Cuba, the land of Hemingway, the country that seems stuck in time. I’ve never been, but am dying to go! It seems so vibrant, full of life, and so romantic. Originally ruled by Spain, Cuba gained their Independence in the 1800s and has pushed to make their country great. Did you know Cuba has the highest literacy rate in the world!? (99.8%) HOW AMAZING IS THAT!?
Cuba also played host to MANY American bartenders during prohibition, who moved to continue their profession and help to create many famous cocktails we still drink today. Good, hearty food with flavor and spice, get ready!
Appetizer: Yuca Con Mojo Main Course: Ropa Vieja Dessert: Natilla Cocktail: Daiquiri
Yuca Con Mojo is a delicious vegan dish, that is am amazing alternative to potatoes as a side or a starter to a meal. Yuca is a staple in the Caribbean diet, but you may know it as cassava, manioc, or even tapioca!
Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb yuca, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped 6 clover garlic, minced 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp oregano 1/4 tsp cumin
Directions: 1. Boil the yuca in salted water until tender, drain and set aside, but keep warm 2. Combine the orange juice, lime juice, onions, cilantro, and garlic in a bowl and pour the mixture over the yuca 3. In a large pan heat olive oil, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper and pour hot mixture over yuca
Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban dish, some even may say the National dish. This saucy, shredded beef dish may be leagues away from our vegan appetizer, it is worth a try. Ropa Vieja actually means “old clothes”, the name gives nod to the tattered, ragged appearance of the beef.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb flank steak 4 cups beef broth 2 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 tsp oregano 1/4 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/2 cup white wine 8oz tomato sauce 1 tbsp water
Directions: 1. Place steak in a large pot, make sure it is not folded or overlapping and add the beef broth. Place on high heat until broth begins to boil, lower to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the meat, lower heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes, turning again about half way through cooking time. 2. Remove meat from pot and place on cutting board to cool, keeping broth at a low simmer on low heat, once meat is cool enough the shred, shred and add back to broth 3. Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan over medium and add onions, cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently before adding garlic, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Mix together 4. Deglaze pan with the white wine and cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Add in the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer before changing the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally 5. Add the shredded beef and any remaining broth to the tomato sauce and stir to combine, cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. 6. Serve with simple white rice and black beans
Natilla is a chocolate custard that can be eaten for brunch or in the evening. This was SO good you guys! It takes a little muscle, but is delicious and worth it if you have the patience for it!
Ingredients: 4 cups milk 3 egg yolks 1/3 cup cornstarch 1 envelope hot coco mix, you can add 2 if you want it to be really rich 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla pinch of salt ground cinnamon to garnish
Directions: 1. In a medium pan, over medium heat add 3 cups of milk, while this is warming take a bowl and mix together remaining milk and cornstarch, whisk together and the gently whisk in egg yolks and sugar. Set aside 2. When milk is warm, add in hot coco and mix to dissolve, slowly add in cornstarch mixture, vanilla, and salt. Change heat to low and continue whisking gently until mixture has thickened (this can take about 15 minutes). Make sure not to whisk too hard or it will not thicken. 3. Pour into bowls and allow to sit about 5 additional minutes before garnishing with cinnamon and serving
Daiquirí is actually a small town at the base of Cuba credited with being the inspiration for the name of the cocktail. Legend has it that the drink was invented around 1900 by a group of American mining engineers working at a local iron mine. The story states that the drink came about when one man ran out of gin while entertaining guests, and has evolved ever since.
I thought I was going to hate this drink, because when I think of Daiquiris I think of those too sweet, freeze your brain cocktails, that should only be reserved for bachelorette parties and your 21 run. This drink was the exact opposite, it was smooth, elegant, and perfect for a hot summer day.
Ingredients: 2 oz light rum 1 oz fresh lime juice 1/4 oz simple syrup
Directions: 1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake vigorously until completely cold and strain into a pre chilled glass