Garbanzo Frito

     betttterr

Garbanzo frito is delicious Cuban hash served as a side, over white rice, or for breakfast with fried eggs on top. As a die-hard fan of breakfast, I prefer to eat my garbanzo frito with fried eggs on top with a steaming up of café con leche. This is my abuela’s recipe and my abuelo loved his garbanzo frito. This is one of the many recipes I made with my abuela on the weekends at her house on Biscayne Boulevard.

ingredients peppers

I miss my abuelos deeply, and it makes me really happy to make my abuela’s recipes while listening to the Buena Vista Social Club station on Pandora. Classics like “Candela”, “El Cuarto de Tula”, “Chan Chan”, and “Vamanos Pa’l Monte” come on the station making me nostalgic as I dance in the kitchen chopping up veggies for the garbanzo frito.

chopped-veggies horizontal-rotein

The base of this recipe is a Cuban sofrito (I like to say this is the Cuban mire poix). Sofrito is a sauté of green and red bell peppers with onion, garlic, and a little tomato sauce. This is a basis for lots of Cuban recipes besides garbanzo frito like fricassee de pollo and black beans. Garbanzo frito is a homey delicious hash that is my kinda soul food. Other versions are much saucier with considerably more tomato sauce or lots of oil. My abuela’s recipe for garbanzo frito is just right and a wonderful Cuban classic to have in your arsenal!

   horizontal-frito egg-yolk-on-frito

Garbanzo Frito

 2-3 tbs olive oil
1 med onion diced
1 med green pepper diced
1 small red pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 chorizo links, casing removed, and diced
1 cup ham diced
4 ounces no-salt added tomato sauce (optional)
2 cans garbanzo beans (or 1 large can)

The first thing you should do is rinse and drain the garbanzo beans so they can dry. You don’t want to add wet garbanzo beans to the pan which would cause the whole recipe to steam instead of sauté. Set the garbanzos aside and chop your sofrito base of red and green bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Smash the garlic with the flat side of your knife to easily pop the cloves out of their peel.

horizontal-drained-garbanzo Remove-chroizo-casing

Prepping and doing your chopping in advance is best to make this recipe go by quickly. Heat oil in pan on medium heat and add the onions and peppers. Cook till onions are translucent and a bit golden. I allowed the sofrito to cook for 10 minutes or so before adding the garlic. I like to make a little space between the veggies for the garlic and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes before mixing in. The kitchen will start to smell like a Cuban household filled with the aroma of sofrito in the air.

add-garlic add-protein add-garbanzos

While these are cooking you should peel the 2 chorizo links and dice. I bought pre-diced ham to save a step. Do NOT buy smoked ham; it will totally alter the flavor of the dish. Add the chorizo and ham, stir well and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the drained garbanzo beans. Let this cook for 8-10 minutes so the garbanzo beans can brown and mix nicely with the other ingredients.

mix-well add-the-tomato-sauce2

I might’ve let this go a little longer, stirring every few minutes to get all of the garbanzos a little browned. When nearly done add 4 ounces of tomato sauce (this step is optional, some prefer no sauce while others make this with lots of sauce). I used no-salt added tomato sauce since the ham and chorizo are naturally salty. Do not add any salt or pepper to this recipe, it doesn’t need it and you will risk over salting the dish.

garbanzo-frito breakfast-is-served

Mix well and allow to cook and brown a little, mixing every couple of minutes. Cook around 5 more minutes until everything the garbanzo frito deliciously blended and it starts sticking a bit to the bottom of the pan. Throughout the whole cooking process I had the burner between on half way at ‘5’. Serve the garbanzo frito over white rice, as a side dish, or with a fried egg on top for breakfast.

vertical-dish toasty-garbanzos

Yuca Frita with Cilantro Garlic Sauce Recipe

Yuca-FritaYuca-with-CIlantro-Garlic-Sauce

Crispy yuca frita is another Cuban favorite that is great fried or boiled and served with garlic. The boiled yuca is called yuca hervida, and I’ll make that another time. This time I made yuca frita. Delicious crispy fried yuca frita with a tangy lime cilantro garlic dipping sauce. This is the perfect side item or afternoon snack. Yuca have a distinct flavor and are wonderfully crispy on the outside, and creamy soft on the inside. Yuca frita are pretty much Cuban french fries.

