Recipes

Cuban Favorites for The 9 Days of Celebration

cuban recipes

They may be forced to mourn in Havana but in Miami they’re delighted. These are some of our Cuban friends’ favorite dishes.

Fricasse de pollo - Chicken Fricassee

This dish is really easy to make and it’s exceptionally flavorful. We omit the olives even though tradition demands them.

Chicken Fricassee

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs chicken breasts, thighs and legs
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c orange juice or 1/4c each of lime and orange juice
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 1 lg red bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 oz puréed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c green olives, stuffed with pimentos
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 c dry sherry
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • Rice to serve it with

Preparation

  1. Combine garlic, orange/ lime juice, onion and bell pepper
  2. Marinade the chicken in the mix for 4 hrs
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken
  4. Add the marinade and heat for 5 min
  5. Add tomato purée, raisins, olives, capers, sherry and a pinch of salt and pepper
  6. Add enough water to just cover the chicken
  7. Simmer for at least 1 hr adding the potatoes in for the last 20 min
  8. Serve over steamed rice

Ropa Vieja

Old clothes, literal translation. 

It’s a delicious beef stew that some guy must have told his wife looked like old clothes after one too many Cuba libres. Don’t let the name fool you. This dish is amazing.

Ropa Vieja

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chuck, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 3 bell peppers in assorted colors, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lg carrot, cut in half
  • 1 lg celery stalk, cut in half
  • 1 c olives
  • 1/2 c roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/4 c pimentos, drained
  • 2 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 1/3 c parsley, chopped

Preparation

  1. Rub the beef with salt and pepper
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and brown the beef
  3. Remove the beef and set it aside
  4. In the same oil, sauté the onion and peppers for 20 min, until caramelized
  5. Add garlic and spices
  6. Sauté 1 min
  7. Add wine and bring it to a rapid boil, scraping the bottom of the pan
  8. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves
  9. Simmer 5 min
  10. Add the beef, carrot and celery and bring it to a boil
  11. Reduce to simmer and cover for 4 hrs covered
  12. Discard the celery, carrots and bay leaves
  13. Transfer the beef to a plate and shred it
  14. Stir in olives, pimentos, capers and roasted red peppers
  15. Simmer uncovered for 30 min or until thick
  16. Stir in parsley and serve with rice and beans

Arroz con pollo - Chicken and Rice

This one is also easy to make and the flavors blend into a rich taste sensation. 

Arroz con pollo is a real crowd pleaser. 

cuban-style-soupy-arroz-con-pollo-recipe_hero

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, cleaned and cut into rounds
  • 3 lbs bone in, skin on chicken thighs and legs
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 4 c water
  • 12 oz pilsner beer
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 med onion, grated
  • 1 c jarred pimentos, drained and chopped
  • 1 c baby peas
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 cube of chicken bouillon
  • 3/4 tsp ground achiote seeds
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 1/2 c short grain rice

Preparation

  1. Pre heat oven to 325
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and add the bell pepper
  3. Brown the chicken in batches 2-3 min per side
  4. Set the chicken aside and discard the pepper. Keep the oil
  5. Add wine to the oil in the Dutch oven
  6. Simmer and scrape the bottom of the pot
  7. Add the chicken and all of the remaining ingredients except for the rice, 1/2 of the beer and 1/4 of the pimentos
  8. Bring it to a simmer
  9. Stir in rice and simmer 10 min
  10. Cover the pot with a tight lid and place it in the oven for 20 min
  11. Remove from the oven and pour in the remaining beer
  12. Garnish with pimentos

Masitas de Puerco Fritas

This is our favorite Cuban dish. We frequently serve these tender morsels of pork as an appetizer. Whatever you do, be sure not to overcook them though. Overcooked pork delights no one. If it’s your first time making a dish like this, check the pork frequently when the water evaporates. Cut into it or taste it and you’ll be just fine. 

Masitas de Puerco Fritas

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs cubed pork
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, coarsely sliced
  • 1/2 c orange juice
  • 1/4 c lime juice
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c olive oil

Preparation

  1. Combine garlic, onion, juices, 1/2 c olive oil, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper
  2. Marinate the pork in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator
  3. Remove the pork from the marinade and place it in a pot with the water and remaining oil
  4. Simmer for 30-40 min until the water evaporates
  5. Briefly brown the pork and onions
  6. Do not overcook it or it will be dry and impossible to chew
  7. Serve with rice and beans

Picadillo - Ground beef stew

Everyone loves this intensely flavorful entree. We usually switch to a variety of mixed pitted olives though. It’s not traditional, we just like it better that way.

Picadillo - Ground beef stew

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 3 oz chorizo
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2/3 c raisins
  • 2/3 c pitted, stuffed olives

Preparation

  1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onions, chorizo and garlic for about 10 min or until the onions are soft and translucent
  2. Add the beef and brown it
  3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, spices and bay leaves
  4. Simmer 30-45 min, covered
  5. Uncover and add raisins and olives
  6. Simmer 15 min longer and serve with white rice.

Enjoy these Cuban favorites!

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