Yes you can cook Cuban food at home! For a long while having a good meal out at a restaurant was a challenge. This changed in 2010 when President Raúl Castro (Fidel’s younger brother) deregulated the hospitality industry, meaning that private restaurants were able to operate with ease. Cuban recipes to cook at home.
The restaurant scene in Cuba has flourished. Traditional Cuban fare now sits alongside modern fusion cuisine, sushi and hamburgers on many menus. Traditional Cuban food tends to be hearty and heavy, with a heavy reliance on meat and rice. For an authentic taste of Cuba, there are some straightforward ways to recreate these dishes at home.
Vegetarian Recipe: Cuban Rice and Beans
Vegetarians often went uncatered for in Cuba and the traditional rice and beans was the only option in many restaurants. Vegetarianism is no longer seen as a unusual in Cuba. If you don’t eat meat you will be able to find many options on the menu when it comes to Cuban cuisine. Cuban rice and beans, also known as Congri (red beans) or Moros Cristianos (black beans) is still popular. And it’s very easy to make yourself!
- 1 x large onion, 1 x red bell pepper,
- 1 or 2 x cloves of garlic,
- tomato paste,
- 1 x can of red kidney beans (or black)
- 1 x cup of white rice,
- salt and pepper
- 1 x tablespoon of oil (olive or canola)
- Finely dice a large onion and a red bell pepper (capsicum). Crush a clove of crushed garlic (or two if you like).
- Fry the onion, pepper and garlic in a tablespoon of oil on a medium heat. Use a large saucepan with a lid. Sweat the vegetables until the onion becomes translucent. Add four tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to combine.
- Add a can of drained kidney beans (or black beans) into the pan (retain the liquid), along with a cup of uncooked white rice.
- Pour the liquid from the beans into a measuring jug, and add water until you have 2.5 cups. Pour this into the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe: Cuban Roast Pork
Pork features heavily in many types of Cuban cuisine, and this mouth watering loin of pork has a delicious undertone of citrus. The marination process takes 12 hours, so it’s best to prepare it the night before you plan to eat it.
- -A large loin of pork with skin (approximately 1 kg or 2.5 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon of oregano (fresh is best, but dried is OK),
- Freshly squeezed juice from 2 x oranges, 1 x lemon and 1 x lime.
- A quarter cup of oil (olive or canola)
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic,
- Half a teaspoon of black pepper, salt.
- Mix the citrus juice in a large bowl, along with the pepper, garlic and oregano. Stab the flesh of the pork loin a few times to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat. Place the pork (skin side up) into the marinade and refrigerate for 12 hours. Make sure to cover it, otherwise your fridge will smell!
- When ready to cook, remove the pork from the fridge and leave it to rest for an hour. This brings it back to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Remove the pork from the marinade and score the skin with a sharp knife. Rub a generous amount of salt into both the flesh and skin.
- Heat the oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Place the loin in the frying pan, turning carefully until it’s browned on all sides.
- Place the loin of pork onto a lined baking tray, and cook for 45 minutes (for medium) to 60 minutes (for well done). Serve with rice and a green salad.
To Drink? A Basic Mojito Recipe
If you’re not in the mood to cook a full Cuban meal, you can certainly enjoy a Cuban cocktail without much effort. Cuban cuisine is not limited to food, and after making this classic mojito at home you might wonder why bars charge so much for something that is actually really simple.
INGREDIENTS (per glass)
- 10 – 12 leaves of chopped fresh mint leaves,
- a generous shot of white rum,
- a half cup of carbonated water,
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
- half a lime (cut into thin wedges)
- ice cubes (enough to half fill the serving glass).
- Place the mint leaves and lime wedges into a tall glass. Mash them together using a cocktail muddler (the handle of a wooden spoon also works). Add the sugar and mash until the sugar has combined with the lime juice.
- Add ice to the glass, then pour in the rum. Top with the carbonated water and give the mixture a light sir. Garnish with another lime wedge if desired.
Buen provecho amigos!