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Cuban Cooking

4 Recipes for Hispanic Heritage Month – All Inspired By My Books

By Cuban Cooking, Latino Life, middle grade, picture books
I know lots of friends have been reading my books during Hispanic Heritage month. Since you're home, maybe you'd like to try some recipes - straight from the pages of some of my picture books and novels? From Merci Suárez Changes Gears Café con leche is Merci and Lolo’s breakfast drink. Cuban coffee is basically espresso that is heavily presweetened. To make a proper con leche, brew your espresso in whatever type of machine you use. (Here below is my collection.)  My mom used to put 2 – 3 tsp of sugar in the percolator, but some folks add it to the coffee after it has percolated. To finish, heat equal parts milk and add to the coffee. Another variation – cheating a bit, but it was Tía Isa’s favorite. She called it, simply, “la leche.”  Heat a mug of milk, adding 2 tsp of sugar. Then dissolve 1 T of instant espresso into the milk. Batidos are smoothies, basically, with a creamy backdrop. Lolo loves batidos de mamey or batidos de piña, but here’s a recipe using strawberries and bananas, which are easier to find. Tía Inés was probably the expert at these. Ingredients: 1 c strawberries with the tops sliced off 1 banana 1 T sweetened condensed milk 1 T sugar 1 T fresh lime juice 1 ½ c crushed ice Put all ingredients in a blender and garnish with a cut strawberry. Other fruits to try when the summer months return: a mix of watermelon and papaya...
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Cuban Comfort Food continued: picadillo con arroz blanco

By Cuban Cooking, Latino Life
OK, foodies. You have under an hour to make something to eat for dinner and you (naturally) want Cuban comfort food. Here’s my quick and easy – shortcuts included – path to making picadillo con arroz blanco. Photo journal for picadillo con arroz blanco Prev 1of9 Next Ingredients (Serves 4 people) 1-1 ½  lb ground beef, extra lean 1 8-oz can of tomato sauce ½ cup green pimento-stuffed olives, sliced ¾ c white cooking wine Sofrito…which is 1 small onion, diced small ½ green pepper diced ½ red pepper diced (or if you can find it, about 1.5 c of frozen sofrito that you can get in the store) 3 -4 crushed cloves of garlic (or about 1 ½ tsp of the prepared kind) ¼ cup white raisins (black ones will do) ½ tsp cumin Salt to taste Adobo seasoning to taste 1 Bay leaf 1 ½ c white rice Frozen plantains from Chiquita (don’t give me grief, you’re in a hurry, aren’t you?)* 2 – 3 T olive oil, enough to sautée sofrito Directions Brown the meat slightly and drain the fat. Remove to a bowl. If you are making sofrito from scratch, dice your onion, core and dice the peppers. If you are using the frozen kind, measure out about 1 cup of the frozen mix. In pan, heat oil and add sofrito and the garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft but not soggy. Add the can of tomato sauce and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the...
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