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Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

Arroz a la Cubana! 

Has anyone tried this delicious snack/lunch?

I remembered I hadn't had any in ages so had some for lunch.

I made it the same way it was served in Madrid.

Basically it's boiled rice with a fried egg on top with banana (yes!) and hot chopped tomatoes (canned).

The flavours all blend amazingly and is cheap and pretty quick to make!

Good student grub or for those on a budget.

Yum!

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2012 13:10:33
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

Ron--Another good Cuban dish is a variation called "Arroz con Frijoles Negros" (Rice with black beans). Super delicious, usually eaten with slices of marinated roast beef. With a cold beer, it is hard to beat.

Cheers,

Bill

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2012 14:52:02
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3435
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

Used to stay at the Hotel El Salvador in el primer cuadro in Mexico City. Owned by Spaniards who fled Franco. The restaurant was run by a formidable woman, known throughout the neighborhood simply as "La Señora". Businessmen and professionals in the neighborhood, many of them expatriate Spaniards, packed the place for the comida every week day. The plato cubano--the black bean version-- was one of my favorite sopa courses!

RNJ

La Señora had a strikingly beautiful niece, who ran the cash register. Sigh....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2012 21:59:50
 
bluesbuster

Posts: 56
Joined: Mar. 9 2011
From: Los Angeles

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

There's a great Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles called Versailles. They have a full menu but my favorite is the Bistek de Pollo. That's marinaded grilled chicken with rice, black beans and fried plantains. All generously sprinkled with a fresh garlic/butter/lemon sauce. The sauce is the secret ingredient, it all come together is a folly of taste and scent that's bound to make you come back for more.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2012 0:32:41
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5078
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

If you would put a steak on top I would consider to come along to give it a try! ^^ The banana sounds....special...hmm.the rest sounds good to me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2012 2:53:27
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 988
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to bluesbuster

****, I followed your link, and now I'm hungry.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2012 9:48:42
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

Good one. Most Spaniards boil rice with more water than necessary, sometimes with a laurel leaf and/or a bit of garlic, and then strain the rice and heat it in another pan for a few minutes with a bit of olive oil and browned garlic.

Another great staple is lentils. The best recipe I've come across so far couldn't be simpler or healthier: lentils, water, paprika, olive oil, salt, onion and carrot. You don't even have to soak the lentils overnight, and if you use a pressure cooker, it takes about 30 minutes at most. I've found that the commonly used strategy of using lots of ingredients to boost flavor tends to backfire, especially when green pepper is added. If you use those seven ingredients in the right proportions, the results are very tasty, and with very little room for improvement. I got the recipe from an old woman who made that way because of health issues and a tight budget, but it's still the best, IMO. You can add a laurel leaf at the beginning and, in the last five mintues, a bit of saffron and potato. Of course, bacon and sausage are another story...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2012 10:34:33
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
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RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

How about Dominican rice with tostones? Slice plantains into little rounds then smash them flat with a cutting board. Fry them in olive oil, drain on a paper towel then salt them.

Dominican rice: Put on a kettle of water. Put your rice in a big cast iron skillet and brown it gently with onions and garlic in olive oil. Then when the onions are clear and the rice is brown, add enough boiling water to cover the rice. Put a lid on the pan and let it finish cooking the rice.

Then use that rice to make your Cuban rice. Who says Cubans and Dominicans don't mix well?

That is also a good way to make Arroz con pollo. Start the rice in a deep thick pot, when it is brown put a chicken on top of it, cover the rice with water. Put the lid on it and cook it until the chicken is done. It gives you a soupy arroz con pollo, but if you practice you can gauge how much juice will run out of the chicken and that will provide the moisture to cook the rice without being soggy.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 17:25:53
 
estebanana

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RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

Another great staple is lentils. The best recipe I've come across so far couldn't be simpler or healthier: lentils, water, paprika, olive oil, salt, onion and carrot.


The trick with lentils is to salt them at the end, but I agree the simple way is best. And it never hurts to throw in a half slice of thick bacon.

Or will mentioning bacon start another food fight?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 17:30:05
 
Estevan

Posts: 1938
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The trick with lentils is to salt them at the end, but I agree the simple way is best. And it never hurts to throw in a half slice of thick bacon.

Or will mentioning bacon start another food fight?


No worries - this just in:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 17:39:57
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to estebanana

quote:

How about Dominican rice with tostones?


Tostones is a word I don't know...but it implanted a vision in my brain of bull's bollox!!
The rest made very disagreeable reading after that... LOL!

Pig's bollox would be worse for Kudo I guess...

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 18:25:18
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

Sheesh, I said tostones not testones.....

