Friday, September 30, 2011

Gina's Cuban Style Fried Rice

Although I shared many of my recipes when I first started this blog, I don't do it often enough.  One of the reasons is my method of cooking is difficult to explain for someone else to duplicate.  Best way I can describe it . . . I just throw stuff together and don't measure anything.  

Then there is the problem of taking good photos of the process!  Truth is . . . it is not a pretty process when either The Captain or I cook, although it is a much neater process when we work together, as we often do.  With that said . . . I'm going to make an effort to start taking photos when we cook and share more of our own recipes or variations of recipes that I post.

Anyway . . . here is how I make what I call Cuban Fried Rice.

It is rarely the same every time since it depends on what I have in the fridge, so use my method as a starting point and use what you like or have in the fridge.

Almost everything in this meal were leftovers.  We had a thick cut pork chop and some of a wild rice mix left over from the night before.  

I hate throwing food away and try to use it for another meal.

Saute two diced onions and minced garlic with a little olive oil . . . seasoned with cumin and cayenne pepper.  (If I have them on hand, I always add whatever type of peppers I have.  I use one or two depending on what I have.)

I didn't have quite enough meat from the left over pork chop, so I put in a frozen chicken breast in with the onion and garlic in the pan.  

When the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the onions caramelized, cut into bite sized pieces and add the pork chop cut into thin strips. Let them cook a bit (15-20 minutes) so the flavors blend.

Add the rice and a can of peas to the pan and stir well to blend all the ingredients together.  Turn the heat down to low, put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

I'm not in a hurry when I cook.  Each step blends the flavors together . . . taste as you go along!  The first step, caramelizing the onions and garlic with the seasonings, is the most important step since it is the flavor base of your meal.  Latinos call this a "sofrito."  

Usually I will turn the heat down and walk away from it between adding ingredients.  An important point to mention is that I strictly use stainless steel cookware which holds the heat well and will not burn your food if you don't cook on really high heat.  Sometimes I even turn the burner off for the last step as long as I keep the lid on the pan.  

I bought my set of cookware back when I was in high school!  A good set of cookware is an awesome investment since they will last forever. 

This is the style of cooking I learned from my Nana and it really does make cooking a meal a joyous thing . . . or maybe I was just a born foodie and naturally enjoy it!

I have so many variations for my "fried rice" . . . it is awesome with shrimp or fish too.  The vegetable and rice variations are endless!  It is fun to experiment with cooking :)

Hope my instructions made sense!  Feel free to ask questions through comments.


Cat Chat With Caren and Cody (Caren Gittleman) said...

your instructions TOTALLY make sense to me because I cook the exact same way.

I can rarely enter recipe contests because I just throw things together too. I never measure and I improvise all the way!

That's what GOOD cooks do! :)

Gina Alfani said...

I'm sure there are lots of cooks out there like us!

It is so difficult to put into words :) Thanks for letting me know it is understandable!!

Have a great weekend . . . Gina

Cat Chat With Caren and Cody (Caren Gittleman) said...

you are welcome! It is definitely understandable to me! You have a great weekend as well!

The Chef said...

I think that is the main purpose of cooking.. your main measurement is your passion to your cooking.. recipes are just guide for you to learn to make it tasty and delicious is up to the cook.

by the way i love your rice.. yummy hahaha.. oops my stomach is groaning.. hahaha .. have a nice day

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