From simple Cuban fare like frijoles and tamales, to elaborate dishes like a rich, seafood-packed paella, this hot recipe book is packed with Miami Cuban spice and local color. If you can't get to Miami for a Cuban sandwich, the next best thing is making your own-or maybe it's even better. One thing is certain: the Three Guys will make the experience both fun and memorable.
Enter the sensational world of Cuban cuisine, which blends the spices of Spain, the tropical tastes of the Caribbean, a strong African influence, and some new-world spices to boot. You don't have to be a professional cook to make these extraordinary recipes, and you definitely don't need to be Cuban to cook and eat them. But don't be surprised if you develop a yen to visit the Cuban neighborhoods of Miami as you savor the mouth-watering flavors of Cuban cooking.
The recipes in this book represent twenty years of experimentation, refinement, and a lot of trial and error to make them uniquely their own. Many of the recipes were created "from scratch" by the Three Guys after enjoying a meal at a restaurant and trying to duplicate it in their own kitchens. Some are long-time family favorites from Cuba, re-interpreted to take advantage of the abundance of food and ingredients in Miami. All the recipes include a special ingredient: a heaping tablespoon of humor. As the Three Guys say, "If we're not having fun in the kitchen, we're not doing anything in the kitchen!"
The Three Guys From Miami are all brothers-in-law. Brought together by fate, they became fast friends who share a passion for good food, good conversation, and a great party.
Three Guys from Miami have appeared in 2002 on Keith Famie's Adventures, and in 2003 on Tyler's Ultimate, and in Christmas in America -- all on the Food Network. Your kids may recognize them as "Mariel's dad" and "Mariel's uncle" on two episodes of Switched on the ABC Family channel!
Raúl: The mojito is a classic drink in Cuba. It got its origin in the cane fields, where workers were provided with large barrels of sugarcane juice, what we call guarapo, to drink after a hot day cutting sugarcane.
Glenn: On Saturday nights, the plantation owners would spike the guarapo with a little aguardiente, a crude form of rum; thus began a long tradition of Saturday night Cuban parties!
Jorge: As time went on, the workers began adding yerba buena, a type of mint leaf, to the barrel for flavor. Today the best mojitos are sill made with this leaf. If you have a Latin market in your neighborhood, you might be able to find some. It has to be fresh!
Glenn: If not, use spearmint or peppermintagain fresh from the garden. They are the best substitutes.
Jorge: Weve noticed lately that some trendy restaurants and bars have been serving a very dry mojito. The classic mojito should be very sweet!
3 teaspoons sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
Fresh yerba buena (or mint) leaves
1 ounce white rum
Put sugar and lime juice in a glass. Crush a few fresh mint leaves into the sugar and lime juice. Add rum and ice cubes. Fill with soda water and serve with a sprig of mint. Serves 1
Ensalada de Aguacate y Piña Avocado and Pineapple Salad
Glenn: This great Cuban salad blends the sweetness of pineapple with the sour flavor of oil and vinegar.
Raúl: We know it sounds strange, but it tastes great!
Jorge: Make sure to use a good Spanish olive oil.
Glenn: For salads, an extra virgin olive oil with its lighter taste is usually the best choice.
Jorge: Dont forget to salt and pepper the dressing to taste. Many people dont think that salad needs salt, but this one truly does.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 cups of fresh ripe pineapple chunks
1 medium sweet red onion, sliced thin
1 large Florida avocado, peeled and sliced
Combine olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, and sugar in a blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to this mixture to taste. Lightly toss the lettuce, pineapple, and red onion together. Pour on the oil and vinegar mixture until everything is well coated. Adjust the amount used to your own preference, more or less.
Garnish individual salads with several avocado slices lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 6 to 8.
The American Influence on Cuban Food
The American influence on food has been evident throughout Cubas history, with the peak in the 1950s. American cheese (queso Americano), American white bread (pan molde), the hamburger, peanuts roasted in the shell, Vienna sausages, and Spam are just a few of the American food items that were brought to Cuba.
Jorge fondly remembers going to the two-story Woolworths store in Havana with his sister, where he would enjoy a delicious grilled cheese sandwich made with sliced white bread and American cheese. Cubans may have gotten their inspiration from the United States, but they soon made several changes and improvements to give even these traditional American foods a Latin flavor!