Trying to cover a lot of ground on my site, I regret that I don’t get to spend too much time in any one place – picking up terms and techniques without becoming fluent in any one country’s cuisine. But lately my Cuban cookbook research has kept me at home, literally and figuratively, so I was due for a side trip. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Cuba’
When I first opened the Cuba chapter in Chef Jose Garces’ The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico and Peru, I held my breath for a moment. It’s always a little strange to see yourself through someone else’s eyes – well not me exactly but the food I grew up which can feel like the same thing. My first instinct was to jump ahead to the recipe for the sandwich Cubano – not only did he keep his version free of chipotle mayo, but mentions Miami’s Latin American cafeteria and includes directions for sugar-cured pork. I kept reading. Read more
My sister Carmen has been asking me to make bistec empanizado for this blog for awhile. When I wrote about masitas de puerco, my favorite thing to order from Cuban menus, it seemed only fair to write about hers. Mine came with black beans and hers didn’t, so I’d always pass her my frijoles negros. This week we made a different deal – I’d finally make the bistec empanizado if she’d write the post. Here it is and I’m sure you’ll agree it was well worth the beans.
When I was little, the center of the universe seemed to exist at Casablanca. A bustling Cuban café on 8th street in the then sleepy little town of Miami. When my grandfather took me for lunch, I loved sitting at the counter where the vinyl covered, revolving stools gave me a 360 degree view of the action. When my parents took me at night, the same café was usually empty which gave my sister and I the odd run of the place. We’d feed quarters into the jukebox and play Donna Summer songs as my father talked about what life would have been like/could be like for us in Cuba. I don’t know exactly why I chose Donna Summer. I wasn’t crazy about disco (I didn’t want to dress like a that when I grew up) but there was something about her voice that kept me coming back. It was lonely and defiant. It spoke of another world I couldn’t possibly understand at that age. The boldness of it drew me in and it was endless. Very much like the breaded steak on my plate that I always ordered for dinner. Read more