There’s nothing like an authentic Caribbean dish to bring the flavors of the island to your home. This summer makes the perfect time to experiment with something new in the kitchen. Let the season move you, and check out these classic Cuban recipes for a little inspiration.
Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)
Talk about the ultimate island comfort food. Filled with rich, meaty flavor and subtle spice, this traditional Cuban recipe for ropa vieja can make any family meal extra special.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds flank steak
1 cup beef broth
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 small onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Brown the flank steak on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
- Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce, then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar. Stir until well blended.
- Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for up to 10 hours.
- When ready to serve, shred meat and serve with tortillas or rice.
Note: Broth should provide saltiness, but add a quarter teaspoon of salt if more is needed
Passion Fruit Mojito
Can summer be complete without a rum cocktail? Toast the summer with this sunshine-filled drink. In this recipe, the classic mojito gets an extra tropical twist with the addition of passion fruit.
2.5 ounces dark Caribbean rum
1 heaping teaspoon dark brown sugar
Juice of one lime
10 – 12 mint leaves
1 ounce passion fruit puree
1.5 ounces soda water
2/3 of a glass crushed ice
- Mix together lime, sugar, soda water, lime juice and muddled mint leaves leaves.
- Add ice, passion fruit and rum, then mix vigorously for one minute. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Note: Add less sugar or more passion fruit and lime to taste.
Made from three different types of milk, this classic recipe gets an extra dose of decadence with shredded coconut. Creamy, but light, this dish makes the perfect summer dessert.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook gently, without stirring, shaking occasionally until the sugar has melted and turned into a golden brown caramel. Pour into a large, glass baking dish. Spread the caramel evenly over the bottom of the dish, then set aside to cool for 15 minutes before proceeding.
- Once the caramel has hardened, pour the condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, eggs, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and coconut into a blender. Blend for 3 minutes on low until smooth. Pour into baking dish over the caramel.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes until set. When done, remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the dish to separate the flan from the sides. Refrigerate overnight.
Note: If you use smaller glass baking dishes for individual servings, reduce baking time to 35 minutes.
For more Cuban recipes like this, go to tastetheislandstv.com