Eat Like a Cuban: Abuela’s Recipes

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Recipes and photography by Lena Diaz.

“Frijoles negro” (black beans)

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups dried black beans

1 med onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

salt to taste

splash of olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover the beans. Place washed beans in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

Meanwhile, in a pan sauté onion and garlic in a little oil. After a few minutes add oregano and salt.

When beans have softened, add the onion and garlic mixture and keep cooking on low heat for another 20 minutes or until beans reach a stew-like consistency. When ready to serve add a little olive oil. Serve over white rice (arroz).

TIP: To cut cooking time in half use a pressure cooker, an essential utensil in the Cuban kitchen.

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I love to watch my abuela sort patiently through the rice—a task that seems to occupy hours a day.

“Pescado sobre uso” (fish in tomato sauce)

INGREDIENTS:

4 white fish fillets (cod, sole)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lemon

salt to taste

For sauce:

1 med onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

splash of cooking oil

salt & hot sauce to taste

Mix juice of 1 lemon with minced garlic, salt and marinate fish for 30 minutes (up to a full day).

To make sauce, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaf and hot sauce. Cook on low-medium heat. In the meantime, fry the fish fillets in hot cooking oil for a few minutes on each side. When golden, add to the tomato sauce and cook on low heat until sauce thickens. Season to taste.

A side of “tostones” (fried plantains)

Peel and cut green plantains into 1 inch slices. Fry them in hot vegetable oil for a couple of minutes. Take them out and with a side of a knife lightly squish them to 1/2 inch. Drop the slices in the hot oil again and fry for another few minutes until golden. Season to taste.

Jamaican Rice and Peas

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Recipe courtesy Cook Like a Jamaican

Growing up in a family where food is the great connector, I’ve learned the unspoken rules of eating like a Jamaican. One, you always have soup on Saturday. Two, you must always eat rice and peas on Sunday.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (19 oz) kidney beans with liquid

2 cups water

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small onion or 2 stalks scallion, chopped

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pour kidneys beans and liquid in large sauce pan and add water. Add coconut milk, chopped onion, garlic, and dried thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.

Add rice and boil on high for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover pot and cook until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Fegatini: Tuscan Chicken Liver Spread

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Recipe and photograph by Amber Share.

“Fegatini is the paté of Tuscany. It is served everywhere, especially at aperitivo, and each cook makes it slightly differently.”

 

Serves 8

Prep Time 30 min.

Preheat 400°F

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb. chicken livers

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup Vin Santo

3 tbsp capers, rinsed

3/4 tsp fine sea salt + 2 pinches

black pepper, freshly ground

Extra olive oil and capers for garnish

1 baguette or loaf of Italian bread, sliced and cut into

cracker size pieces

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat a wide frying pan over medium. Add olive oil, swirl around pan then add onion, carrot, celery and a couple pinches of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, stir and cook another 2 minutes. Add livers and cook another 5 minutes, turning to brown the outsides.

Dilute tomato paste in the Vin Santo and water. Deglaze the pan with the liquid mixture. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Scrape down pan and transfer to a food processor, add capers and process until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil as needed to keep the mixture loose.

Brush bread with olive oil and toast on a cookie sheet in oven for 6-8 minutes.

Place the fegatini in small bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with capers. Serve warm or at room temperature with the toasts.

Morrones Rellenos

Morrones Rellenos

Eat Like an Argentinian

Recipe by Alejandra De Miguel.

Pairing: Serve with Colomé Torrontes, Calchaqui Valley – Salta, Argentina.

 

INGREDIENTS:

6 red peppers

12 tbsp parmesan cheese (2 tbsp / pepper)

12 tbsp butter (2 tbsp / pepper)

6 large eggs (1 / pepper)

6 tbsp olive oil (1 tbsp / pepper)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut the peppers in half. Remove and discard the stems (optional), seeds, and membranes of the peppers.

Prepare the peppers by placing them face up and putting butter, cheese and oil into each one.

Place the peppers on the grill and crack an egg in each one. Allow them to cook slowly on the grill.

Remove the peppers from the grill once the egg is cooked and golden on the top.

Serves 6

Argentinian Empanadas

Empanadas

Eat Like an Argentinian

Recipe by Alejandra De Miguel.

Pairing: Serve with Domain St. Diego Brut Xero, Lulunta Valley-Mendoza, Argentina.

 

INGREDIENTS:

Dough

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 lb butter

1 tsp salt

1 cup warm water

Filling

1 lb ground beef

2 lbs onions

1-1/2 cups butter

1/2 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

1 tsp oregano

3 hardboiled eggs

Optional

5 green onions

3/4 cup black olives

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Chop the onions finely and place them in a pan with a little butter at medium heat. Add salt and cover while cooking. Cook onions until translucent. Add ground beef, oregano and pepper. Add the olives and the green onions once the meat starts to cook.

