After an entire year of being in a hospital around all sorts of illnesses thinking I might get through it without getting sick, ... I got sick. :P It was like a domino effect. One day one of my classmates had it, the next day two did, and so on until I got it. It's all over Miami! This morning I went to CVS and found myself in the cold & flu aisle along with four other people (it's 8 am on a Saturday morning). We all looked at each other like "yep, I feel ya". Whatever this flu/cold/sinus thing is, I've decided I'm going to nip it in the bud today. Which leads me to today's recipe: a shmishmorshen of caribbean veggies made into a delicious and hearty soup.
I give you ajiaco [ah-hee-ah-ko]. It's the kind of food mom used to make when you were young that somehow magically cured all and made you feel better instantly! Traditionally, ajiaco is made with tasajo (cured, dry beef) and pork. For today, I decided to ix-nay both. I made it with yuca (cassava), malanga, boniato, corn on the cob, platanos (plantains), calabaza (West Indian squash), potatoes, and carrots. You can find all of these vegetables at a latin grocery store or in the latin produce section of your supermarket.
*I used a pressure cooker to make the ajiaco. If you have one, great! If not, just use a large pot, it'll just take longer to cook.
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 10 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- Sazón Completa seasoning
- 2 corn cobs, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 malanga, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 small yuca, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 yellowish-green platanos, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 boniato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1-2 cups of calabaza, peeled and cubed
- 3 carrots, chopped
- salt and pepper
1. Fill the pressure cooker half way up with water and add the corn cobs, green pepper, onion, garlic, 2 bay leaves, and a few dashes of Sazón Completa . Bring the heat to medium-high, secure the lid on the pressure cooker, and cook for 10-15 minutes. This will give the corn the extra time it needs to cook.
2. Let the pressure out of the pressure cooker and open the top. Add the rest of the vegetables to the broth and add a little more water if the water level is too low. (*Do NOT fill the pressure cooker past the maximum level line) You may also want to add a few more dashes of Sazón Completa to maintain the seasoning level for the added water.
3. Secure the lid back on and cook for another 5 mins. on medium-high heat. Let the pressure out once more, open the top, and check to see that all the veggies have cooked through. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve. Squeeze some lime on top and you'll be feeling great in no time!