The Virgin Stove

Making everything for the first time

Project Miki: Arroz a la Cubana

This is one of my favorite dishes simply because it is sooooo yummy and simple. Mom makes it really well and it’s my brother, Jiko, who appreciates it the most. Whenever I’m at home in the Philippines, Mom would always cook a huge pot of it. After we eat lunch, all the girls (me, Mom and little Sofia) would leave and go to the mall. By the time we’ve returned, Jiko would already be back from school and there would be barely a serving left of the Cuban rice.

I made a couple of revisions to Ms. Garcia’s recipe. I added tomato sauce and changed the peas to carrots — the way my Mom does it. Why? Because I like carrots better than peas and you should always have your Omega 3.

Arroz a la Cubana
Cuban Rice with Ground Beef 

from The Filipino Cookbook by Miki Garcia p. 88

4 tablespoons oil (EVOO for moi)
5 cloves garlic, crushed with the side of the knife and minced
1 onion, minced
1 pound (500 g) ground beef or pork (I used beef)
1 potato, peeled and finely-diced
1/3 cup (40 g) fresh or frozen green peas (I used finely-diced carrots)
3 tablespoons raisins
1/3 cup tomato sauce (my addition)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 unripe saba bananas (or 2 plantains or 4 unripe regular bananas), cut in half lengthwise
4 eggs
4 cups (720 g) cooked rice

Heat skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add garlic and saute until lightly browned. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the ground beef and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until cooked, stirring frequently. Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.

To the same skillet over medium heat, add another 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the potato and saute for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and saute for an additional 5 minutes. When both are cooked, add the meat mixture, raisins, tomato sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. Spoon the meat mixture onto a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

To the same skillet over medium heat, add another 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the bananas on each side for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the bananas beside the meat mixture and cover again with the foil.

To the same skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the eggs, sunny side up. Set aside.

Arrange the hot steamed rice, fried bananas, beef and fried eggs on a large platter or serve individually. Serve hot with banana ketchup. (I skipped this since tomato sauce has already been added.)

[print recipe]

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