Eat Like a Cuban: Abuela’s Recipes

recipe

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.

cuban3

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.

There’s an App for That: Blue Mountain Brut & Fried Green Tomatoes

Photography by Gunter Marx Photography Courtesy Destination British Columbia

Photography by Gunter Marx Photography
Courtesy Destination British Columbia

Blue Mountain Brut gets its bubbles using the same high-quality method as in France’s Champagne region, making it rich enough to appreciate solo, yet packing plenty of refreshment for a wide variety dishes.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Photography by Simon Burn

 What makes the two so cozy? Well, no wine loves fried food more than sparkling wine. Its sparkle cuts through any crunchy exterior with refreshing aplomb. And with a lively zing, a wine like the Blue Mountain Brut can hang with a tangy combination of green tomatoes, goat cheese and tomato chutney. A lovely duo for celebrating a laid-back afternoon.

Crispy Fried Chicken

Crispy Fried Chicken

Recipe by Chef Cat Cora.

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 2 1/2-3 lb fryer cut into pieces

(2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

2 cups cornflakes

1/2 cup light buttermilk

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1/8 tbsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tbsp sage, finely chopped

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 425F

Pour the olive oil into a baking pan large enough t o hold the chicken pieces in a single la yer without crowding. Using your fingers, rub oil over the dish so that it’s completely, but lightly coated.

Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry. In a wide bowl or on a large plate, season the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour until it’s completely coated. Tap the chicken against the side of the bowl to loosen any excess flour and set pieces aside. Discard the flour.

Crush the cornflakes by placing them in a large resealable plastic bag, carefully pressing the bag to remove air. Seal the bag (leaving as little air inside as possible) and crush the flakes using a rolling pin. Pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or onto a large plate. In a bowl large enough to dip the chicken pieces, mix the buttermilk, mustard, cayenne (if using), paprika, and sage. Give each floured chicken piece a good buttermilk bath, then roll in the crushed flakes.

Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 375F and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and crispy. (The juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife.) Serve.

Serves 4-6
For more recipes by Chef Cat Cora, check out her book – Cooking from the Hip.

Fiori Fritti: Fried Flowers

ZucchiniBlossoms_0012

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.