RECIPE TITLE "Ropa Vieja"
Excerpted from Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine by Steven Raichlen and Robin Zingone Copyright (c) by Steven Raichlen.
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serves 4 --- easy
This and the Vaca Frita on page 235 are mainstays of the Cuban-American diet. Both are made with skirt steak, a stingy cut of meat with the poetic name of fajita (girdle) in Spanish. Skirt steak can be found at Hispanic markets, Jewish butcher shops, and at an increasing number of supermarkets. Flank steak makes an acceptable substitute. Both recipes call for the meat to be boiled with aromatic vegetables. The resulting broth makes a fabulous soup--simply add cooked noodles or rice. Ropa vieja--literally means "old clothes," and is an apt description of the shredded appearance of the meant. It is traditionally served with white rice and fried plantains.
- 1/2 pounds skirt-steak
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- TO FINISH THE DISH:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
- 1/3 cup tomato puree
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Combine the beef, quartered onion, tomato, carrot, and garlic cloves with 6 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer the beef, uncovered, skimming often, until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Strain the meat, reserving the broth for soup. Let the meat cool. Tear it, along the grain, into pencil-thick strips.
3. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive frying pan over medium heat. Add theminced garlic, sliced onion, and bell peppers and cook until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the meat, cumin, tomato puree, wine, and salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is well coated with the sauce and the sauce is reduced and flavorful, about 5 minutes. Correct the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Cuba Cocina! Here is the most complete guide ever to the robust and soul-satisfying flavors of Cuba, both the traditional or classico foods and the exciting nuevo dishes rapidly becoming so popular here and on the island. Caribbean food expert and long-time fan and proponent of Cuban cuisine in America, Joyce LaFray has included hundreds of recipes from home cooks and restaurants that reflect the vigorous and flavorful cooking of this tropical island. The pages of ¡Cuba Cocina! are fitted with the tantalizing scents of garlic, citantro, tomato, sweet peppers, and those ubiquitous favorites, black beans and rice.Distinctively delicious recipes include fresh red snapper served with a tangy citantro-lime sauce, a crab dish that incorporates crisp plantains and a mango vinaigrette, and a Creole stewed shrimp prepared in the style of the province of Santiago de Cuba. Alongside the traditional arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, pollo frito and roast suckling pig are recipes for nuevo-style roast turkey with black bean stuffing. ginger-sherried roast pork, and pork medallions with yuca and mojo.To accompany all these dishes are more than two dozen recipes for salsas, and great tropical fruit and vegetable offerings such as fluffy calbaza souffle and eggplant stuffed with ripe tomatoes, peppers, and raisins.On the more indulgent side there are dozens of island cocktails, with and without alcohol. and a sumptuous array of aaah-inspiring desserts: flan with rum sauce, mango-coconut cake, and acreamy custard called natilla. Cuban traditionalists will love the mamey sapote and mango ice cream. For those new to Cuban cooking. an exhaustive glossary covers the essential terms and ingredients. a shopping list offers Cuban names for major ingredients, and a detailed technique section discusses preparing uncommon fruits, vegetables, shellfish, and more,¡Cuba Cocina! means Cuba Cooks! and as this book so amply demonstrates, that activity is cause for celebration.
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