Of course I couldn’t say no.

My father’s family is from the Dominican Republic, my dad was the first born in the states. So really this was a perfect dish to feature today. I don’t make Dominican food nor have I ever really eaten it. Dominican food is very similar to Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine. I didn’t know if he had a recipe in mind and when I asked he pointed me in the direction of my aunt to get his mom’s recipe. But, of course my grandmother didn’t write down the recipe! So I found a couple versions of this classic Dominican dish and followed my aunt’s advice. I looked at the ratios of the ingredients in the marinade to adjust the quantity and added some seasonings. My aunt uses Ranchero Sazon de Criollo in her recipe but I don’t have that Dominican all-purpose seasoning on hand, so I had to compromise. I spent hours trying to find the ingredient list for this spice blend but had zero luck. Both of the recipes I used for inspiration put paprika in the flour – a step my aunt doesn’t do. But, because I don’t have Ranchero Sazon de Criollo I figured it’d help give it some more of the flavors I was missing.

Never having eaten Chicharrones de Pollo (at least that I’m aware of) I don’t know if my flavors were right, but I do know they were delicious. And funnily enough, the smell of the marinade made me think of my grandmother, the aroma was very comforting, so I knew I was at least on a good path. This fried chicken has a thin, perfectly crispy coating and a very bright flavor. I will definitely be looking for more Dominican recipes to add to my repertoire. I served the chicharrones with rice and beans.

Chicharrones de Pollo

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 tbsp lime juice (100 mL, between 1/3 – 1/2 C)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt, divided use
  • 1 1/4 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place in a plastic bag with the cubed chicken. Let marinate overnight.
  2. Fill a high sided skillet with 2-3″ vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Test oil temperature by tossing in a pinch of flour, if it sizzles you’re good to go!
  3. In a shallow bowl mix flour, paprika, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Gently shake excess marinade off chicken and toss in flour mixture. Knock off excess flour.
  5. Fry chicken in hot oil in batches of 10-12 pieces for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, until nuggets are golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

chicharrones de pollo

And I can’t write a post about my father without using his tag line: Do your best.

Cuban Inspired Pork Tenderloin

Even though I’m not Cuban, this meal was very comforting to me. The flavors of Cuba are very similar to those of the Dominican Republic and I jumped on the opportunity to serve a very Latin meal.

With the pork in the slow cooker, I was able to better multi-task. I made black beans to go atop rice and fried up sliced plantains to serve on the side.

I fed a crowd with this recipe, if you’re making this for a gathering of four halve the recipe.

Cuban Inspired Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 1/4 C orange juice
  • juice of 6 limes
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • S+P
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp flour

Steps:

  1. Place tenderloin in slow cooker.
  2. In bowl combine OJ, lime juice, broth, soy sauce, garlic, oregano, and S+P. Pour over tenderloin.
  3. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.
  4. Remove pork. Strain 4 C of the sauce into a sauce pan. Whisk in flour and butter. Cook until reduced to desired consistency, at least 5 minutes.
  5. Slice pork and serve.

* This recipe is adapted from Jo at http://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/crockpot-cuban-style-pork-tenderloin/*

Pork Tenderloin 1 Pork Tenderloin 2

This blog post also comes with a bonus recipe for fried plantains!

Fried Plantains

Ingredients:

  • plantains (2 for 3 people), peeled
  • olive oil, for shallow frying
  • salt

Steps:

  1. Slice plantains.
  2. Fry for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Set on paper towel lined plate to absorb the extra grease and sprinkle with salt.

Rice and Beans

To me, “rice and beans” by definition is white rice with black beans (cooked with onion and bell pepper) but after living in the Alabama where pinto beans seem to be more popular and living in the Florida panhandle where there’s a lot of New Orleans influence, rice and beans has come to be a very ambiguous term.

This recipe for rice and beans refers to black beans. Although similar to my mother’s recipe, this one is actually adapted from my brother’s fiancé.

Black Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 shakes hot sauce
  • S+P

Steps:

  1. Saute onion and pepper in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Season with garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add in black beans, 1/4 can water, bay leaf, and hot sauce.
  2. Cook covered over med-low heat 25 minutes.
  3. Serve with cooked white rice and cream cheese*.

*I have a recommendation that will sound strange – serve cream cheese with your rice and beans. Trust me on this one. I think my mom was the first person to try this – she says it is common to eat rice and beans with Edam cheese. As delicious as Edam is (it’s one of my favorite cheeses) the slight tang and the creaminess you get from cream cheese compliments the bold flavor of black beans. (If you think of it like sour cream it doesn’t sound as crazy.) Take your fork, get a little cream cheese and then dig into the rice and beans! Perfect.

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