All posts filed under: Cuba

800.cuba.img_1079

Monday Meal Review: Cuba

I prepared our Cuban Global Table secure in the thought that noone was coming over. I didn’t vacuum. I didn’t deodorize (the house or myself).  Approximately 19 million landmines were in place. (I think some people call them “toys.”) By the time the cooking was done, crusty dishes were teeter-tottering over my head – including the remnants of three botched caramel sauces. The house was an extra deluxe mess. I rarely behave this way, but I was feeling like a rebel. Must have been a full moon. Then my phone rang. Sweat dripping down my forehead, I watched as it vibrated itself towards the edge of the counter. My neighbor and friend, Anitra was calling. Right before the phone careened over, I decided to pick up. “Hello!” I said. “What are you doing?” “Oh, you know… cooking” (Fact: 9 times out of 10, I’m cooking when my phone rings… Bizarre). “Well, I have some great hand me downs. For Ava. And I’m on a mission to get them out of the house. Can I bring them …

800.cuba.img_1118

Cuban | Hot Pressed Pork Sandwich

Serves 2 Ooey, gooey and sizzling hot, The Cuban sandwich will rock your world. The key to a great Cuban Sandwich is to obtain the best possible ingredients, especially when it comes to the bread and pork. Ingredients: 18″ long Cuban bread (can substitute Italian or French bread) yellow mustard (to taste) 4 slices of ham 4 slices of roast pork 4 slices of Swiss cheese thinly sliced pickles (to taste) Method: First of all, roast yourself a pork and use the leftovers in this sandwich. It will be so much better! Now, that that’s out of the way, let’s get started. Slice a loaf of cuban bread almost completely in half, lengthwise. Spread the bottom with yellow mustard. This is very important in a traditional Cuban. My stone ground mustard still isn’t speaking to me. Add sliced ham… deli ham is fine! And thinly sliced roast pork.  Make sure you trim off any fatty bits. This is regret speaking. Layer on the beautiful Swiss cheese and sandwich pickles. Cover with top of bread and …

800.cuba.img_1033

Cuban Bread | Pan Cubano

Makes 2-3 loaves The quickest way to a person’s heart is with homemade bread. The incredible flavor of this soft, doughy bread is unreal. I’ve been making bread for a long time (even wrote a hundred page thesis about Artisan bread baking in France), so that’s saying a lot. Great recipe – just make sure you start it a day ahead of when you need it! Special thanks to Kitchen Warfare for a detailed post on how to make this wonderful Cuban bread. Without their help, I would have been lost in making my adaptation! Ingredients: For the starter 1/2 tsp yeast 1/4 cup cool water 1/4 cup all-purpose flour For the dough 1 cup cool water 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp sugar 1 Tablespoon lard 1 1/2 tsp yeast starter 31/2 -4 cups flour Method: For the starter: Combine starter ingredients in a small bowl… Cover with saran wrap and place in a cool spot for about 12 hours. I usually do this right before bed. In the winter, by the window …

800.cuba.img_1016

Mojito

Makes 1 drink The bold flavor of mint, lime juice, and sugar come together in this classic Cuban drink. If you have time, a simple syrup made of water and sugar cooked together is another possibility for sweetening the drink. Ingredients: 1/8 cup superfine sugar a handful of fresh mint 1/2 lime, juiced 1 shot rum crushed ice Method: Gather your ingredients… Drop a healthy handful of fresh mint leaves into a glass. Add the sugar and mash it together with the mint. Renowned author Mark Bittman says that there should be enough mint pieces to chew on. Squeeze in the juice of a lime for that tangy wow-factor. And a shot of rum. This is my faithful “Planet Hollywood” shot glass one of my brothers got me years ago. Remember when every kid had to have a Planet Hollywood t-shirt? I’m into the retro cool factor. Add crushed ice, stir well and drink! Minty fresh… Now, if only you can get your dentist to approve it! 12345 Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! …

600px-HavanaFortTurret

Cuban Thanksgiving Dish

If you’re here in the USA, looking for another idea for a Cuban Thanksgiving dish (or if you’re simply curious about Cuban food), I’ve dug up a fascinating sandwich recipe. Made on Cuban bread or white bread, the infamous “Elena Ruz,” includes cream cheese, strawberry jam, and sliced turkey breast. Weird, right? Yet… somehow, that sweet jam reminds me of cranberry sauce and … well … it is just crazy enough – it might work! Here’s Wikepedia’s notes on the Elena Ruz: Another sandwich of Cuba is the “Elena Ruz”. Elena Ruz was a young society debutante in 1930’s who would stop at El Carmelo, a popular restaurant and confectionary shop in Havana after an evening at the opera or a social function, and would ask the waiter if he would fix her a sandwich to her orders. It is prepared on white or Cuban bread, with a layer of cream cheese on one slice, a layer of strawberry jam or preserves on the other, and thin slices of turkey breast in between Intriguing. If …

