If It’s Good Enough For Sonia …

Once I got  past doing my happy dances , and whoops of joy and Boricua pride,  I couldn’t find enough things to read about Sonia Sotomayor, the woman destined to become the first Hispanic (and Boricua!) Supreme Court Justice of the United States. I can’t remember where it was that I read all of Sonia’s favorite dishes, among them Patitas (Trotters) with Garbanzos, one of my faves, too! In fact, it’s in my first cookbook, Daisy Cooks! Latin Flavors that Will Rock Your World, and a dish that Mami and Abuela served at their table, much to the delight of everyone sitting there! So, I figured, in honor of Sonia, and as an olive branch to all of you who have waited so patiently (I know, I know! But I’ve been toiling tirelessly to meet the deadline for my new book, and I haven’t had a moments spare time!), I will do a step by step tutorial for this dish…dare we rename it, Sonia’s Patitas?…or maybe Patitas Pa’ Sonia? At any rate, here goes!

2 pounds pigs feet

2 bay leaves


water to cover

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sofrito

1 teaspoon cumin

chile of choice (I am using fresh chile de arbol)

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup alcaparrado

2 cans Spanish style tomato sauce

1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Rinse the trotters well, and place them in a Dutch oven with the bay leaves, salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil, them lower the heat to medium low and cook, skimmimg the foam off the top for about 90 minutes.

2. In the meantime make your sofrito. Place the olive oil in a skillet, and over medium heat, add the sofrito, the cumin, the chiles, oregano, bay leaf, and alcaparrado, stirring occassionally until the water is cooked out of the sofrito.

3. Add  the tomato sauce, stirring to combine well, and add the drained garbanzos. Set aside until the trotters have cooked for 90 minutes. I know thats a long time, but Sonia’s worth it!

4. Transfer the trotters, reserving the cooking liquid, to a deep skillet and add the sofrito-garbanzo mixture. Add enough of the cooking liquid (about 2 cups) to make a glossy sauce, and add the cubed potatoes, salt and black pepper, and lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer another 90 minutes, Check the pan every 20 minutes or so to make sure that the sauce is not drying and that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more cooking liquid as necessary to keep the sauce glossy.

5. Because I am so very proud of Sonia, I served this alongside Rice with Bacon (i know, I KNOW!, but its not everyday we have the first Hispanic (did I mention Boricua?) in the Supreme Court!!), and some sliced avocado to temper the heat from the chiles, and I think it’s safe to say that I ate enough for the two of us!

Quien me dice que no se chupan los dedos? Here’s to you Sistah Sonia…and know that I’ll be happy to hook you up with this, or grilled Morcilla,  or Arroz con Pollo, or Pastelillos, etc, etc, etc, anytime! You have a place of pride at my table!

Buen provecho!

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