Easy-peasy Cuban cuisine
Cumin, coriander and lime – the flavours of Cuba are truly special
CUBANO WITH PULLED PORK
The Cubano, an iconic Cuban sandwich, takes a bit of patience and effort – but is absolutely worth it. SERVES 6-8 PREPARATION: 20 MIN MARINATING: 1 HOUR OR OVERNIGHT COOKING: 2½ HOURS PULLED PORK 1-1,5kg whole pork cut (such as sirloin or leg) 10ml (2t) ground cumin salt and freshly ground pepper 6 garlic cloves, crushed juice and grated zest of 1 orange juice and grated zest of 1 lime handful of fresh coriander, chopped 4 mint sprigs, chopped 250ml (1c) chicken stock 250ml (1c) ginger ale 15ml (1T) brown sugar CUBANOS 125ml (½c) mayonnaise 125ml (½c) mustard 6-8 paninis or long bread rolls, sliced open 200g mozzarella or mature cheddar cheese, sliced 6-8 large gherkins, sliced 60ml (¼c) melted butter 1 Pulled pork Season the meat all over with the cumin, salt and freshly ground pepper and put in a large bowl. 2 Add the garlic, juice and zest of the orange and lime, fresh coriander and mint to the bowl and mix well so the meat is covered all over. Marinate overnight or for at least an hour in the fridge. 3 Preheat the oven to 170°C. Transfer the meat and the marinade to a large ovenproof dish with a lid. Add the chicken stock and ginger ale and cover with the lid. 4 Cook the meat in the oven for 2 hours, turning it halfway through. Remove the lid and sprinkle the brown sugar over. Switch on the oven grill and grill the meat for 10-15 minutes or until the sugar has caramelised slightly. 5 Remove the meat from the cooking liquid and pull it apart using two forks. Put the meat in a clean bowl and add 60ml (¼c) of the cooking liquid. Mix well and season with salt if needed. Set aside. 6 Cubanos Generously spread mayonnaise and mustard on the inside of the bread rolls. Put pulled pork on one half of each roll, add cheese and gherkins and close the sandwiches. 7 Lightly brush the outside of the sandwiches with butter. Heat a sandwich press and toast the sandwiches until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
CONDENSED MILK FLAN
Cuban flan is similar to crème caramel. Condensed milk is usually used instead of cream and there’s no need to make the custard in advance. SERVES 4-6 PREPARATION: 15 MIN COOKING: 45-50 MIN COOLING: ABOUT 1 HOUR CARAMEL 250ml (1c) sugar 15ml (1T) lemon juice 15ml (1T) water FLAN 1 can (385g) condensed milk 385g full-cream milk (use the condensed milk can to measure) 3 eggs 2 egg yolks 5ml (1t) vanilla essence Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease four medium or six small ramekins with t – teaspoon/s T – tablespoon/s nonstick spray. Choose a deep ovenproof dish big enough to contain all the ramekins and line it with a tea towel. 1 Caramel Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Use a brush that’s been dipped in water to remove any remaining sugar crystals from the inside of the saucepan. As soon as all the sugar has dissolved, remove the spoon and leave to simmer until the syrup is a deep caramel colour. Divide the syrup c – cup/s among the ramekins and leave to set. 2 Flan Mix all the ingredients well and pour over the caramel in the ramekins – each ramekin should be at least three-quarters full. 3 Arrange the ramekins on the tea towel in the ovenproof dish. Add boiling water so the ramekins are threequarters submerged. 4 Carefully put the dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the flan has set but is still slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the dish and set aside to cool. 5 Carefully loosen the sides of each flan with a butter knife and turn the flans out onto a serving dish or individual serving plates.
Spices, peppers and chopped tomatoes make this dish delicious. SERVES 4-6 PREPARATION: 15 MIN COOKING: 1 HOUR CHICKEN 6-8 chicken portions salt and freshly ground pepper 10ml (2t) ground cumin 2,5ml (½t) each ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper 5ml (1t) dried oregano STEW 750g baby potatoes 1 red pepper, cut into strips 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips 1 onion, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 can (410g) chopped tomatoes juice of 1 lime juice of 1 orange 250ml (1c) chicken stock 15ml (1T) olive oil TO SERVE fresh coriander rice or salad (optional) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Keep a large, deep ovenproof dish handy. 1 Chicken Season the chicken portions all over with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix the other spices well and rub all over the chicken. 2 Stew Put all the ingredients except the chicken in the ovenproof dish. Mix well, then arrange the chicken in between the vegetables. Drizzle olive oil over and cover with foil. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes. 3 Increase the oven temperature to 200°C. Remove the foil and roast uncovered for 15 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown. 4 To serve Sprinkle the coriander over and serve as is, or with rice or salad (if using). (Turn over)
These mince-filled potato balls are packed with flavour. They’re ideal as a snack for guests or as a light meal with a garden salad. MAKES 8-10 POTATO BALLS PREPARATION: 30 MIN CHILLING: ABOUT 1 HOUR COOKING: 40 MIN MASH 6 large potatoes, peeled and cooked 15ml (1T) milk salt MINCE 15ml (1T) oil 1 onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 chillies, chopped 500g lean beef mince 1 green pepper, finely diced 10ml (2t) paprika 5ml (1t) ground cumin 5ml (1t) dried oregano juice of 1 lime or 15ml (1T) lemon juice salt and freshly ground pepper TO COMPLETE 250ml (1c) flour 3 eggs, whisked 500ml (2c) breadcrumbs oil for deep-frying TO SERVE lime wedges sea salt 1 Mash Mash the potatoes and milk together and season with salt. Set aside. 2 Mince Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and chillies until fragrant. Add the mince and stir-fry until brown. Add the green pepper and stir-fry until soft. 3 Stir in the paprika, cumin, oregano and lime or lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. 4 To complete Put 60ml (¼c) of the mash in the palm of your hand, lightly press to flatten and spoon a dollop of mince in the middle of the mash. Fold the mash over the mince and roll into a ball. 5 Repeat with the rest of the mash and mince. Roll the balls in the flour and dip in the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs and arrange on a plate. Chill for at least 30 minutes. 6 Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Deep-fry the balls in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 7 To serve Serve the papas rellenas with lime wedges and sea salt.
The unusual combination of ingredients makes for a scrumptious mince dish. SERVES 4-6 PREPARATION: 10 MIN COOKING: 30 MIN PICADILLO 30ml (2T) olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1kg lean beef mince 100g tomato paste 1 beef stock pot 60ml (¼c) water 5ml (1t) dried oregano 2,5ml (½t) cayenne pepper 60ml (¼c) raisins salt and freshly ground pepper TO SERVE 100g green pitted olives, chopped handful of fresh coriander, chopped 4 x 250ml (4c) cooked rice lime wedges 1 Picadillo Heat the oil in a shallow saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the mince and stir-fry until browned. 2 Stir in the tomato
paste, beef stock and water. Add the oregano, cayenne pepper and raisins and stir. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking. 3 Season with salt and
freshly ground pepper. 4 To serve Sprinkle the olives and coriander over the mince and serve with the rice and lime wedges.