Tonight we enjoyed Cuba, a lot. Well, at least the dinner portion. Though it was similar to other dishes we’ve enjoyed, I think this one was the favourite.
Our main was Arroz Con Pollo. This was made by taking a pinch of salt, pepper, and cumin and mixing it with chicken thighs. We let this sit a little bit before we browned it in oil.
This was then set aside while we cooked the onion, red pepper, and garlic in oil. Once the onions were translucent we added the chicken stock, tomato sauce, and uncooked rice with the salt, pepper, cumin, bay leaves, oregano, and annato. This was brought to a boil before we added the chicken and turned to down to simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the rice was done. At this point we forgot to add the peas on top.
To go with this we made Tostones, a simple dish made of green plantains, oil, and salt. These were made by cutting into 2″ pieces that were browned on all sides in oil. They were then taken out and squashed to a half inch thickness before frying again. A pinch of salt was placed on the top before serving.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this meal being slightly different from the others we’ve made. After the plantains were gone is when I decided to mix them (the plantains were good on their own as well), and boy was it delicious! I enjoyed both portions separately, but together? Now that was a whole different level.
This is a dish that will be going into our meal rotation according to my husband, with the only change being to make sure we have plenty of plantains.
I was excited about dessert, it was definitely different than what we’ve made before. To make this Boniatillo (Cuban Sweet Potato Pudding) we cooked up some yams. These weren’t the usual ones I think of, but the red skin white flesh ones. They were cooked to soft and then blended in the blender.
Next up we took sugar, water, a quarter sized piece of lime peel, and a cinnamon stick and cooked it until it have soft strings forming, about 15 minutes. We then took the cinnamon and lime out before adding the puréed yam, cooking a few more minutes. Once mixed we tempered egg yolks into it and cooked another couple of minutes. Finally we took this off the heat, added some Sherry, and placed it in the fridge to cool.
The kids were very much not a fan of this dessert, served with whipped cream, us adults not so sure. You could taste the Sherry and it definitely had a different taste. It was sweet, though not so much a pudding texture that we would expect. I’m glad we tried it, but we likely won’t make it again, though to be honest I said that about another dessert and ended up craving it later on!
Did you know that Columbus named Cuba for Spain in 1492? When he first saw Cuba he actually thought it was mainland China. Cuba has a literacy rate of 99.8%, one of the highest in the world? The main island is the largest in the Caribbean and Cuba’s coastline stretches over 3500 miles.
Cuba is home to the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird. The adults grow to only 2″ in length. Their main exports are tobacco, nickel, and sugar.
Cuba only allows Cubans and foreign residents (temporary or permanent) to purchase cars and there is a law preventing their vintage cars from being exported off the island.
Dominoes is a common pastime, the most popular sport is baseball, and during the prohibition bartenders moved to Cuba to continue their careers. Finally, burning a rag doll is a tradition on New Years Eve.