Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me! Cubano Dinner Tonight!

Today's my birthday, and I want Cuban food, so I'm making it myself.  Lou will, however, be Grillmaster.  I don't like playing with that thing.

My daughter just brought me a gorgeous handmade card - it was surprising, and so sweet.  Bevvie rocks.

On the menu: Mojo-marinated grilled steak, spicy Caribbean-style Frijoles Negro (black beans with garlic and lime), brown jasmine rice with peppers, boiled yucca root, and my favorite food - tostones (twice-fried plantains).  Bringing the whole meal together is my amazing mojo sauce, a recipe that's been evolving in my kitchen for 11 or 12 years.

My favorite meal.  It's a lot of lime and garlic, and Bev is the official Zzyzx Road Kitchen Plantain Masher.  There's a pretty expensive tool specifically for mashing plantains for tostones and maduros, but we bought a tortilla press at the mercado for $5.99.  It works just the same.  You can also use the flat bottom of a wide glass or bowl.

If you are afraid of smelling like garlic for a week, this might not be the best meal for you.  Some of my recipes from this meal are on my website (  Look down the right column, under Food Recipes.

Well, the timer just went off for my blueberry muffins (I swear, my daughter is Violet Beauregarde).  I hope you're all having a safe and sane holiday weekend, and you can all share a meal or throw back a few pints with your loved ones.  We're all doing a bit of gardening, yesterday and tomorrow (I am in so much pain today).  Bev wants to do the sunflowers first.

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Scram, bitch, I'm on a break.

Recent Meals

  • Grilled (in the rain) marinated top sirloin w/my Steak Frite and London Pub Sauce
  • Fried chayote
  • Roasted aubergine, zucchini, and yellow squash
  • Soft garlic sandwich rolls, and we made meatball sandwiches
  • Sirloin rubbed with cardamom-laced Turkish coffee
  • Chocolate truffles w/rum and bourbon
  • Petit fours
  • Florentine cookies drizzled with chocolate
  • 13-Bean soup w/parmesan rind and leftover ham
  • Apple spice cardamom muffins
  • Guinnes-injected pot roast
  • Cran-blueberry corn muffins
  • Spaghetti and meatballs - basic, but always a hit in this house
  • Hummus w/roasted garlic, olive, red pepper, and smoked paprika
  • Veggie stirfry w/julienned baby carrots, green peppers, garlic, chickpeas, and balsamic, served over Chinese Black Forbidden Rice
  • Ginger-carrot cake
  • Ginger cranberry mojito
  • Lime-cranberry-mint-strawberry seltzer
  • Lavender-mint iced tea
  • Trip to Beirut: Shish taouk, shish kebab, halvah, garlic naan, rice pilaf w/figs, raisins, and pecans, w/my famous lemon-mint-garlic Lebanese potatoes
  • London Broil w/a wilted spinach and mustard green salad with a bacon, balsamic, and mustard dressing
  • Sweet and red potato pancakes w/zucchini and peppers w/chicken apple sausage
  • Italian wedding soup w/homemade croutons and meatballs
  • "Rock the Casbah" Cardamom, Ginger, Apple Pork Roast w/Armadillo Rice (for you fans of The Clash who remember the cover of Combat Rock)
  • Individual Quiche Lorraine
  • Prosciutto-wrapped beef cubes w/mustard pan sauce
  • Chicken Sausage w/garlic naan and dijon mustard - Lou and I were really drunk.
  • Salt potatoes, mixed fingerlings, lightly mashed, with lot of butter
  • Focaccia w/garlic, onions, mozarella and cherry tomatoes
  • Rosemary and lavender bread
  • Spicy greens and spinach salad w/fresh mozzarella pearls, strawberries, and a strawberry vinegarette
  • Polenta casserole w/cheese and squash baked IN acorn squash halves