Try it Ron, it's the farthest thing you'll get from ox balls.

http://www.dominicancooking.com/301-tostones-flattened-fried-plantains.html

http://foodimake.blogspot.com/2010/08/tostones.html

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 19:10:52
 
srshea

Posts: 833
Joined: Oct. 29 2006
From: Olympia, WA in the Great Pacific Northwest

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

I once crumbled a strip of bacon over a banana split, and it was a truly righteous salty/sweet combo. So, anyone leery of putting sweet fruits into their otherwise savory dishes is missing out.

Times have been tight lately, so I've been trying to make do with what's already in the cupboard, and have been working through the several dusty cans of garbanzos on the top shelf. I've developed a White Boy Potaje that I've been refining over the past few weeks: can of beans, couple potatoes, carrot and parsnip of any are on hand, whatever spices and herbs are around, simmered on low heat for about an hour to let everything hang together for a while. I had a breakthrough last time around when I caramelized an onion in the pot before putting everything else in, and that added a lot of depth to the flavor and a nice sweetness as well.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 19:48:23
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to srshea

quote:

I once crumbled a strip of bacon over a banana split, and it was a truly righteous salty/sweet combo


So Homer Simpson was right after all!
Wrap a rasher of bacon around anything and savour the difference! Yay!

BTW...Do you get Scotch Eggs outside of Scotland?

(Boiled egg wrapped in bacon then spiced, minced pork. Shape like an egg then cover in breadcrumbs. Cook in a medium hot oven (180c) for 40 mins.)

I told my daughter when she was 8 that it was a Dinosaur egg and she was fascinated. She asked me where I got it, but I told her that it was a secret.

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 20:34:35
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3435
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron.M

Tostones is a word I don't know...but it implanted a vision in my brain of bull's bollox!!

cheers,

Ron


When I learned the word "tostón" it was the old big Mexican 50-centavo piece. When I was four years old I would go to Mexico with my relatives. My grandfather would give me a silver dollar, with which I could get eight silver pesos from the money changer. Then I would be the richest four-year old for miles around. I still have some of the toys I bought, and I still remember the old Mexican coins.

When I looked up "tostón" in the Spanish dictionary, it gave me the English word "teston", which I didn't know. Merriam-Webster gives



Learn something new every day!

RNJ

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 21:57:10
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Guess the coin association would explain the old soldier's tale that as a newbie infantryman or sailor, your as*hole would oscillate between a Half Crown and a Sixpence when first coming under fire in the battlefield.

"Culo pa' testones", as was said at Trafalgar...

(Dollar/dime U.S. or 50p/1p in new UK currency...other denominations are available)

Dunno...just a theory...

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2012 22:10:50
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

Yes! I remember having exactly that, often, in a restaurant in Madrid during the winter of 1970-71. The restaurant was so generic that its sign in front simply said "Restaurante." The food was very down to earth and delicious. If you ordered spinach it came mixed with olive oil and lots of garlic.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 0:02:23
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to estebanana

I didn't know about tostones, but plantain slices fried in olive oil with garlic slices are really good. I wouldn't drain off the olive oil. Dominican rice sounds great and I'm going to try it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 0:08:24
 
Estevan

Posts: 1938
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to srshea

quote:

Another great staple is lentils.

Norman, your 'recipe' describes our house staple almost exactly!

quote:

I've developed a White Boy Potaje that I've been refining over the past few weeks: can of beans, couple potatoes, carrot and parsnip of any are on hand, whatever spices and herbs are around, simmered on low heat for about an hour to let everything hang together for a while. I had a breakthrough last time around when I caramelized an onion in the pot before putting everything else in, and that added a lot of depth to the flavor and a nice sweetness as well.

Adam, if you can get hold of some pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika), a very small amount added to garbanzos or lentils (or espaguetti sauce) can make a big difference in depth of flavour and of course a nice smoky touch. It gives the impression that there is chorizo in there somewhere.

It's the magic ingredient:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 0:43:48
 
srshea

Posts: 833
Joined: Oct. 29 2006
From: Olympia, WA in the Great Pacific Northwest

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Estevan

quote:

if you can get hold of some pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika), a very small amount added to garbanzos or lentils (or espaguetti sauce) can make a big difference in depth of flavour and of course a nice smoky touch.


Thanks for the tip! I don't really have anything in the way of authentically spanishy spices (hence the White Boy name...), and I'm always into new secret ingredients. I get a little tired of always having to fall back on Lee & Perrin's as my lazy-man's instant umami generator.

Ron, I've never seen a Scotch Egg in these parts, but it is a food that's been on my wish list for some time!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 4:54:40
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The trick with lentils is to salt them at the end, but I agree the simple way is best. And it never hurts to throw in a half slice of thick bacon.


