Cooking Cuban

My trip last month to Southern California brought me back to my favorite Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles. Versailles is no frills, just good flavor and inexpensive prices. Their pork and chicken is cooked in a delicious lemon garlic sauce. This sauce is so good that they even bottle it. I decided to buy a bottle of the sauce so I can try cooking some Cuban food at home.

Recently, I used that bottle to cook a Cuban meal for a few friends. I marinated some pork overnight and in the morning turned on the slow cooker. By the time I got home from work, my apartment was smelling great. I had to start on the rice and plantains. One of my friends introduced me to Goya canned black beans so I wasn’t going to spend time on making black beans.

I wanted to make a Cuban white rice or arroz blanco. If you are wondering what makes white rice Cuban, it is the added garlic flavor. I found a simple recipe from Food and Wine.

I bought some green plantains from a Mexican supermarket in Oakland to complement my meal. I was a little intimidated to work with the plantains, but Alton Brown published an easy recipe for fried plantains.

My friends and I loved the meal. Even the canned black beans were good. I was impressed with myself and have added “cooking more” as a New Year’s Resolution.