Archive for the ‘Cuban’ Category

Authentic Mojito’s

01 Jan

1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Juice from 1 lime (2 ounces)
4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint
Havana Club white Rum (2 ounces)
2 ounces club soda
Ice (crushed)


There are countless recipes for the Mojito (prounced moh-HEE-toh), but this version is for the one Hemingway himself enjoyed at the Mojito’s place of birth: La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba.

Place the mint leaves into a “collins” glass and squeeze the juice from a cut lime over it. You’ll want about two ounces of lime juice, so it may not require all of the juice from a single lime.

Add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler, you can also use the back of a fork or spoon if one isn’t available.

Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

*Optional – Some people will take half of the juiced lime and cut into into four wedges to add to the glass. Another variation is to add Angostura bitters to cut the mojito’s sweetness. Some Cubans also use “guarapo” (sugar cane syrup) in place of the powdered sugar.



Pollo con quimbobo y platano, sin platano (Chicken with okra and plantains, without plantains)

01 Jan

8 chicken breasts

2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp cumin
8 garlic cloves chopped into little bits

2 very large onions
2 green peppers and 1 red pepper
8 more garlic cloves
32 oz box of chicken broth
4 large chopped up tomatoes
2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
1 jar of sliced pimiento stuffed olives
1 cup raisins
2 14.5oz cans of okra (unless you can find it fresh)


Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinade the chicken breasts in it for several hours.

Grill the chicken for about 5 minutes per side to get them a little brown and seal in the marinade flavor, they don’t have to be fully cooked.

Put the onion, peppers, and garlic in a large pot, saute them in olive oil until they are somewhat soft. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

Add the grilled chicken breasts and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours.

Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.

Note on the plantains – you are to have black skinned mushy plantains go into the pot along with the okra and tomatoes and so on, but the ones I bought were still green and useless in this regard. With the plantains there would have been an added sweetness, that would have been interesting.

Another note – hot sauce made a good addition on top of this dish to give it a little kick.

Makes 8 servings.


Frijoles Negros (Black Beans)

01 Jan

2 1/2 cups dried black beans
9 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled, and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
Olive oil for sautéing
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons vinegar
3/4 cup dry Spanish wine
2 teaspoons sugar
Olive oil


Cover dry beans with water and let stand covered overnight. Drain and discard water.

Place the cleaned black beans in a large 6-quart saucepan. Add water and olive oil—this will prevent the beans from foaming. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.

Do not add salt to the beans when they are cooking. Salt at this stage of the game will make your beans very tough.
You may also cook the beans in a pressure cooker. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for exact times, but our pressure cooker takes about 20 to 25 minutes to cook the beans completely.

Whichever method you use, do not drain the water from the cooked beans.

Meanwhile, chop onion and green pepper. Mash the garlic with salt and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.
Sauté the onions and green pepper in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add mashed garlic and sauté another minute or so.

Add the cooked beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar, and wine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf.

Some cooks—including us—like to thicken the beans by taking about 1 cup of beans and mashing them to make a thick paste. Mix the mashed beans back into the pot.

Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the sugar; then drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the beans. Immediately cover the pot, remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve the by now fantastically prepared black beans over white rice. You may garnish the beans with cilantro and chopped white onions. Not only do they look good presented this way, they taste even better than they look.