Florida. What's not to love about it? The beach is never too far away, there's Disney World, and of course, there's glorious year round flip-flop weather. I grew up there, and I can tell you that it is a wonderful place. I can also tell you what not to love about it. Humidity. It's brutal.
Another wonderful thing about living in Florida is the accessibility to the Cuban culture. I just LOVE Cuban food, Cuban sandwiches, you name it. Ok, not Cuban cigars, but that's only because I don't dig cigars in general.
One of the first things I do when I step off the plane in Florida, after hugging my family and such, is to score myself a Cuban sandwich. Today's post is not about the Cuban sandwich, however I will get to that another day because those just make my tummy smile. Today's post is about my second favorite Cuban meal...Palomilla Steak.
Upon receiving Rachael Ray's Look and Cook book this Christmas, I immediately and excitedly thumbed through it. Buried in the back and pictureless, I found Palomilla Steak. I was instantly reminded of lovely Cuban meals from the past, and how the Palomilla Steak was always delish. I was ever so grateful that Rach had put it in her book, and I knew it was merely a matter of time before I would be making it.
The recipe is pretty straight forward and simple to follow. After marinating your steaks for 4 hours, the dinner itself doesn't take too long to prepare. Typically I follow Rach's recipes to the letter, but on this one, I swapped out parsley for more cilantro. Mostly because parsley isn't my fave, and cilantro IS! Just a heads up, the onions atop the steak are AMAZING, and the lime butter sauce that finishes this steak off is UNBELIEVABLE!! Lime butter. Yup, it's a thing...and it is so, so good.
I paired this recipe with some fried plantains. If you have never traveled down the plantain road before, here are some very important things to know. DON'T eat them raw. ICK! The darker they are, the sweeter they are. You can cook with all the various colors/stages of plantains, but the green ones just aren't sweet. I chose yellow heading towards brown. Next time, I'm going to venture into really brown and see the difference. To fry them, I added some coconut oil to a skillet, brought it to medium-high heat, and then added my sliced plantains. Fry them 2 minutes on each side, then lay them on a paper towel to cool and lose some of the oil. Once you remove them from the heat, toss on some sea salt. Then let cool a moment and enjoy!
Lastly, I made some coconut black beans to add to the meal. I emptied a can of black beans into a saucepan. As it warmed, I added some coconut flakes. I was warming them slowly as I cooked the steaks. Every once and awhile, I would taste them and add more coconut. At the end of the day, I probably added a half cup of coconut flakes to them, but I would say taste for yourself and see. I thought 1/2 of a cup only brought a subtle coconut flavor, but that's me. I also added some chunks of fresh mango to the top, because mango makes everything tastier (in my opinion), and I finally added just a tiny bit of cilantro.
This meal was outstanding! Not visually appealing to the two year old Texas Tornado, but her 4 year old sister LOVED it. I think if the Tornado would have actually attempted to try it, she would have loved it too, but alas...no such luck.
If you are looking for a new ethnic food night and you feel like a culinary adventure, I invite you to give the tastes of Cuba a try! Enjoy!
Link to Rachael Ray's Palomilla Steak Recipe