Cuban pictures and recipes

We took some pictures of our cuban food (shocking, I know).  I will still need to get the black beans, vegetable paella, and the mojo chicken – but here are some of the exotic roots once they were peeled and cooked.

First of all, how cool is it that I was cooking with one of the taro chips (again you can tell by the dots).  I peeled it and chopped it into chunks, and then, keeping with Cuban tradition – fried it.  Apparently, frying is a big thing in Cuba (one of the Cuban contestants on a cooking show had fried a very  nice cut of beef and was blasted for it).

I put 2 inches of oil in the frying pan, and waited until the oil was *hot* before I started frying.  You have to be careful not to start frying with oil that is too tepid.  You’ll end up not getting a crispy, yummy fried food at the end, but rather a soggy oil-y yuckiness that no one will want to eat. How can you tell, you might ask (if you don’t have a thermometer handy)?  First, let the oil heat up (i.e. if you just started the flame 30 seconds ago, it isn’t hot enough, yet).  Second, you can always drop one small piece into the oil and see if it bubbles upon contact with the food you want to fry.  If not – wait longer.  Fry for about 10 minutes or until golden brown – flip once to get both sides.   If you don’t want to use that much oil – then you can saute the malanga, it might take longer to cook – but it will still turn golden brown.

The finished product.  Yum.  Season to taste (salt, pepper, hot pepper, garlic, whatever you’d like).

Next, we fried the taro, sweet potato and the yucca the same way.  With the plantains – I cut them into circles and put them in salted water (2 teaspoons of salt in water to cover the cut up root) for 20 minutes first – then I drained them and patted them dry before I put them in the oil (otherwise the hot oil will splatter).  And I found I didn’t have to salt them after they were fried, I felt they had just the right amount of saltiness.  I then made a mayonnaise/hot sauce dip to dip them in and they were gobbled up.  I had to hide some so that we would have some for Friday night dinner.

I also used the same oil – although I did not fry the different roots at the same time, but there’s no reason to waste good oil – if you’re going to put 2 inches of oil in  pot, try to fry as many things as you can.

Nava Sarah wanted to add her typing to this post – so here it is:  ;  ; .u/ ;;’k.k…kh.k.k ,jk?.

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