Gourmet Cuban Food

I am creating this place to celebrate the Cuban cuisine, with recipes ranging from delicious traditional homely plates to new creations on the spirit of te best international food fusion. I learned to cook at my home kitchen in Cuba, looking at and helping my grandmother Agueda, who was one of the best Cuban chefs I have ever known. I have been cooking for more than 40 years, adding new creative variations  to the traditional recipes. While in Cuba creation was a must, due to the scarcity of food and ingredients, I strongly believe that my last 16 years living in the United States, exposed to the best international cuisine and with the most wide availability of resources, have allowed my creativity to grow and flourish in a very personal version of the Cuban cuisine.

My goal is to honor, promote, expand, and diversify the best tastes of the Cuban food, which has nothing to do with the poor, repetitive, boring, and frequently greasy practices of many of the so called “Cuban” commercial restaurants flourishing in the world.

I hope you enjoy this labor of love.

White Rice

White rice is one of the basic staples of cuban food. If the white rice is not done right, it’s impossible to have a good Cuban food experience. Sadly, it’s very hard to find a really good Cuban-style white rice in restaurants, mainly because it is relatively expensive and time consuming for the restaurants general way of doing business.

The basics…

Ingredients

(For 8 small or 4 generous sevings)

  • 4 cups of rice
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tbs of salt
  • 3 tbs of pork lard (original recipe) olive oil, or another good quality vegetable oil.

Directions

  1. Use a good rice. I strongly recommend Mahatma Long Grain Rice, available at most supermarkets, but you can also use any other kind of good quality long grain white rice.
  2. Wash it thoroughly three or four times. The grains should be clean of rice dust in order to cook with the needed looseness.
  3. Use a pot with thick bottom and walls, preferably cast iron or alluminium.
  4. Put the pot to heat at medium high with the oil. Add the washed rice and stir until the rice is well oiled. Add the water and salt and stir a little bit to mix well everything.
  5. Wait for it to boil well before reducing the heat to medium.
  6. Let it boil uncovered at a medium heat until the water is reduced but still visible. Do not stir or stir only slowly and sparingly. Stirring the rice while cooking makes it thick and sticky.
  7. Once the water is reduced, cover the pot and set the heat to medium low.
  8. Cook in medium low until the grains are soft, aprox. 15 minutes after reducing the heat.
  9. Take the pot out of the heat, stir to air and loose the grains, and leave it to rest covered for 10 more minutes before serving..

Variations…

This basic recipe can be modified according to your preferences. Some of the variations I have personally tested are:

Garlic White Rice: Add two or three well-mashed garlic cloves to the pork lard or oil while heating. Wait for garlic to get lightly golden before adding the rice.

Onion White Rice: Add a medium onion cut in small pieces to the pork lard or oil while heating. Wait for the onion to get lightly golden before adding the rice.

Butter White Rice: Use butter instead of pork lard. This variation can be combined with the garlic and/or the onion one.

Wine White Rice: Use one cup of Chardonnay and three cups of water. This variation it’s more delicious combined with any of the previous ones.

Jazmin White Rice: Use any kind of good quality jazmin rice with the basic recipe or any of the variationss.