Rice with kitchen pot

On Cuba - - CONTENTS - BY ALAIN L. GU­TIÉR­REZ

We lived in Old Havana and my mom was the one who used to do the shop­ping, so I would take ad­van­tage to cook and when she got home the meal was al­most ready. The first thing I cooked was mac­a­roni with chorizo and cheese. My dad used to love it. Be­fore, the mac­a­roni that were sold were long and hol­lowed out, not like the ones sold now which are short. That was his pas­sion.

Who taught you how to cook?

I learned a bit of cook­ing with my mom who, al­though she was very good at mak­ing sweets, used to cook so-so. My neigh­bor was the one who taught me the most, she was a mag­nif­i­cent cook.

What do like to cook the most?

I re­ally like to make con­grí [rice cooked with beans]. It comes out very good, in my style: sep­a­rated and with pork fat.

Your fa­vorite “bread with some­thing”?

I love to pre­pare the bread with cheese, well-toasted, crunchy, well- crushed and burned on the out­side.

Ac­tu­ally the kitchen pot is the sauce left over from the prepa­ra­tion of dishes. But I also call kitchen pot the bits left over from the meals dur­ing the week. It can be a bit of chicken with sauce, small pieces of pork meat, squid, fish, ham…. Any­thing will do. The se­cret of the prepa­ra­tion lies in the soy sauce and the finely cut scal­lions that give it a good touch. Ah! It is im­por­tant to add an omelet cut in small pieces or scram­bled eggs. This is a dish that saves us when we find our­selves in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, and it can be served for lunch or sup­per, and at the beach houses it works great. The recipe can­not be mea­sured by quan­ti­ties, so what’s im­por­tant is how to make it. The rice used is from the day be­fore, which would be the ideal, or rice cooked very early in the day and left to cool. It has to be well sep­a­rated so that it func­tions bet­ter. In a pot you lightly fry all the kitchen pots. You can add sea­son­ing if you want: gar­lic, onions and pep­pers, al­ways to the taste of who­ever is mak­ing it. When all the pots are well mixed and the sea­son­ing is lightly fired, add the rice and mix. Add the soy sauce un­til it has a dark color. You have to make sure that the rice wasn’t made with too much salt so that it doesn’t come out too salty with the soy sauce. Add the omelet or the scram­bled eggs, mix well and, lastly, gar­nish with the finely cut scal­lions. It should be served hot.

TA­NIA ONELIA MEDEROS CALDERÍN IS 70 YEARS OLD AND HAS BEEN COOK­ING SINCE SHE WAS 12

TA­NIA ONELIA MEDEROS CALDERÍN TIENE 70 AÑOS Y COCINA DESDE LOS 12

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