Class: Cuban Food; Pre-Castro and Miami Style
Presenter: Rafael De La Paz Sigma Nu Chef, Student Organized Services, Inc.
Pollo en Casuela
Morros y Cristianos
Chef Rafael will be discussing the similarities and differences between Pre-Castro and Miami style Cuban food.
Pollo en Casuela
Yield: 4 servings
Variations: This type of dish is typically served with white or yellow rice and tostones.
2 ½ lbs chicken (white or dark meat, boneless if preferred)
¼ lb. butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
½ Spanish onion, diced
¼ lb. green bell pepper, diced
1 lb. white potato, diced
½ lb. carrot, peeled and diced
½ lb. peas
½ lb. mushrooms
½ cup chicken stock (or water)
½ cup vinegar or Sauterne white wine to deglaze
Aromatic herbs; 1-2 bay leafs, ¼ oz. Italian parsley, ¼ oz. culantro
In a large pan, saute the chicken with ½ the butter, until a mellow sear has begun; turn over; repeat. Remove par cooked chicken from the pan and add the remaining vegetables, except the peas and mushrooms. Add remaining butter and add herbs. Cook until browning forms on the ingredients. Place the chicken and cooked vegetables into a casserole dish deep enough to hold all ingredients. Deglaze the pan with vinegar or white wine. Add chicken stock or water and mix. Add to casseroled items and braise in oven at 350* for 1 hour or until chicken is tender enough to separate with a fork.
Prior to serving add lemon juice, or place lemon halves on plate or available for the guests. (pantry note – never cook lemon juce, add at the very last minute!)
Morros y Cristianos (Black Beans and Rice)
Pantry notes – never used canned black beans. Soak your black beans overnight, pull off any foam on top but save soak water for cooking the rice in, it is the mix of flavors from this that makes the dish authentic.
Yield: 8 servings
Variations: This entrée is typically served over white rice with a side of seasoned black beans and fried, sweet, ripened plantains.
Falda (real)de res. Flank or stewable lower primal cuts off the beef
1 lg. Spanish onion (julienne)
1 lg. green bell pepper (julienne)
1 lg. red pepper (julienne) canned roasted may be used, if so do not add until the final preparation
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
½ veg oil or rendered uncured pork fat (Manteca)
10-12 oz. plain tomato sauce or tomato concase.
Aromatic herbs and spices: 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. ground cumin, ½ tsp. ground coriander (pantry note, never use more than half the coriander to cumin ratio or all you’ll taste is coriander)
64 oz. Beef stock or water
½ cup vinegar or Sauterne wine (to deglaze)
Slow boil the meat in water or beef stock until cooked through, remove and let cool at room temperature. Do not discard the stock/water.
In a large pot, saute the vegetables, with the herbs and spices, until vegetables are soft; be careful not to overcook.
Remove ingredients and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with vinegar or wine.
At this point or earlier, separate the beef into long strings so they are loose and have a similar length and thickness as the onions and peppers.
Add tomato sauce to the deglazed pot. When tomato sauce is beginning to bubble, return the ingredients, add the beef and add stock water to pot and slow cook covered, until the sauce has slightly thickened.
Yield: Makes about 4 cups
2 medium Spanish onions, cut into large chunks
3 to 4 Italian frying peppers or cubanelle peppers
16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch cilantro, washed
7 to 10 ajices dulces (see note below), optional
4 leaves of culantro (see note below), or another handful cilantro
3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks
If you can’t find ajices dulces or culantro, don’t sweat. Up the amount of cilantro to 1 ½ bunches.
Chop the onion and cubanelle or Italian peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth. The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes beautifully. Freeze sofrito in ½ cup batches in sealable plastic bags. They come in extremely handy in a pinch. You can even add sofrito straight from the freezer to the pan in any recipe that calls for it in this book.
Pantry Notes: Ajices Dulces, also known as cachucha or ajicitos are tiny sweet peppers with a hint of heat. They range in color from light to medium green and yellow to red and orange. They add freshness and an herby note to the sofrito and anything you cook. Do not mistake them for Scotch bonnet or Habanero chilies (which they look like)–those two pack a wallop when it comes to heat. If you can find ajicitos in your market, add them to sofrito. If not, up the cilantro and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Culantro is not cilantro. It has long leaves with tapered tips and serrated edges. When it comes to flavor, culantro is like cilantro times ten. It is a nice, not essential addition to sofrito.