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Old 11-15-2006, 04:09 PM   #1
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Help with Cuban food

Hey guys, just registered on this forum.

I have a question on making SPanish food. In my cooking class right now I'm making a food especially from a SPanish speaking country. When it was my turn to sign on the sheet, all the major countries are taken and I picked Cuba.

Now I heard that the Cubans make great Sandwiches from scrap meat and great fries. What can I make that would show Cuban culture?

Any tip is greatly appreciated.
Derg

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Old 11-15-2006, 04:14 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Derg.

Black bean soup is a Cuban classic.
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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Is this soup sweet or salty? It looks delicious though, I might give it a shot. Here is the recipe, it doesn't look too complicated.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._16801,00.html

Thanks again.
Anymore cuban food?
Derg

sorry, forgot to tell you that I need to make an actual course...so soup and I need more.
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:23 PM   #4
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Dergy, welcome to our group. Hope this website will help you to find the recipes you are looking for:

http://www.mayraldole.com/Default.asp?page=33
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:25 PM   #5
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somewhere I'd posted a query on here about cuban sandwiches.....maybe Alix or KitchenElf can find it. Had all kinds of wonderful ideas.
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:32 PM   #6
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Ha, I'm posting on this forum and cooking my plantains at the same time. Everytime I fry them they turn out dry and mushy , I can't get it to be like the recipe "crispy and sweet"

Derg
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dergyll
Is this soup sweet or salty? It looks delicious though, I might give it a shot. Here is the recipe, it doesn't look too complicated.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._16801,00.html

Thanks again.
Anymore cuban food?
Derg

sorry, forgot to tell you that I need to make an actual course...so soup and I need more.
It's a savory soup. Don't be concerned about the sugar. Also, search for other recipes.
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:42 PM   #8
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Do you have time to visit your library or go online? I am teaching a Cuban cooking class in the spring and currently have a fantastic Cuban cookbook on my desk titled, A Taste of Old Cuba by Maria Josefa Lluria De O'Higgins (she's Cuban married to an Irishman). The book is full of traditional receipes and the author's memories of the food and culture of old Cuba. It's well-worth looking for.

Some signature recipes would be picadillo (a ground beef and potato mixture) or ropa vieja (a shredded beef dish to die for), black beans with rice, puerco frita (fried pork morsels with lime), and plantains for just a few suggestions.

Derg, for the sweetest plantains, make sure you are using very ripe ones (they will peel easily like a banana) and try sprinkling them with granulated sugar while you are pan frying them, the sugar will caramelize and turn dark brown on top, yumm.

Good luck.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:21 PM   #9
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I love empanadas, carnitas, ropa vieja, and of course a good mojito.
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:36 PM   #10
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Arroz a la Cubana is a popular dish in the Philippines, brought there I suppose by the Spanish. Not sure if this is authentic Cuban but it's a very hearty and comforting one-dish meal. I sometimes serve it for breakfast. It's simply steamed rice topped with minced beef/carrots/green peas/raisins simmered in tomato sauce, served with fried egg and fried plantains.

I also can't forget the very rich pumpkin soup I had at a Cuban restaurant. It was topped with olive oil and fried shallots, giving the soup a great twist. Yum!
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:00 PM   #11
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I vote for ropa veja. It is easy, traditional and DEE-LICIOUS!

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Old 11-16-2006, 05:55 PM   #12
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Here is a collection of Cuban recipes that will give you more than a couple to pick from.

The black bean soup from your link is neither salty (unless you add too much salt - the reason the rescipe doesn't specify an amount is because you need to "salt to taste") nor sweet- like Andy M. said ... the sugar is only used to balance the "flavors".

Regarding the Cuban Sandwich - here is some history and recipes.

I've had plantains that were fried crips like potato chips (or banana chips) and I've had them cooked soft and sweet like Bananas Foster. "Dry and Mushy" seems to be a contradition of terms - (dry being too little moisture or over cooked, and mushy too much moisture or under cooked), a bad recipe, a bad execution of the recipe, or maybe the plantains are too under ripe. Here are some plantain recipes for you to look at.
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:19 PM   #13
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Everything about the sandwich went fine untill I went looking for cuban bread, and there were none in my local grocery store. I ended up looking all over my neighborhood stores and finding nothing.

Will regular bread do? Or will this affect the grilling part of the sandwich more than I like?

Thanks for the rapid responds!
Derg
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:12 PM   #14
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I'd have thought a "Cuban Sandwich" was really a bit of a contradiction in terms; something like an "English Curry" or an "American Sushi", and far more likely to have originated in "Western" civilization than Caribbean/ South American civilization.

Black beans. Pork. Plantains.Guava fruit. Rice. Peppers...
take a look at this and see what you think...
http://www.cubanculture.com/english/cocina.asp
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:25 PM   #15
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Well, Derg, I doubt you're going to find "Cuban" bread in your regular grocery store up there in Connecticut. Your best substitution for "from the store" where you live would be a loaf of French bread (texture and flavor is very similar).

If you want to make your own ... here are some recipes.
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:51 AM   #16
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I'm using this weekend as a prep-time, the cook-off is this monday afternoon. I'm going to run down to New York today to pick up some stuff and people. (They say you can find anything in NY!) This was our third assignment, the first two being Chinese and French, which both went okay.

About the ropa veja, it looks delicious, apart from rice, what else can it be served with? Are there any particular sauce I need to get? (Since Im going to NYC)

Thanks abunch guys and wish me luck!
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:20 PM   #17
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After living in Florida my favorite cuban sandwhich is this: I buy a softer loaf of French bread, that is a little fatter than your average French loaf. The kind that most Americans use to make garlic bread. My deli happens to sell roast pork slices. I buy that and some thin sliced, not-too-sweet ham. Some of those dill pickles that are sliced thin for sandwiches, and some swiss cheese. Then I oil a skillet that the sandwich fits in, and put two skillets (heavier is better, but I've done it with anything) on the stove and heat them. This is the secret. Heat both skillets. Put the sandwhich in one, then take the other skillet and press in on the top of the sandwich. The pressing is the secret to this sandwich. You don't need a panini grill to do it.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:51 AM   #18
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I did work down in Key West for a few years and had the opportunity to enjoy many cuban dishes. Roasted pork is a great entree with some yellow rice, black beans and of course fried plantains.

A great Cuban sandwich can be made with a couple slices of roasted pork, sliced ham, a white melting cheese (even a provolone), a dill pickle slice and a couple drops of hot sauce. Use a sour dough bread or another hearty bread, brush with melted butter and grill.

Mark
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:03 PM   #19
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I have only ever had one Cuban meal and it was at a restaurant in NYC (Cuban of course!). I am interested in trying more Cuban food and was wondering if anyone could recommend a few good / classic cuban cookbooks.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flourgirl
(she's Cuban married to an Irishman)

Whaddya know....I'm an Irishman married to a Cuban

Different Cuban though, lol.
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