Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mantecaditos: Sugar Cookies - Cuban Style

I am copying this recipe directly from Authentic Cuban Cuisine by Martha Abreu Cortina.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Guava paste (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients together completely. Make a roll and cut 1/2 inch thick slices to form the cookies. Press down on the slices with the plam of your hand. Dent the center of the cookie with your thumb and fill with guava paste if desired. Bake at 350F degrees for 20 minutes.

The only problem I had with this recipe is that I had to add more shortening. The recipe may be correct and my measuring skills may be off since it is very difficult to get shortening into a measuring cup without making a complete mess. If you have trouble getting the dough to stick, add another 1/4 cup of shortening. Also I wasn't ready to bake yet, so I wrapped my roll in plastic wrap and refrigerated for a couple of hours.  The cookies were a hit.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What's for Lunch? Salmon Patties

This is very simple to prepare and very tasty.

2 cans salmon (approx 7 oz each)
12 saltine crackers, crushed
1 egg,
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Mix all these ingredients together. (I think I ended up using basil instead of parsley.... I don't know what I grabbed from my herb garden, but it tasted fine either way!) Coat the bottom of a pan with oil (I used olive oil) and form 7 to 8 patties. I formed round balls and then flattened them with the spatula, it works better for me this way. Brown on each side on medium high heat and you're done!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cookbook Review: Authentic Cuban Cuisine by Martha Abreu Cortina

I have been graciously asked by Pelican Publishing to review Authentic Cuban Cuisine by Martha Abreu Cortina.

Ms Cortina is a native Cuban who learned to cook by watching her mother. Years ago she sat down with her and copied every recipe she enjoyed so much. Now these recipes are available to us.

Authentic Cuban Cuisine lives up to its name; these traditional recipes are as authentic as they come.  From appetizers to desserts and every course in between, Ms Cortina lays out a reference-style recipe for every scrumptious meal.  The ingredients are clearly listed in red and the instructions on the side are easy to follow.  Alternative ingredients are offered for those of us who live in areas where Spanish markets are not readily available: for example using Polska or turkey Kielbasa instead of chorizo.

Included is an English/Spanish ingredients list which I found very useful as well as an English index and a Spanish one for those of us who are familiar with the recipe by the Spanish name. There is also an extensive beverages section including everything from mixed drinks such as the popular Mojito to the Wheat Shake (Batido de Trigo).

In going through this book, it reminded me of a typical Cuban kitchen. These are the home-cooked meals I remember as a child: the desserts my abuela made such as rice pudding (arroz con leche), the roast pig (lechon asado) of nochebuena, and the everyday black beans and rice.

If anything was lacking it was a sandwich section which we can only hope will be included in a future edition. :)

Check back soon as I will be replicating a recipe from Authentic Cuban Cuisine.

I have included a link for those of you who may be interested in purchasing this book.*  Click here.

*Please note, Cuban in the Midwest is NOT making any money off the proceeds from the sale of this book.