Califa's Hot Wings


  • 12-16 chicken wings and/or drumettes
  • canola oil
  • salt
  • Frank#39;s Red Hot Original or Crystal (Louisiana style cayenne pepper hot sauce)

Cooking Technique:

  • Boil wings about 7 minutes (I drain and rinse a couple of times and bring to a boil each time) or use a pressure cooker on high for 15 minutes
  • Drain and dry or, my preference, shake in bag with flour
  • Deep fry at 375 degrees F about 5-7 minutes (or bake at 400 degrees F) until skin is lightly browned and crispy
  • Add 1-2 Tbls oil to wok over high heat
  • Optional: Add about 1 tsp salt to wok
  • When oil is very hot, add wings to wok
  • Sprinkle sauce on wings just to lightly cover (more or less accord to taste preference)
  • Toss wings in wok until wings covered and slightly dried
  • Serve (with blue cheese or ranch dressing if desired)

Please feel free to modify/expand as you choose but I suggest that you keep it simple. Many recipes call for using 1/2 margarine and 1/2 sauce but I think it makes the wings too salty. Some recipes also say to boil in salted water but I think adding the salt to the oil makes for a cleaner taste although I no longer even add salt to the oil.

Califa's Hot Shrimp


  • medium or large shrimp, shelled or unshelled
  • canola oil
  • salt
  • Frank#39;s Red Hot Original or Crystal (Louisiana style cayenne pepper hot sauce)

Cooking Technique:

  • Defrost shrimp if frozen
  • Pat dry
  • Add 1-2 Tbls oil to wok over high heat
  • When oil is medium hot, add shrimp to wok
  • Sprinkle sauce on shrimp just to lightly cover (more or less accord to taste preference)
  • Toss shrimp in wok until shrimp covered and done
  • Serve (with blue cheese or ranch dressing if desired).

Please feel free to modify/expand as you choose but I suggest that you keep it simple. Many recipes call for using 1/2 margarine and 1/2 sauce but I think it makes the shrimp too salty.

Mom Reed’s Cranberry Dessert


  • 1 cup ground raw cranberries
  • 2 cup ground unpeeled red skinned apples (not Red Delicious) preferably Johnathan or Red Gala
  • 1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda (it has not yet been tried with just Splenda)
  • 1 dozen large marshmallows chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup real whipping cream whipped

Cooking technique:

  • Add cranberries, apples and sugar into bowl
  • Add marshmallows and nuts
  • Mix well
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Whip whipping cream
  • Fold into cranberry-apple mixture
  • Put into containers and freeze

Quicky substitute for mom#39;s recipe. I was craving the dessert but lacked many of the ingredients so I made the following which tastes almost, ALMOST as good as the original:

  • just mix some cutup marshmallows or use mini-marshmallows into some canned cranberry sauce (jellied might (work but consistancy might be a bit off)
  • add some whipped cream or Cool Whip, if available
  • I like it best frozen!
Mary's Homemade Salsa Fresca

By Mary M. Rosario Reed - 09/18/98


  • 2 habanero chilies or 8 serrano chilies (or to taste) (chopped to almost puree)
  • 3 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes or equivalent fresh tomatos and onions (finely chopped by hand)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (finely chopped by hand)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic (chopped to almost puree) or 1 teaspon garlic powder
  • 1 large onion (chopped to almost puree)
  • 1 large bell pepper (chopped to almost puree)
  • oregano, fresh if available (to taste)
  • basil, fresh if available (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)

Cooking Technique:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Mary's Puerto Rican Style Pulled Pork

By Mary M. Rosario Reed - 06/05/2010)

NOTE: the amounts and ingredients are used according to personal taste


  • 5 lb pork shoulder picnic roast, bone-in, skin-on (other cuts are probably OK)
  • 2 Tbls dried oregano
  • 2 Tbls salt
  • 2 Tbls ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbls garlic powder
  • 2 Tbls dried parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbls celery salt
  • 1 pkg Sazón

Cooking Technique:

