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Posts Tagged ‘Cuban Food’

Creamy Cuban Flan

This is the BEST FLAN you’ll ever have!!
I don’t say that lightly… I’ve had a lot of flan in my life
(I’m cuban, so I guess you can say it goes with the territory! Haha)

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I’ve had a lot of flan in my lifetime!  Some are too watery, others lack flavor…

But this recipe is by far the best one I’ve ever tried.

It’s delicious, it’s full of that vanilla flavor, and it’s so creamy!!

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It’s easy – only 6 ingredients!  Just put the first five ingredients in the blender,
and pour into prepared caramel sugar.

And I’ve got a no-fail tip on how to do the caramel sugar so that you don’t get
any lumps.  It works every time!

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My cousin shared this recipe with me over 30 yrs ago!
I wrote it down on a 3×5 card and I still use it!

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I wrote it in Spanglish because that’s how she dictated it to me!

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I made a big flan for my neighbors (in a cake pan), and placed it on a paper plate
to give to their kids for delivery.  They love it when I make food for them,
it’s so fun to see their expressions when they see me coming up the walkway!
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You can also make it in little oven-safe bowls.
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This is the creamiest flan you’ll ever taste!

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The little caramel floating around it and on top is the best part, of course!

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Here’s the recipe:

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CUBAN FLAN

To make the caramel sugar:
Place 1 cup of granulated white sugar in a small heavy pot.
DO NOT add any water or anything else.
Place over medium-high heat.  Watch it closely, it will only take
a few minutes and can burn very quickly so do not walk away!
DO NOT stir until you begin to see a change in color at the bottom
of the sugar.  Once it begins to turn a darker yellowish color, then GENTLY
stir with a wooden spoon.  The sugar will very quickly begin to dissolve
and as soon as you see it turn a light brown, turn the heat off and stir
until completely dissolved.  Immediately pour into pan or bowls.
There is no need to butter or grease the pans.

FLAN  INGREDIENTS:
4 eggs
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp (or 2 if you like) vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into pan with the caramel sugar.
Bake in a water bath at 350* for 45-50 min. if large pan,
30 min if small bowls.  You know it’s done by inserting
a toothpick (or small knife) in the center and if it’s clean,
it’s done.

Let it cool, but while it’s still warm run a knife all along the sides to loosen.
Carefully flip the flan unto a plate large enough to accommodate not just
the flan, but that wonderful caramel syrup that will overflow all around it.
Refrigerate a minimum of 3-4 hours.  I like to make mine the day before and
leave it in the fridge overnight.

NOTE:
Please Don’t be scared of baking with the water bath –
Just simply get a bigger pan, Place prepared pan with flan mixture
in the bigger pan.  I usually place this in the oven and THEN
very carefully pour hot water into the bigger pan and slide the
rack back into the oven.  Do not overfill the bigger pan with water –
just as long as it’s halfway up the sides of the flan, you’re fine.

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I sure hope you try this recipe because it’s a winner!

I’ve been making it for a long time and is a family favorite!

Let me know if you try it and how you like it!

Happy baking,

Daisy

 

 

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I have been wondering for a while now, if it was possible to make cuban “pastelitos” at home as good as the ones in the bakeries I’ve been to in Miami…

If you’ve ever been to one of those bakeries, you know what I’m talking about.
There’s really nothing like it anywhere else.  I’ve tried them in many other cities,
but they’re just not the same… sigh…

I thought I’d try making some just for fun.  I had locked myself out of my house a couple weeks ago and the neighbors took me in, so I wanted to say thank you.  I was cooking a meal for them and thought these pastelitos would be the perfect dessert.

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I’m so glad I did!  It was so much easier than I thought and they turned out pretty close to the famous Miami version.

You’ve got to try it!

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First thing you have to do is allow the Puff Pastry dough to thaw completely (but make sure it’s still cold).

Then make the simple syrup that will go on top by just boiling 1/2 cup of water with
1/2 cup of sugar then simmer for about 5-7 minutes.  Cool completely.

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I bought some Guava paste (not the jelly or jam) and sliced it into about 1/4 inch slices.
I did the same with an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese.

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After the Puff Pastry thaws, cut each section into four equal parts.
(I had rolled a little bit where the folds were so that they wouldn’t come apart while cooking.)

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Then brush the edges with egg wash,

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And lay a slice of guava and a slice of cream cheese like so…

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Fold dough over so that you form a triangle, using your fingers to “seal” the edges.

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Lay the triangles on a baking sheet and cut a slit on top with a sharp knife,
being careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom layer.

