A vacation to the Caribbean is many things. Sunshine, ocean, palm trees, sand between your toes...the list goes on and on and on. Something I find myself particularly interested in while on such a trip, are the different types of food found in an everyday kitchen in whatever region I'm traveling. Dishes that may seem everyday there, are new and exciting to yours truly. Upon return, I'm always on the lookout for a way to bring that delicious Caribbean taste to my Midwest table. Knowing that I may never visit a recipe's country of origin, it's fun to experiment with international cooking and the different flavors from regions across the globe from the comfort of my own kitchen.
Are you up for the challenge? *NOTE: if you come from a family with Latin American or Caribbean background, this probably doesn't apply to you as it seems that some of you out there make this dish on a regular basis. For the rest of you - think of this as an updated Cuban take on more typically American meal - the maid-rite.
Gather the ingredients. Lucky for you, this Cuban-inspired dish uses common ingredients that can be found at all grocery stores. Another bonus you ask? This recipe freezes well if you find you have leftovers.
|Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste|
PICADILLO CUBANO | Yield: 8 servings | Total Time: 45 min.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped (1 C)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C green olives with pimentos, chopped + 2 Tbsp olive juice
2 Tbsp capers
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
FOR SERVING: white rice, black beans, baked tostones
Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the meat is no longer pink (approx. 10 minutes), drain any excess grease from the pan, and transfer meat to a warm plate. Tent with foil.
Meanwhile, while the meat is cooking, chop onion, green peppers, tomatoes, garlic, green olives and cilantro.
After removing meat to a plate, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the same large pot. Add chopped onion, green pepper, tomato, garlic and green olives. Saute until the onions are translucent (approx. 8 minutes). Add the meat back to the large pot, then add raisins, capers, 2 Tbsp olive juice, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. Now is a great time to get that rice going if you haven't already!
When ready to serve, spoon over a bed of rice and sprinkle with cilantro. Baked tostones make an excellent side dish to this recipe.
What are your favorite Caribbean inspired recipes?