On this episode of Cook’s Country TV, hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison prepare—and discuss the celebrated history of—the humble yet satisfying Latin dish Arroz con Pollo. Next, Jack Bishop explains the surprising differences among supermarket whipped toppings, and finally, Christie Morrison makes a Florida staple: Sour Orange Pie.
Here are three things we learned in this episode.
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Spicy and Sour for SupperBridget and Julia make arroz con pollo, Jack talks supermarket whipped toppings, and Christie makes sour orange pie.
1. The Key to Latin Cuisine is Sofrito
Sofrito is to Latin cuisine what mirepoix is to French cuisine. While the ingredients vary from region to region, a sofrito typically consists of aromatics (garlic, onion, and peppers, for example) cut into small pieces and either braised or sauteed in oil. It functions as a flavor base for many dishes, including our recipe for Arroz con Pollo. Our sofrito for this recipe consists of cilantro, onion, garlic, and a Cubanelle pepper.
2. Some Supermarket Whipped Toppings Don’t Contain Any Dairy
Instead of cream, some whipped topping manufacturers get their fats in the form of hydrogenated oils. And that might not be such a bad thing: along with skim milk and light cream, our favorite brand also contains coconut and palm kernel oils. In the end, we found that the type of fat mattered less than the amount of fat.
3. The Oranges of Northern Florida Are Too Tart to Eat Off the Branch
That’s why locals squeeze out their juice and use it in sour orange pie. Like Florida’s other famous citrus-based pie—Key Lime Pie—sour orange pie consists of a custard-like filling and a graham cracker crust. We wanted a sweeter crust to better counter the tartness of the oranges, so we ditched the graham crackers for animal crackers. The result: a fresh take on a northern Florida staple.