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Brush the tops with the beaten egg… be gentle, you want the dough to rise in those beautiful layers.

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Repeat with the other Puff Pastry section included in the package.

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Bake in a 400* oven for about 20-25 minutes.  Don’t go too far away.  Keep a close eye on these, especially towards the end of the baking time… they can burn very quickly.

Once they are golden, take them out and after cooling for about 3 minutes, brush some of that simple syrup glaze over them.

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They are delicious when they’re warm!

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See how easy that was?!!

I can’t wait to try making some more with different fillings that are traditional in cuban bakeries.  🙂

Enjoy!

Daisy

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Recipe for Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba (Guava Pastries

1 package of frozen Puff Pastry
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 bar Guava Paste
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 egg, beaten

1. Thaw dough according to package directions.

2. Make simple syrup by combining 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil.  Lower temperature and allow to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Place one of the puff pastry sections on a floured surface and roll gently where the folds were so that the dough doesn’t break when you’re shaping it later.
Cut into four equal sections.

4.  Brush edges with beaten egg.  Place a slice of guava and a slice of cream cheese in the center of each square.  Fold over, matching corners in order to form a triangle, pinching edges with your fingers to seal them so that the filling won’t spill out.
Cut a slit on top, being careful not to go all the way to the bottom.
Brush with beaten egg.

5.  Place in a preheated 400* oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Keep your eyes on these so that they won’t burn towards the end of the baking time.
Cool for about 3 minutes, then brush each one gently with the simple syrup.

Enjoy them while they’re warm!

 

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This dish reminds me so much of my childhood.

Sweet memories of my Mom, my aunt, and grandmother… this was something they loved to serve because it feeds a crowd.

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It’s kind of like a chicken casserole . . . But so much more!

It’s really Cuban comfort food.   I know you’ll love it!

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Here’s how I make it:

ARROZ CON POLLO

Marinade chicken overnight (if possible).  For the marinade I use:  the juice of 2 lemons (or limes), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 2 Tb olive oil.  Mix in a glass jar, then pour over chicken.  Refrigerate overnight.  I use a large casserole dish to marinate the chicken, or a gallon-size zip-lock bag.  Just before cooking, remove chicken from the marinade and dispose of marinade – do not use the marinade in the arroz con pollo.  

To make the Arroz Con Pollo:   Rinse rice in strainer and drain well.  Heat a 3 quart pan over med-high heat.  Put 2 Tb of olive oil in the pan. Place rice in heated pan and stir frequently until it turns to a bright white color (about 5-10 mins).  It’s important you don’t step away from the stove at this point – the rice can burn easily & quickly.  Add 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of cooking wine.  Add 1/2 tsp salt.  Stir and heat over med. high heat.

In a large skillet with a lid, or a big pot, heat 2 Tb of oil.  Add one finely chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, yellow & orange sweet peppers (diced).  Cook, stirring often, for about 3-5 min., then add 2 bay leaves, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, pinch of sugar, and cook for another 3 min.  Add chicken and cook until nicely browned and crusty.  I usually turn up the heat a little bit so that the chicken gets a nice color.  If necessary, add a Tb or two of olive oil so the chicken won’t stick or burn.  Cook for about 10 min., turning chicken to ensure even cooking.  

Add rice mixture to the large skillet (or large pot) with the chicken.  Stir gently until well-mixed.  Place chicken pieces over the rice.  Add green olives and the sweet red pepper strips.  Cover and cook until rice is done and chicken is cooked (About 30 min.).  Do not open or stir!  This will cause the rice to clump and not cook evenly.  

After 30 min, sprinkle green peas over rice (do not stir).  Cover, and cook an additional 5 mins.  Turn heat off and let it sit for about 5 min.

Serve with plantains or tostones.  A nice fresh salad also goes well here.

Note:  If you’re using chicken breasts, either increase the cooking time or cut into smaller pieces to ensure chicken is cooked all the way through.  

INGREDIENTS

     FOR MARINADE:

  • 2 lemons 
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (I also added turmeric for color)
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, OR a pack of drumsticks and thighs (I buy skinless)

     FOR RICE:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 Tb oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt (you can add more if you like)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of cooking wine

     FOR CHICKEN:

  • (The chicken you hopefully remembered to marinade)
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 mini sweet peppers, yellow and orange, seeds and stems removed (you can also use regular size or just use green peppers)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste (or 1 small can of tomato sauce)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 of 7 oz.jar of green olives, stuffed with pimento
  • 1 sweet red pepper, sliced into strips (or pimento strips)
  • 1/2 cup green peas

I hope you’ll give it a try!

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Happy cooking,

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Daisy

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