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Cuban Food: Cooking with the Culinary Queens

March 11th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

Another incredible cooking time and meal with the Culinary Queens, my Herb Society, culinary group!  This time it was a Cuban meal with everything from “Chichachirritas” to delicious “Café Cubano Con  Leche”.  The Chichachirritas will find their way onto the menu for Friday night appetizers for one of our famous Foodie Weekends at the B&B!  The Chichachirritas were crispy with a delicate flavor heightened by the pungent green sauce…this is  one  of those appetizers that you want more and more of!  Served with Mojitos, you’re sure to have a great time!  Here’s the recipe….

“Cuban” Fried Plantains
Chichachirritas/Mariquitas  
 (Fried Green Plantains)                            

Chichachirritas is the Cuban name given to green plantain chips, sliced round, fried and salted.  Mariquitas is what Cubans call them when they are sliced the Nicaraguan way; slicing them lengthwise to create long, slender, wavy chips, fried and salted.

3 to 4 cups canola or peanut oil for frying
2 – 3 green plantains
salt or garlic salt

Pour the oil to a depth of 2 or 3 inches in a deep-fat fryer, a dutch oven or heavy skillet. Heat to 350F.

Peel the plantains. Slice in round chips for Chicharritas, as thinly as possible, using a mandolin if you have one, with the blade at its thinnest opening. Slide them into the hot fat in small batches. You don’t want them to clump together.

Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes, turning with a metal skimmer. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.  Serve at once.

Mariquitas Salsa (Sauce for Chips)                                        

8 cloves of garlic
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Place the garlic, cilantro leaves, limejuice, and white vinegar in a food processor and puree until thoroughly chopped.
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan until hot, but not smoking. Remove pan from heat. Pour the pureed garlic and cilantro leaf mixture into the hot oil, whisking constantly for a minute or two.
Serve warm. The sauce should have an intense garlic/sour flavor.

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