  • Wash roast
  • Add roast to pot large enough to hold roast (if desired, dry roast, add a little oil , brown fat sides as desired)
  • Add enough water to come half way up the roast
  • Add 1/2 quantities of all spices/herbs except for the Sazón
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 2 hours
  • Turn roast over, add remaining quantities of spices/herbs except Sazón, simmer until knife comes goes in easily, about 1 hour
  • Drain all except about 1/2 cup water, remove fat and bone from roast but leave in pot
  • Sprinkle 1/2 packet Sazón on roast, turn roast over, sprinkle other 1/2 packet of Sazón on roast
  • Continue cooking/roasting for 1/2 hour on medium-low heat
  • Cool, remove fat and bone, shred roast removing any additional fat and gristle
  • Serve as desired

DMR 20100704 Note: all ingredients can be put in a pressure cooker and cooked for about 1 hour at high pressure and the results will be virtually the same.

Note: Sazón

Mary's Puerto Rican Style Beef/Pork Roast

By Mary M. Rosario Reed - 07/17/2009)

NOTE: the amounts and ingredients are used according to personal taste


  • beef/pork roast (for pot roast is OK) (tied with butcher's twine if necessary to maintain compact shape)
  • bell pepper cut into 1/2" square pieces
  • onion cut into 1/2" square pieces
  • green pimento stuffed olives
  • capers
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 - 3 packages Sazón
  • garlic powder

Cooking Technique:

  • Sprinkle cut bell pepper and onion with salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • With a knife make an "X" shaped holes all round roast (use your thumb/finger to make the hole bigger)
  • Stuff each hole with the 2-3 pieces bell pepper, 2-3 pieces onion, 1 olive and  2-3 capers (my variation: then stuff each hole with baby carrot)
  • Then sprinkle outside of roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Sazón
  • Add small amount of water to heavy pot with tight fitting lid
  • Cook covered with low heat on stove top or in oven at 325 F. until roast virtually falls apart (2-4 hours depending on size)

DMR 20100704 Note: all ingredients can be put in a pressure cooker and cooked for about 1 hour at high pressure and the results will be virtually the same.

Note: Sazón

Califa's Mango-Ginger Low-fat Sugarless "IceBet"

Modified from an online Orange Non-Cooked Ice Cream Recipe.


  • 1 very ripe mango, peeled and mashed/pureed
  • 2 tsp ginger puree (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup non/low fat milk
  • 5 packets sucrose
  • pinch of salt (to taste)

Cooking Technique:

  • Put all ingredients in ice cream or gelatto maker and freeze.
Califa's Method To Remove The Lye Taste From Corn Tortillas


  • Take a stack of corn tortillas, spray both sides of the first tortilla with canola oil (or your oil of choice) and put it on the grill
  • Take the second tortilla, spray it on one side, and put it on the first tortilla oiled side up, etc., etc., until each tortilla is done, and then turn the entire stack over so the sprayed side is on the grill
  • Using medium to high heat, heat briefly until the sides retreat slightly, lift the whole stack with a large spatula and take the top tortilla and put it on the grill and then put the stack on the tortilla on the grill...repeating until done
  • My preference is to then turn the whole stack over on the grill and repeat the previous step

It may sound like a lot of work but it is really simple and quite fast and it does remove the lye taste which some folks find very unpleasant.

Califa's Chilaquiles/Matzo Brei

2 large servings:



  • 1/8 Tbls or so oil
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)

Cooking Technique:

  • Take the corn tortillas, cut them into small tortilla chip size
  • Cut the onion and bell pepper into approximately the same size as the tortillas
  • Beat the 4 eggs slightly
  • Heat the oil in the wok until barely smoking
  • Add the tortillas to the wok and stir/toss/separate the tortillas until a bit crispy
  • Add the onion and bell pepper to the tortillas in the wok and toss until gently cooked
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the eggs and stir/toss until cooked and evenly spread throughout the other ingredients
  • Add the chicken broth and stir/toss until liquid has evaporated or been absorbed
  • Divide onto 2 plates, sprinkle cheese on top, serve, enjoy.

Matzo Brei

Basically the same as the chilaquiles except substitute unfried matzo crackers for the fried tortilla chips, no bell pepper and no hot sauce.

