I'm Cuban. I like to eat Cuban food. Therefore I cook.
Since I've started posting my recipes over at Babalú I have been cooking like a mad Cuban woman.
(Much to my family's delight.)
They are all loving that I'm playing Test Kitchen here.
The buzz starts the night before as I'm pulling out something to defrost for the next day.
My sister will call to say that my Tamal en Cazuela Recipe is good, but has too much tomato sauce for her taste. My mom wants me to let her know if I'm going to be making Lechón so that she can bring over some casabe to have with it.
Eric likes the Picadillo Recipe made with ground turkey.
The kids just want to know: Are you cooking Cuban tonight??
But one thing they all agree on:
Make. the. Cuban. Bread.
I have two things in my Cuban American kitchen I cannot live without:
1) my crockpot
2) my bread machine (I love it almost as much as I love my camera & that's saying a lot.)
I have a super simplified recipe for Crusty Cuban Bread that I developed for my bread machine.
My mom calls it Pan de Agua. It has zero fat, has a nice texture and gets a pretty thick crust on it. If you can get over the bread machine shape, you'll find it's close enough to the real thing to enjoy with your crockpotted Cuban food.
There is one small problem - there are never any leftovers for Pan con Lechón Recipe the next day.
So I just have to make another loaf. And another. And another. (sigh) ;-)
Crusty Pan Cubano Recipe
(for bread machines)
1 and 1/8 cup Water
3 cups Bread Flour ( Gold Medal - Better for Bread)
1 tsp. Salt
1 and 1/2 tsp. Yeast
Mix the ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Choose the Rapid Cycle.
Repeat as often as necessary. =D