Monday, December 31
Food: Arroz a la Cubana
Arroz a la Cubana, or Cuban-style rice, is a popular dish in the Philippines. Not to be confused with the Spanish version, which only has white rice, tomato sauce and fried egg (and sometimes fried banana), the Filipino version has meat.
I always, always get requests for this dish every time from my husband. He claims my version is even better than that of our cook's. True enough, he eats like a horse whenever I cook this for him.
I really don't have a written recipe for this one as I developed it only from taste. But I really want to share it with you guys because I think it is super simple and yummy that your family and friends will loooove it.
Okay, here goes nothing.
What you will need:
* 1 kg ground beef -- Get 85%-90% lean ground beef. It's not too fatty but it's fat enough to have that yummy moist taste. Oh, and if you can find those vacuum-packed ones, get them because they are obviously cleaner and easier to handle.
* 2 big russet potatoes cut into 1/2" cubes -- soak them in water right away after cutting to avoid discoloration
* 3 carrots cut into 1/2" cubes
* 1 big box of raisins -- I prefer the Sun-Maid brand, they are sweeter and they absorb moisture while cooking so you get that plump look. It doesn't matter if you get the golden raisins or the dark ones. It will taste good either way.
* 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
* Tomato ketchup -- Heinz all the way.
* Soy sauce -- I like the Kikkoman brand.
* salt and pepper
* Not-so-secret ingredient: sugar
What you need to do:
1. Put oil on a deep frying pan under high heat. Add ground beef. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper. Fry until you can no longer see pink.
2. This is when you squeeze your tomato ketchup on the beef. I usually put in 3 round-the-pan's worth. I'm guessing that that is about 1/4 cup. It's just enough to give the ground beef some coating.
3. Do the same with the soy sauce. 3 round-the-pan's worth, or about 1/4 cup. Mix and fry. The beef should have that brown glaze (see picture above).
4. Mix in your potatoes -- just the potatoes, not the water. Leave for about 5 minutes.
5. Add in the carrots. Fry until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
6. Put some sugar to taste. I usually put 1 tablespoon.
7. Finally add your raisins. It's really up to you how much raisins you want. Keep cooking until your raisins are plump.
You can enjoy this with rice already. But if you want it extra special, fry some sugar-coated plantains (saba) and fry some eggs too while you're at it.
Alrighty, time to make some for the party! I hope you have a Happy New Year folks. xo