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Picadillo and Picadillo Pizza

We have a rule at Chez SGCC: She who cooks, does not clean. Since I’m the only one who cooks around here, She is Me! And, since my daughter is in the midst of that twilight zone that is Teenagedom, she is indefinitely removed from the equation. (We’re just thankful that she resurfaces for meals once in a while!) Unfortunately for him, this means that Mr. SGCC gets stuck with the dinner dishes most nights. He is a pretty good sport about it, though. (He takes out the garbage and irons his own shirts too!) I think he realizes that if I had to cook AND do all the dishes, the meals around here would be pretty sparse, indeed. In fact, you’d probably find a lot more take out containers in our trash bins.
So, the other night, as I was watching Deal or No Deal [1]and responding to comments on this blog, Mr. SGCC was dutifully loading the dishwasher. The only rub to this arrangement is that he only seems to manage to fit three things at a time in it, which means that I have to constantly get in there and reorganize. He also never wipes down the counters or puts things back in the fridge. (Hmmm. Maybe I don’t have such a good thing going after all.)


At around 10:00, he very nicely asked me to fix him a bedtime snack. Being the sweet, wonderful wife that I am, I happily obliged. Well, not exactly happily, but I did oblige. I was on my way to the family room to bring it to him when…………




The next thing I knew, cheese and crackers were flying through the air and I was flat on my back on the cold, wet and very hard tiled kitchen floor!
For a minute or two, time stood still. The first thing I was aware of was my poor husband’s look of pure panic as he peered down over me. I imagined he was thinking, “Thank God this happened AFTER we had dinner!”, or maybe “Oh shit! My cheese and crackers are all over the floor!”. Just kidding. The poor guy was really concerned. He didn’t know what to do. Neither did I. I was afraid to move for fear that something was broken. Surely, that searing pain running up and down my spine couldn’t be good.
Mr. SGCC helped me up and over to the couch to survey the damage. The good news is that I didn’t split my head open. It didn’t look like anything was actually broken either. The bad news is, that while I was trying not to split my head open, I broke my fall by turning my shoulder and hip into it, and totally screwed them both up. The worst of it was my foot. When I slipped (in a
puddle of water left on the tile by “Mr. I Never Wipe Anything Up”), my foot got wrenched under the edge of a kitchen cabinet and was jammed in a position that no human foot should ever be subjected to. By the time I found an ice pack, that foot was already swollen to twice its normal size and had begun to turn a very lovely shade of eggplant.

This seriously sucked!

Needless to say, I spent most of the next day sitting on my ass, popping about a hundred Advil, with my foot propped up and bathed in ice. When dinner time rolled around, I was in no effing mood to cook. I had made a really great picadillo the night before and there were leftovers in the fridge, but the yellow rice that went along with it was gone. I hobbled over to the kitchen to see what else I could serve with that picadillo. I was definitely in need of some serious carb therapy, but I didn’t want to just throw it on pasta. I didn’t have any baking potatoes, so stuffed jacket potatoes [2] were out. Then, I remembered. I had some pizza dough thawing in the refrigerator in my garage. I could slather that gorgeous picadillo on top and make Picadillo Pizza! Sure, it was unconventional, but then so am I. Besides, I wasn’t about to hop in my car and make a grocery run in my condition during the five o’clock rush!

For those who don’t know, picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries, made with ground meat, tomatoes, onions, peppers and various other regional vegetables, herbs and spices. It is kind of like a hash, but it’s usually served with rice. The Cuban version is the one that I like to make, including olives, capers and raisins, and flavored with garlic, cumin and oregano. I also like to add slivered almonds and cinnamon to my picadillo. I had it that way once in a great little Cuban restaurant in Ybor City [3]and loved it!
Picadillo is a simple dish to prepare and it really pops with lots of interesting flavors. Leaving it to sit overnight actually makes it better, so don’t be chintzy with your ingredients. Make a lot of it so you have some leftovers to make this great pizza too.


(Printable Version) [4]

2-3 tbsps olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet Sazon Goya [5]seasoning (I find this in the ethnic foods section at the supermarket.)
2 lbs ground beef (I like a mix of sirloin and chuck. You can use any kind of ground meat – even pork or turkey.)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (I like the fire roasted kind)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup Manzanilla olives stuffed with pimiento, sliced
1 cup raisins
1 tbsp capers
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, peppers, garlic and Sabor seasoning and saute over medium heat until soft and tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Add beef and cook until no more pink remains.

Add wine and simmer until it has all been absorbed. Swirl in the tomato paste until it dissolves.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer on medioum-low heat for about 20 minutes.

Serve over rice or whatever you like.

Picadillo Pizza

Note: You can make your favorite pizza dough recipe for this. Since this is basically a quickie leftovers recipe, I used store bought dough. It worked great. You could make it even simpler by using english muffins, bagels or pitas. Also, don’t worry about measuring the picadillo. Just use what you have.

1 ball of pizza dough
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups picadillo
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Heat the leftover picadillo in the microwave until warm and stirable, about 2 minutes.

Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Brush with olive oil. Top with picadillo, leaving about a 1-inch border.

Slide pizza onto the pizza stone or a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake until crust is puffed up and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.


If you enjoyed these recipes, you might also like:

Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Shepherd’s Pie Filling [2]
Stuffed Eggplants with Meat [6]
Churrasco with Chimichurri Sauce [7]

Here’s what some other bloggers are doing with picadillo:

Pork Mango Picadillo from Simply Recipes [8]
Pork Picadillo Empanadas from Nook & Pantry [9]
Turkey Picadillo on Plantain Surfboards from We Heart Food [10]
Filipino Picadillo from Gourmeted [11]
Apple Turkey Picadillo from Culinary in the Country [12]