Califa's Bread Machine Cornbread with Bell Peppers

1 loaf:


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup finely diced bell pepper (less if desired)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup milk (start with 1/2 cup, monitor kneading, add more to get correct batter consistency)

Cooking Technique:

  • Add all ingredients to bread machine, choose Cake setting and Light Crust. Start machine. Enjoy!
Califa's Shortcut Chile Rellenos

Ingredients & Cooking Technique:

  • Take some canned Anahiem chiles
  • Stuff them with string mozzerella cheese
  • Put them in a slightly oiled pan and heat briefly
  • Pour some beat up eggs into the pan an cook until eggs start to set
  • Turn over and cook until eggs are set
  • Top with some heated canned stewed tomatoes (not too much juice unless that is how you like them)
  • Continue heating until tomatos are hot
  • Serve

Note: diced chiles and shredded cheese can be used as well:

  • Just pour eggs into heated oiled pan and heat until eggs begin to set
  • Place chiles and cheese on top of eggs and fold over like an omelet
  • Use sauce as described above.
Califa's Zojirushi "Basic Bread" Recipe Modification

I made the Zojirushi "Basic Bread Recipe" but with a couple of modifications:

Ingredients & Cooking Technique:

  • Doubled the sugar and butter
  • added about:
    • 1/4 cup more water
    • 1/4 cup corn meal
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper (actually a 5 color pepper blend)
    • 1 Tbls dried oregano
    • 1 package of Sazón

It came out great with a firm crust with a melt in your mouth inner texture and a great golden color!

One of the best breads I have ever made!

Note: Sazón

Califa's Potato & Hot Dog Soup

My mom used to make this in a stove top pressure cooker...every now and then I get a craving for it!

Ingredients & Cooking Technique:

  • 8 hot dogs sliced into 1" pieces
  • 8 medium potatoes cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 large onion chopped into 1" squares
  • 4 cups water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Cook all in PC for 10 minutes (if not done, cook 5 minutes more).

Note: other veggies and spices could be added if desired, e.g., carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, sweet chile peppers, oregano, etc.

The Reed's Bunny Burgers

In April 2011, my mom described how they made the Bunny burgers:

  • pulled the raw meat off the rabbit bones
  • ground up the meat
  • mixed with meat loaf seasonings including sage
  • made patties
  • pan fried them just enough to brown
  • par-boiled the patties in water to make a canning broth (I might then roast the bones, add to the broth, boil gently to create a richer broth, then strain the broth)
  • put the patties in canning jars with the canning broth
  • topped off with some water
  • canned them in a big stove top canning pot

Every now and then, I still get a craving for a Bunny Burger!

Puerto Rican Pasteles

I will post a recipe for pasteles sometime in the future.

20151205: I made a variation for Mary's niece Gigi...instead of a meat filling I used Anaheim Chiles stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese Sticks..

TV Guide Recipes from 1970/09/05 (the additional recipes will be added when they are found)

Heart-Shaped Meatloaf
makes 1 1/2 qt mold

2 pound ground chuck
1 pound bulk sausage
2 eggs
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 slices of bread, soaked in water,squeezed dry and crumbled
2 tsp salt
1 tsp crumbled marjoram
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Pack mixture into a greased 1 1/2 qt heart-shaped mold, or shape the meat on a shallow baking pan.
Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 F) for 1 1/2 hours.
Place a pan underneath the mold to catch any drippings.
Loosen edges and serve in pan garnished with finely chopped parsley or unmold and serve on platter.
And if you are particularly romantic, make thin slices of potato and carrot, cut out hearts with a cookie cutter, and cook in salted water as usual until tender.
Serve vegetable hearts with heart shaped meat loaf.

Giant Dumpling
makes one large dumpling, enough to serve 6

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup milk

Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
Cut in shortening until the particles are very fine.
Add egg and milk and stir to make a sticky doe.
Knead dough on a heavily floured board until you form a large smooth ball.
Cut a large square of cheese cloth, place ball in center.
Tie cheesecloth loosely around ball of dough to allow room for expansion.
It will almost double in size during cooking.
Place ball of dough in salted simmering water.
Cook covered for 45 minutes.
When ball floats, turn to cook other side.
Remove from water and drain.
Remove cheesecloth.
Serve cut in wedges with your favorite giblet or brown gravy, or mushroom sauce.