800.cuba.img_1200

Pumpkin Flan

Makes one 10″ bundt pan Cubans love flan in any shape, size, or flavor. This week we’re cooking a pumpkin flan in honor of American Thanksgiving. This is the creamiest, sweetest, most luxurious pumpkin dessert ever. There are several tips for making excellent flan use high quality ingredients strain the flan mixture to get rid of all the little eggy bits and other yuckies that get in the way of perfect smoothness cool completely to allow the flan to set up firmly (it helps to make it the day before you need it) cook in a water bath follow important, high tech jiggle procedure to loosen the flan from the pan (see detailed instructions in recipe below). have a tall lipped plate to catch all your caramel. Don’t ask me how I know this. if you’re taking the flan to a pot luck, wait to unmold it there. That way there’s less of a chance of damaging the beautiful form. Ingredients: For the caramel 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup water cream of tartar, pinch For …

MENU

Menu: Cuba

Try as I might, I could not let the Cuban sandwich pass me by. Which means, of course, that Homemade Cuban bread is also required (Oh, happy day!). Sure… it isn’t very Thanksgiving oriented (unless you throw some leftover roast Turkey in your Cuban Sandwich), but I’ll make up for it with the best Pumpkin Flan ever. And if that won’t do, dear friend, just have a Mojito. The Cuban Sandwich (Hot Pressed Pork Sandwich) [Recipe] A hot, pressed sandwich layered with mustard, ham, roast pork, sliced pickles, and ooey gooey Swiss Cheese. Spoiler alert: Tastes like good. Homemade Cuban Bread (Pan Cubano) [Recipe] A soft, doughy bread with big yeast flavor, thanks to the use of an overnight starter. Pumpkin Flan [Recipe] Pumpkin gets all dressed up for a Cuban style holiday, with cinnamon, allspice, cream, eggs, and milk. The crowning glory? It all sets in beautiful pool of caramel. Flan is the quintessential dessert of Cuba. Mojito (Mint, Rum, and Lime Juice Cocktail) [Recipe] Mint, lime juice, and sugar. Oh yeah… and rum.

cu_large_locator

About the Food of Cuba

Beam me up, Scotty. I’m ready for incredible stews, rich soups, and mind-blowing sandwiches. I’m ready for Cuba. Heck – it isn’t even all that spicy. Just flavorful goodness. Count me in. Most of my Cuban research kept linking me back to Florida. There’s one big reason – the size of Cuba (it is the largest country in the Caribbean)- and one simple reason – how close it is to Florida. Still authentic Cuban food has a distinct identity, whether it is enjoyed on the island or in the United States. That being said, let’s start with the famous Cuban Sandwich (recipe). Incredible.  Soft, fresh Cuban bread is a must (recipe), which is then topped with roast pork, ham, pickles, mustard, and swiss cheese. Some include salami and provolone. Others shout blasphemy. Either way, they all get pressed like a panini and toasted through and through. While I’m always in the mood for a good sandwich, you might not be. So be it.  There’s more goodness to be found. Cuba is one of several countries …

800.cameroon.img_7014

Mango Daiquiris

A puckering combination of tart and sweet, the frozen Daiquiri blends ripe fruit, rum, and fresh lime juice with a mountain of shaved ice. This slushy sip of paradise makes it five o’clock everywhere. It’s true. I’ve tested it myself. The original daiquiri from the early 1900’s was nothing so complicated – a plain, stout mixture of sugar and lime juice poured over (or shaken with) ice. Over the years, the drink gained popularity and traveled around the world from Cuba to Cameroon. Today we honor Cameroon’s wonderful mango groves with a flexible recipe for a frozen Mango Daiquiris. You’ll see the proportions generally say “to taste.” This is because some like it strong with a little ice, while others don’t want any alcohol, but enjoy a great amount of ice. By leaving the mango and lime quantities static, everything else is easy to play with. My goal is to provide you with basic guidelines to get you poolside with your favorite drink, as soon as possible. So grab your blender. Let’s play! Makes up to 1 …