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Crooklyn’s Corner 05: Comfort Cooking with Victor Rodriguez

Episode 05 discussion: the first episode in our mini-block of cooking with MMA media members features Bloody Elbow’s Victor Rodriguez making bean stew.

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Welcome to Crooklyn’s Corner, the podcast that’s basically a hodgepodge of topics focused on the combat sports and entertainment community. The show will feature special interviews, fantasy matchmaking/analysis and whatever else we can come up with to keep our listeners steeped in fresh and engaging content. The show is hosted by Stephie Haynes and airs when needed to fill gaps in our Bloody Elbow Presents podcast network.

Here is a summary of the topics discussed or questions asked. Time stamps won’t always be available as our conversations tend to be very fluid and bounce back & forth frequently. However, when fantasy matchmaking and analysis is the focal point of an episode, we will definitely timestamp when each fight breakdown begins. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as I enjoyed recording it.

Episode 05

*Today’s episode is the first of several (I hope) ‘Cooking with MMA Media’ segments. The plan is to do episodes with members of MMA media known for their prowess in the kitchen, and have them walk us through a recipe with plenty of questions from me along the way. There are quite a few chefs in our community, so I hope to highlight them and their extraordinary dishes.

Staff writer and co-host of The Level Change Podcast and the 6th Round Retro Show, Victor Rodriguez is my first guest chef. He walks us through a hearty bean stew recipe, complete with tips and shortcuts for those with time limitations. During the episode, we mentioned a few stories about where ‘chitlins’ and hushpuppies were said to have originated. I have linked those stories for future reading. Victor’s recipe is also included.


- 1/2 to 1lb of Red kidney beans

- 3-5 sprigs of leaf cilantro or flat cilantro, preferably both

- 1 large can sweet corn or a 1 1/2 cup of frozen corn

- Thinly sliced short rib, bone in

- large wedges of ham, or a ham steak

- 2-4 chicken thighs, skin on

- 2-3 smoked pork chops

- Assorted pork neck bones,

- 1 large onion, red or white

- 2 cups squash, cubed

- 1 cubanela pepper

- 1 regular green pepper, thinly sliced

- Garlic (freshly shredded or minced from a jar), at your discretion.

- Big splash of bitter orange or 1-2 capfuls of white or red vinegar. You can also use one capful both vinegars

- 1 Longaniza (Dominican sausage)

Put the beans in your Instant Pot/slow cooker or pressure cooker of choice. Put any meats except the sausage in the pot with a 2:1 ratio of water. Let the beans soften and cook with meats for a minimum of 4-5 hours.

Roast the sausage in the oven until cooked, about 20min. Pull sausage out of pan to cool, sautee chopped onion in that pan.

Transfer all items to standard pot on stovetop, take 1 1/2 cups of beans and starchy bean water in a blender with your garlic (the more the better, personally), even if already minced. Pour with rest of beans and separate all meats. Skin the chicken thighs and put the skins in a skillet on low heat to render fat, spooning out fat as it melts. Save chicken fat for later use, reserve some to sear chicken thighs with a pinch of salt in pan. Cube other meats and slice the sausage, incorporate them into the pot of beans. Add cilantro, finely ground oregano, and bitter orange.

Cook until reduced and slightly thickened, add salt and pepper to taste.

@VicMRodriguez on Twitter

@VictorSinisterRodriguez on Instagram

Podcast at iTunes, also available elsewhere:

You can check out the entire show here. Remember, if you’re looking for us on SoundCloud or iTunes, we’re under the Bloody Elbow Presents name. Follow Crooklyn’s Twitter account: Stephie Haynes and the show account Crooklyn’s Corner.

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