Cuban Dinner: Moros y Cristianos, Ropa Vieja y Tres Leches…

At school a couple of weeks ago, I presented a lunchtime special to the students about my studies abroad in Cuba.  The kids were so cute and asked great questions about what it is like in a place that is so mysterious to many Americans.  The best part of the presentation was….THE CAKE!  They keep asking me to bring my special milk cake back to school.

So, if anyone needs an easy dinner recipe or a great theme for a dinner party…look no further.  I have your Cuban Dinner all planned out! :) 

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Moros y Cristianos: (Black beans) 
Use Goya brand beans.  They have a great, authentic recipe on side of the can, BUT add my “secret ingredients” (they are the former secret ingredients of a Cuban grandma, don’t mess around with these, ok?).  They make a big difference!
The “secret” ingredients…add a bit more white vinegar (1/4 cup) than the recipe calls for and add 1 cup of finely diced green olives.  Allow the beans to cook for at least 2 hours on low heat.  They make the house smell like heaven.
Make rice.  Serve with delicious beans.  Mix them together for true Cuban “moros y cristianos”.
Cuban Ropa Vieja: (Slow cooker-style)
4 pounds skirt steak / flank steak4 medium yellow or white onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
a pinch of dried oregano
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
water to simmer in slow cooker
Combine all ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.
Coarsely shred the meat with 2 forks, then stir in the olives and olive brine. Serve over rice.
Tres Leches (the slacker gringa way):
Make a white cake mix and bake according to package instructions.
Poke a bunch of holes in the cake immediately after you remove it from the oven.
Pour 1 can of evaporated milk and 1 can of condensed milk over cake. (This is only 2 leches, no?)
I dont add the half and half because it doesn’t really need it….just a bit of 2% or whatever is in the fridge will do. (1 cup)
Make buttercream frosting and ice that little delicious sucker.
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