Sunday, January 18, 2009

Trip to Cuba!

This week, the My Kitchen, My World crew traveled to Cuba, in an attempt to bring some warm, tropical vibes into our lives.  At least here in Philadelphia, we're having some record breaking cold days, and every little bit of warmth counts.  

P and I made Ropa Vieja, a dish of beef cooked until it gets very tender and gets shreddy like "old clothes."  Who doesn't want to eat food that is supposed to resemble rags?  This dish was actually very good, and easy enough to be made on a weeknight, although I don't think my end product tasted quite authentically "Cuban."  In an attempt to fake the sofrito element (which was, I admit, a mistake) I made it too tomato-y.  

P found the side dish of mashed plantains with rum, which is authentically cuban, but I suspected would not go well with the beef.  We made it anyway.  I could not eat the two together.  The plantains were good- sweet and rummy, but just the WRONG combination.  I think they would be great with pork tenderloin, or grilled shrimp, just not a tomato and beef dish. 

Cuban Ropa Vieja

2 1/2 lbs flank steak, cut in strips
5 tablespoons oil
2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic or 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
6 ounces sofrito sauce

Heat 3 tbsp. oil in skillet on medium, brown meat on all sides. Remove from skillet, add remaining oil to skillet, stir in garlic, onion and green pepper and cook until translucent. Stir in black pepper, browned meat, tomato sauce, water and sofrito. Simmer until meat is tender and shreds easily, about 1 hour. Serve on top of rice.

Serves 6

Mashed Plaintains with Rum

from Food and Wine

4 very ripe plantains (almost fully black), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the plantains, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Add enough water to just cover the plantains and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cook until the plantains are very tender, 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the plantains to a medium bowl. Add the rum and lime juice and coarsely mash the plantains. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Michelle Dargen said...

Yum! The plantains look divine!

Carla said...

I've never had plantains before. Maybe I'll make it next on my never-tried list.

Also, it is freezing here as well! On Friday, it was -7 with a wind chill of -24. I think by late afternoon it managed to be 1 degrees lol And it's currently snowing again...

pinkstripes said...

Wow! I love plantains, but I've only had them fried or grilled. Mashed sounds delicious (especially with rum!).