I’m guessing that title is pretty mysterious to most of you since Picadillo isn’t all that common outside Latin America, and especially not a vegan picadillo. So here’s a bit of an explanation (courtesy of Wikipedia).
Picadillo (pronounced “Peek-ah-dee-yo”) is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries, usually served with rice or used as a filling for tacos and empanadas. It’s typically made from ground meat (mine obviously isn’t!), tomatoes, spices and other ingredients that vary according to region.
I’ve gone for a Cuban-style Picadillo that includes olives, raisins and cinnamon, which, to my taste buds, actually gives it an almost Middle-Eastern flavour. Though I brought back the Latin feel by serving it with brown rice, baked tortilla chips, guacamole and cashew sour cream. Plantains and black beans are more traditional side dishes.
I’m pretty excited about my recent homemade tortilla chip discovery! I do like the R.W.Garcia brand but they can still be a bit salty for me. To make my own, I just cut tortillas into triangles, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, brush lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt or spices (if desired) and bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
It’s definitely a weeknight-friendly dinner as it all comes together in less than 30 minutes. You can pull together your side dishes and lay the table while it simmers!
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Small onion, finely chopped
- 1 Red pepper, diced
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
- 1 Green chili, de-seeded and minced**
- 1-1/2 tsp Ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp Oregano
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 x 8oz/225g Pkg Tempeh*
- 1 x 400g/14oz Can Chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 1/2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
- 1/4 C Raisins
- 1/4 C Pitted green olives, halved
- Warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and sauté for approx 10 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the garlic, chili, spices and salt and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes. Crumble the tempeh into the pan using your hands (or pulse briefly in a food processor to crumble before adding to the pan).
- Add all the remaining ingredients, except the olives, and stir well to combine.
- Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thick but still saucy. If you need to reduce the liquid, remove the lid and simmer uncovered.
- Stir through the olives and cook for another minute to warm through. Check seasoning. Serve.
*I used tempeh here and have done so in similar ways before as I really love how it absorbs flavours and retains its meaty texture, even after crumbling. You could also use tofu, though it wouldn’t be so firm, or even try ground mushrooms and walnuts like I did for my Vegan Turkish Pizza.
**I actually used a jalapeno and the resulting dish was very mild. If you’d prefer a little extra heat, I’d suggest using a hotter chili like a Serrano, or else just add chili powder or even cayenne to taste!
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