Some Healthy Food Fun:    Dinner and a Movie

On the Menu "Puerto Rican Eatin' " (Puerto Rican Inspired Cuisine)
Video Trailer from the movie, "Empire"

" I'm Young,  Latin,  and Good Looking !!! "
    --John Lequizamo


I grew up in "Da' Hood" in Chicago, and just saying, if you look at this as an Inner City Gangster movie, you miss the whole point.

Me personally, I don't need the obligatory shoot-em-up scene in this movie, you gotta look past that (though Fat Joe pulling that lever to that hidden gun in the couch was tight).

But, once you look past that, you see that John Leguizamo masterfully speaks for most of us from the inner city, since maybe only 1% of us become full time "gang bangers", the rest of us spend our lives in "the grind", working hard, trying to figure out a way to get past the madness, and get "the basics": nice home, nice family, nice living, you know, just some sense of peace up in this crazy ass world.

I say "masterful" about Leguizamo's starring role, because it was one of my personal fav' roles of an actor in the category of, "should have got nominated for an Oscar, but Hollywood doesn't have the 'Cojones' to go there"


This movie takes me back to "Summertime Chicago", during the Latin Heritage Festival, when the Latin community openly welcomed us "Black Folks" to come in and partake. The "hard-core" Latin brothers treating us with that unspoken mutual respect, that Latin music kicking through Grant Park in Chicago, AW MAN!!! Let's not forget those Latin women, OH MY GOODNESS!!! In Chicago, some of them were so fine, I don't think even Picasso or Michelangelo could paint something that lovely.

And the food! All that Latin and Caribbean cooking!!!..... and I still remember the face of that Puerto Rican grandmother at her food stand, watching me eat her plate of food. I open the container, take the first fork of spicy rice, she waits for it, waits for it, then here it comes ...... I shake my head and say "mmmm, This is so GOOD!!!". Grandma smiles a smile that half says "I'm flattered" and half says, "I Know Its Good".

The recipes below are the only Puerto Rican recipes I've tried, and I'm sure if that Grandma at the Latin Festival back in Chi-Town took a taste of my Sofrito, she would say, "Well, uh, it's OK". And I'm sure if I were to ask her to teach me how to get it just right,  I'm sure she would say something like.........

....."That would be hard to do, like trying to teach you to dance the Salsa. You can't be taught to dance Salsa, you first have to 'feel it', and then you 'become it', and then you realize you 'are it' ".    At least she would know I have enough Afro-Caribbean Soul within my DNA to even get her point................


Puerto Rican Eatin'


Sofrito is the base for many Puerto Rican Dishes, it can be added to beans, chicken or other meat dishes,                     Picadillo is popular in different varieties in many Latin cultures, and even the Philippines                      
rice, soups, stews, and more. Difficult to find in many USA stores, but you can whip your own "semi-authentic."
            It is ground meat sauteed in spices, olives, capers, tomatoes, potatoes, and more.     
Sofrito recipe, click here                                                                                                                                                                In Puerto Rico, its a stuffing for various doughs and fritters, or served with rice, Picadillo recipe here  


Pollo en Fricase, Spanish for "Chicken Frickassee", is [arguably] French in Origin, it eventually                                                      Pina Colada's  origins are disputed, from Puerto Rican Pirate Roberto Cofresi
became popular in the Spanish Caribbean from Island settlers from Spain and the South of France. Unlike                   
                                 in the early 1800's, Ricardo Garcia claims it at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan in 1954.
French Fricassee, it is tomato based, and often with red wine.
Pollo en Fricassee recipe here                                                                             Barrachina, a restaurant in Puerto Rico, claims it in 1963 Pina Colada Recipe here  



A couple of weeks ago, I was corresponding this this Brotha who does a lot of work in with inner city kids, and he was seemingly fascinated by my comment that "The 'Drive-Thru' is killing many times more people than the 'Drive-by' ", as I'm obsessed with how many people these Corporate Billionaires are killing with their toxic foods, bogus pharmaceutical medicines, and everything else.

He was in agreement when I said these Corporate Execs are "gang banging" us psychologically, so even when you make it out of the Hood, you still have to stay sharp, and watch your back. No matter where you go, especially in Corporate America, someone is trying to build an "Emipre" with our blood, sweat, tears, and toil. The struggle goes on an on, but I'll get where I'm trying to get........

~stay healthy~


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