Cilantro-Garlic-Sauce Finished-sauce

Any Miami native has had delicious varieties of cilantro garlic sauce, but everyone knows Pollo Tropical‘s is the best. Cilantro garlic dipping sauce is the perfect condiment for this starchy root vegetable.  I love yuca in every which way, Versailles also makes yuca encrusted picadillo that looks like a croqueta, drizzled with cilantro garlic sauce. It. Is. Amazing. I’m telling you, do not be intimidated by yuca’s rough bark exterior, you can always take a short cut and buy the frozen yuca in your local supermarket.

        Yuca-Frita

Crispy Yuca Frita

1 large Yuca (the one pictured served yielded 22 pieces enough to feed 4-5)
Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)
Sea salt and lime for garnish

Cilantro Garlic Sauce**********

***********I now use a new recipe. This is the original recipe I posted, but I have now perfected the recipe after trial and error the link is here.

1 container Fage Greek Yogurt
4 roasted garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
1 tbsp green Tabasco
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lime (or more to taste)
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp cayenne
Salt to taste

Begin to prep the yuca and cilantro garlic sauce. First, set a large pot of salted water to boil. Peel the outside of the yucca well with a peeler, clean thoroughly and pat dry. Cut the yuca into 2 inch by ½ inch thick rectangles. When the water is boiling add the yuca and boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Take the yuca out and lightly dry. Now is your opportunity to remove the fibrous center, gently remove this with a fork and discard. Cut the thick pieces in quarters.

Unpeeled-Yuca Chop-Yuca Stacked-Yuca

Heat 2 inches of canola oil in a pan to fry the yuca. The yuca took surprisingly long to get nice and crispy, but it is worth the wait. In my opinion the crispier the better! Squeeze a lime wedge over the yuca and sprinkle with sea salt. I plated both dishes with five yuca frita.  If you are cooking for more people then cook the yuca in batches and place in the oven to keep hot and crispy.

Fry-the-YucaUp-Close-Fried-Yuca

Now make the cilantro garlic sauce. Add the roughly torn cilantro, lime juice, garlic, onion powder, sugar, olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper, and Greek yogurt to the Cuisinart food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

                     Hot-and-Crispy

Cuban Avocado Salad + Breakfast

                Cuban-Avocado-Salad-+-breakfast

Cuban Avocado Salad is a classic staple in Cuban households, where salad greens were seldom seen. Comprised of crisp avocado and onion; sometimes tomato, this salad is great with any Cuban meal.  Usually salads at your local Latin-American will be either a delicious avocado salad or a lackluster version of this. What you have here, my friends, is my version of Cuban avocado salad. For this salad we use Florida Avocados. While I do like Haas avocados as well, they aren’t the true kind for the salad; the Florida variety are more crisp and watery than the creamier texture of the Haas. Florida Avocados are much larger than the tiny Haas and are bright green on the outside, they tend to ripen fast.

        Cuban-Avocado-Salad       Florida-Avocado

Soaking the red onions in red wine vinegar and water gives a nice bright flavor to the avocado; and a squeeze of lemon is not to be forgotten. For breakfast I’ll often make the Cuban avocado salad with a split English muffin or Cuban bread and a soft-boiled egg on top, smashed into the buttered bread. With a cafecito on the side?! Ño! Que rico!

           UpClose-Salad

Cuban Avocado Salad + Breakfast

1 large Florida Avocado
1/2 small red onion or 1 Shallot thinly sliced
Grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice or lime

First, slice the red onion and soak them in the red wine vinegar and water with a little bit of salt (a pinch of sugar can add some oomph too). Dice the avocado and half the grape tomatoes (I thought I had tomatoes, but turns out I didn’t! So I didn’t use them today…). Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper. Take the red onions out of the vinegar and sprinkle on the salad. Squeeze a lemon or lime wedge on top for garnish.

IngredientsMarinated-ShallotsDiced-Avocado

I served this with a 100 Calorie Thomas English Muffin and a small pat of unsalted butter. In order to successfully soft boil your eggs put a pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling gently lower the room temperature eggs into the water; reduce the heat to low and cover (I forgot to cover my pot and they turned out fine!). The eggs may slightly crack with ribbons of egg whites floating around them, but this did not affect my eggs, they were still perfectly soft-boiled despite small cracks. Set your timer for 5 minutes (6 if you like your egg whites more firm). Immediately run under cool water and peel them carefully.* Smash into toast and enjoy with Cuban avocado salad.

   Before-Smashing-the-Egg     After-Smashing

 *Hint: Older eggs peel better!