Refrigerate the filling overnight.

In a large bowl, combine water and salt. Add flour and mix together. Add butter then knead until smooth.

Stretch out the dough to approximately 1/8″ thick and cut 24 circles (approximately 5″ diameter). Use a dough cutter or an aluminum can if you don’t have one.

Spread the dough disks, and add a tablespoon of the filling and an eighth of a hardboiled egg (small piece of white and yolk).

Wet your finger tip and wet the edges of the disk. Fold over and press the edges together or use the end of a fork by pressing it down over the edges.

Cook at 400F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 24 empanadas.

Traditional Chimichurri

Chimichurri

Eat Like an Argentinian

Recipe by Alejandra De Miguel.

Traditionally served with grilled steak, this fragrant green sauce is an essential part of Argentinian barbecue or asado.

 

INGREDIENTS:

3-6 cloves of garlic

2 cups fresh parsley, firmly packed

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Finely chop garlic, parsley and oregano leaves. Add the oil, vinegar, salt and mix well together.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Fiori Fritti: Fried Flowers

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Recipe and photograph by Amber Share.

Serves 4

Prep Time 1 1/2 Hours

 

INGREDIENTS:

16-20 zucchini blossoms (male or female)

1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

dash nutmeg

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

black pepper, freshly cracked

3 eggs

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup white wine, dry (Pinot Grigio or Vernaccia)

1/4 cup water, possibly more

olive oil (for frying)

sea salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Trim blossoms by gently removing the interior pistils or stamens, removing the small outer green leaves and trimming the stem or removing the baby zucchini. Rinse and lay on paper towels. Keep in a cool place until ready to use.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Separate the eggs, then add yolks, oil, wine and water to the dry ingredients and whisk well. The consistency should be similar to crêpe batter, add more water as necessary. Place egg whites in a separate bowl. Cover batter and egg whites separately and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from fridge and whisk whites to soft peaks and fold into batter. Set aside.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Bring the oil up to temperature slowly. You want the oil hot enough so that the blossoms sizzle when they hit the oil but not so hot that the oil is smoking. Test by dropping some batter in the oil.

Dip the blossoms in the batter, shake off excess, and fry 1-2 at a time until golden, turning once with tongs or a wooden spoon. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy immediately.

Eat like a Belgian

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Waffles are delicious, but Belgian waffles take it to another level. While in search of an authentic recipe, we stumbled upon this one on Food.com.

Liege Waffles (Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffles)

Ingredients

1/4 oz package yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup softened butter
1 cup pearl sugar

Directions:

1. Mix yeast, water, sugar and salt, and let develop for 15 minutes.

2. Place flour into a large bowl.

3. Make a well, pour in yeast mixture, and begin to knead.

4. Continue to knead, add eggs, one at a time, and add soft butter, 2 tablespoons each addition, mixing well.

5. Let dough rest in bowl until doubled.

6. Gently mix in pearl sugar.

7. Let rest for 15 minutes.

8. Heat waffle iron.

9. When hot, butter waffle iron, pour in 3 tablespoons dough per waffle.

10. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until waffles lightly brown on top.

11. Serve warm or room temperature.

12. Enjoy

Spicy Jerk Chicken

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We love the spiciness of Jamaican food and wanted to recreate the taste of the piquant island in Dabble’s kitchen.

Jerk Chicken
The jerk seasoning can be made a day in advance. The chicken needs to marinate for at least four hours and can sit as long as overnight.

Ingredients
3 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup malt vinegar
10 green onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
2 tbsp dried thyme
2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp ground allspice
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 3- to 3 1/2-pound chickens, halved lengthwise, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Directions

1. Boil rum and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan for 3 minutes.

2. Transfer rum mixture to blender; add vinegar and next 12 ingredients and blend until almost smooth.

3. Transfer 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning to small bowl; mix in ketchup and soy sauce to make sauce. (Jerk seasoning and sauce can be made 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.)

4. Arrange chicken in large roasting pan or baking dish. Pour lime juice over; turn to coat. Spoon jerk seasoning over chicken and rub in. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, turning occasionally. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

5. Preheat oven to 350 °F or prepare barbecue (medium heat). Remove chicken from jerk seasoning marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If roasting chicken in oven, arrange chicken, skin side up, on rimmed baking sheet.

6. Roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with fork, about 50 minutes. If grilling chicken, place chicken, skin side down, on grill rack, cover, and grill until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally and adjusting heat if browning too quickly, about 50 minutes.

7. Cut each chicken half into pieces and serve with sauce.

Read the entire article ‘Eat Like a Jamaican’ in Issue 4 of Dabble.