Garlicy Plantain Chips with Chunky Mango Avocado Salsa serves 4-5 as a large snack or 10-12 as an hors ‘d oeuvres
For the chips
4 cups canola oil for frying in a deep fryer or a heavy bottomed saucepan
3 green plantains, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandolin
3 Tbsp kosher salt mixed with 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp toasted cumin, pinch cayenne
Heat the oil to 350, add the chips one at a time and do not overload. Fry 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove chips with a wire mesh strainer and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with seasoning.
For the salsa
3 ripe avocado cut into small dice
1 mango cut into small dice
1 red pepper brunoise
½ large red onion brunoise
½ bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic mashed in salt
1 jalapeno brunoise, seeds removed
Juice of 1 ½ limes
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl gently and season well, serve with chips
Ensalada de Aguacate
Avocado, Grapefruit and Pineapple Salad with Grilled Red Onions, Fresh Butter Lettuce and Cumin Lime Vinaigrette (for a small salad divide each head in 3 to 4 portions depending on the size of the head of butter lettuce. Watercress works well for this salad as well. Serves 4
1 head of lettuce
1 avocado, quartered and sliced
1 large red onion cut into ¼ inch slices seasoned and grilled, but not overly wilted
1 pink grapefruit segmented with no pith
2 oz cumin lime vinaigrette per salad
Tear the quartered lettuce by hand and place on the plate. Randomly place the other ingredients on the salad so all of the colors are present and vibrant. Top with toasted cumin lime vinaigrette.
Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
½ cup fresh orange juice reduced by half (1/4 cup) cooled
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic mashed with salt
2 tsp ground toasted cumin seed
1/8 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp honey
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 green onions sliced
1cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the first 8 ingredients with a whisk. Slowly add in the oil and season, should be balanced and delicious.
Empanadas de Camarones
Gulf Shrimp and Black Bean Empanadas with Queso Blanco and Cilantro- Crema
Also great with salsa verde
Empanada dough for about 15-20 small empanadas
3 cups AP flour
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup ice water
1 tsp kosher salt
Place 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl, slowly add the oil and water. Add the rest of the flour and salt and mix till a soft dough forms. Roll out to 1/8 of an inch and cut out with a 3 inch pastry cutter. Place 1 TBSP of filling in each circle, fold into a half moon and crimp with a fork. Fry at 300 degrees for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, serve with a little crema, and salsa verde.
¾ cup of freshly cooked and cooled and drained bone dry black beans nicely flavored with smoked bacon or chorizo, onion, cilantro, garlic and lime
12 ounces of shrimp sauteed with cumin, lime garlic, seedless jalapeno and white wine. After lightly sautéing the shrimp, drain and reduce the liquid down completely. Fold the cooled liquid into the chopped cooled shrimp.
½ cup Monterrey Jack, Chihuahua, or Sharp White Cheddar
¼ bunch cilantro Chopped
Fold these ingredients together and season with salt and pepper
Havana Style Roasted Gulf Fish with a Spicy Tomato and Green Olive Sauce, Spicy Poached Shrimp and Green Garlic- Cilantro Butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced white onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups seeded, peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2/3 cup sliced stuffed green olives
1/8 cup drained capers (rinse them as well)
2 teaspoons roasted jalapeno brunoise
4 (4-5 ounce) sea bass fillets, black grouper, halibut, red snapper work as well
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Marinate the fish in a quick lime marinade (3 tbsp cilantro, 1 tbsp oregano, 1tbsp parsley, 3 cloves garlic, ½ cup lime juice, ½ cup orange juice, 1 tsp toasted cumin, 1 bay leaf, puree in a blender) marinate fish for 30-45 minutes.
Grill fish or roast in the oven until medium.
Place the rice on a plate, with fish, 3-4 tbsp of the tomato sauce and then drizzle with lime cilantro butter, place 3 pieces of plantain around.
Above served with Sofrito-Saffron Rice, (seasoned with bay leaf and saffron) and Sweet Plantains (nice soft black plantains sautéed in oil and butter seasoned with salt, cinnamon and chili )
21 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
8 to 10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
touch of ground cumin
touch of dried oregano
3/4 cup Sherry, or to taste
4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste (optional)
Sautee tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, bay leaves, cumin and oregano in oil slowly until all vegetables are limp. Add Sherry and let simmer. If you add the salt, taste beforehand as you might not need it at all.
Cuban Tres Leches with Fresh Berries
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp light rum
Preheat oven to 350oF. Generously butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
CAKE: Beat 3/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, adding the cream of tartar after 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until the whites are glossy and firm, but not dry. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour this batter into the buttered baking dish.
Bake the cake until it feels firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Unmold unto a large, deep platter (*). Pierce the cake all over with a fork, taking care to not tear it up.
MILK SYRUP: Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream, vanilla and rum in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Pour the syrup over the cake, spooning the overflow back on top, until it is all absorbed
Top with Cajeta (goats milk caramel) whipped cream and mixed berries mascerated in rum.