WRONG...... You throw in a piece of chorizo español or a piece of Spanish blood pudding or both.... (yankeesss )

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 7:20:43
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Estevan

Dude... spot on as usual with your paprika from La Vera, which is said to be the finest in the land (although in my parts they talk about Murcia...)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 10:19:08
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
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RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

WRONG...... You throw in a piece of chorizo español or a piece of Spanish blood pudding or both.... (yankeesss )


Anders, You salt legumes near the end of cooking them, you can cook them with bacon or ham or whatever because it has fat, but if you put straight salt in the mix in the beginning it dries out the texture of the legume. You can also over salt legumes very easily.

Beans & lentils cook with meat, but add grain salt near the end. It's amateur cooking to over salt things, you end up tasting salt and not food. If you want to piss off a chef or good cook, just grab the salt shaker before you taste the food.

Unless you're complaining about which kind of meat I put in, in which case you will not suffer well my ire for your Yanquee comment. There are a forty dozen ways to cook lentils that have nothing to do with Spain, a hamhock, greens and some Texas spice wizardry will bring your stomach around to see the light.




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 17:25:51
 
estebanana

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Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

You can also buy some Hungarian paprika which is available in most US grocery stores and use that. Instead of making Spanish Potaje proper you'll be making some Russian soup dish with garbanzos.

The potaje has it's equivalents in other cuisines. If you put in chopped beets and two big handfuls of Hungarian paprika to your instant potaje you'll be making a kind of borsht with chick peas. You have to work with what you have. If you have a hamhock and garbanzos an East European paprika you can work through the whole world of Jewish, Russian, Polish, Hungarian.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 17:44:59
 
srshea

Posts: 833
Joined: Oct. 29 2006
From: Olympia, WA in the Great Pacific Northwest

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

Hold on, I see that La Chinata comes in "sweet" and "hot" varieties. Which one do I want?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 17:49:58
 
Estevan

Posts: 1938
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to srshea

quote:

Hold on, I see that La Chinata comes in "sweet" and "hot" varieties. Which one do I want?

"Sweet" - which simply means 'not hot'. It's the deep smoky flavour you want, not heat. If you want heat you can always add chile flakes. Using the sweet one gives you the option.
(And as I suggested, it doesn't take much to make a big difference, and it's easy to overdo it).

Try sprinkling a little on eggs while they're frying. Mmmm...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 17:59:58
 
srshea

Posts: 833
Joined: Oct. 29 2006
From: Olympia, WA in the Great Pacific Northwest

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to estebanana

What I’ve had on hand has been cumin, coriander, oregano, powered chili, tiny bit of dried ground ginger. I use just a little bit of each so none of those individual flavors stand out too strongly, and end up with something generically and slightly "spicy", and which doesn’t evoke any particular ethnic cuisine. Potaje Americano?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 18:04:02
 
srshea

Posts: 833
Joined: Oct. 29 2006
From: Olympia, WA in the Great Pacific Northwest

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Estevan

quote:

"Sweet" - which simply means 'not hot'. It's the deep smoky flavour you want, not heat. If you want heat you can always add chile flakes. Using the sweet one gives you the option.
(And as I suggested, it doesn't take much to make a big difference, and it's easy to overdo it).

Try sprinkling a little on eggs while they're frying. Mmmm...


Sounds good. When I was a young man I was aggressively attached to all things hot, but these days I tend to favor subtle and savory depth…
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 18:08:14
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to Ron.M

You can make a lot of good beans with just cumin and chilipowder. Cumin loves tomatoes and ground beef or chunks of steak.

You can make the all purpose bean "sofrito" by cooking onions and garlic and adding chopped tomatoes when the onions are clear. Then add meat, water and beans. Then put in Cumin and some chili powder. It's a base for many chili recipes.

I think oregano competes with cumin, but the coriander added works for me.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 18:17:12
 
srshea

Posts: 833
Joined: Oct. 29 2006
From: Olympia, WA in the Great Pacific Northwest

RE: Arroz a la Cubana! (in reply to estebanana

quote:

I think oregano competes with cumin, but the coriander added works for me.


I go with the oregano since, as far as herbs go, it seems to have a bit of spiciness to it. I try to use cumin sparingly, as I really overused it during my sad, lonely days of veganism twenty years ago, and it brings up some pretty dark feelings. And a little too much can make the kitchen instantly smell like a hippy group house, which is also an unwanted trigger.

I’m nutz about coriander, though. I try to get as much mileage out of that stuff as possible.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2012 18:26:58
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