Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cooking Club! A Cuban Fiesta

Cooking Club beginning again is a sure sign that spring is right around the corner.
I have a feeling spring is gonna jump right out and scare the crap out of me, I'm still not physically prepared for it, but emotionally I'm yearning for it.

I'm going to need to make a photo checklist for Cooking Club.
Got a picture of everyone? Check.
Got a picture of all the food? Check
Got a group photo? Check

I have no 'checks' for this month.

But here is what I did get.

Sweet Teri M. waiting patiently til we all fill our plates so she can eat.

Sweet Teri M., again, putting the final touches on her black beans and rice.

The table setting.

The lovely Deb O. wondering if Terry S. likes her Ham Croquettes.

The amazing Terry S. wondering if she likes the lovely Deb O's Ham Croquettes.

We all loved them Deb! They were delicious.

In case you are a new reader, I'm in a Cooking Club that meets once a month, for six months out of the year.

Six women.
Countless calories.
Millions of laughs.
Tons of friendly support.

It's a great group of women.
I'm blessed and amazed by them all.

We each take a turn hosting the get together. My turn is next month!
The hostess picks out a 'theme' and assigns recipes.
We make the assigned dish at home, and bring it to club.

So, more accurately, it's an Eating Club.
Bring it.

Here's this month's recipes:

Aceitunas Alinadas
Marinated Olives

Fried Bananas

Croqueas de Jamon
Ham Croquettes

Congri (Arroz Morro)
Cuban Style Black Beans and White Rice

Ropa Viega (my dish)
Old Clothes in Spanish; this meat is cookied, shredded like rags, and cooked again.

Pudin de Pan
Bread Pudding

It was all so delicious!

Here's my recipe to share with you, I would really encourage you to make it.

Ropa Viega - pictured in first photo

2 medium onions
2 pounds of skirt or flank steak
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ajecito peppers (I couldn't find these, so I used jalapenos)
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 cup fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 t dried oregano
1/2 t cumin
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Quarter one of the two onions, Put in a 6 quart kettle with meat, carrot, celery and bay leaf. Cover with water by two inches. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1.5 to 2 hours. Skim frequently.

When meat is very tender, remove from broth and set aside. Discard vegetables and strain broth. Return broth to the heat and boil, reducing by half, about 20 minutes. When meat is cool, shred.

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook remaining chopped onion, garlic, chilies, and green peppers until softened, about ten minutes. Stir in 1.5 cups of reduced broth and tomatoes. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes over medium high heat.
Stir in meat, oregano, cumin and parsley. Cook 10 minutes more.
Serve over white rice.



  1. What a fun idea! And love the theme - my husband is a huge fan of Cuban food.

    Don't forget to add batteries to be charged to that camera check list! (remember the other day?) We love to see photos!

  2. Me gusta todas las cosas espanol!

    Especialmente las comidas! Ole!


  3. Sounds delightful...and I am drooling. Love cuban, mexican...chinese (ha, which is what I'm making for lunch today)...hey, I like just about ANYTHING! Yes, I do says Sam I AM!

    Have fun with it. Keep giving us those great recipes...my file is getting bigger.

  4. Your Ropa Viega sounds delicious. I need to cook this for my Hubby, as I know he would approve.

  5. WHAT! A club where you eat food...I love it! Now that is my kinda club, lol. That looks like it's alot of fun. I'll have to try out of a few of those recipes....along with that potato soup you posted. Thanks for sharing, good thing that I live across the country, I might turn into a cooking club party crasher, ha!

  6. Jayme your cooking club sounds delightful and your Ropa Viega sounds delicious.

  7. Looks like fun, and sounds heavenly. I've never had Cuban food, but something tells me I would LOVE it. Thanks for the recipe! -tammy

  8. I love the idea of this Jayme! How did you ladies get started? Do you do on the weekend or is this a daytime event? I would love to start something like this some day.

  9. Awesome, But I really really need to know more about the picture of the frog pitcher!!! I want, I need. It's soooo beautiful!

  10. Oh yum! Your ropa viega sounds delicious, as does everything else. Even though I had lunch just a little while ago, it's making my mouth water...

  11. That club sounds like so much fun!

  12. What a wonderful get together, Jayme! That was just too funny, those two photos and the wondering if she liked it. That look on her face!

  13. Sounds like fun! My niece's husband (they live in our neighbourhood too) is Cuban and we often enjoy authentic Cuban food. My nephew taught us to eat a bite of rice with a small bite of banana. Very tasty.

  14. Sounds yummy. I will try it. You do realize, if I were closer I would have brought cigars and rum.

    Spicy turkey chili over brown rice at the Fairfield House tonight.

  15. Yum! I am currently obsessed with red beans and rice, so I will have to try the Cuban variation muy soon. What a very fun idea....food and friends. Great combo.

  16. looks like ya'll had a great time!! i'm impressed with Teri's manners at waiting to eat until everyone was seated. *twinge of guilt* LOL.

  17. Oh Jayme, I though I looked terrible in the picture until I saw the 2nd picture of me! I'm going to use the excuse that I was feeling so bad yesterday. I did like the food....really I did! I must get a face lift as soon as possible!

  18. Jayme, I have something for you over at my place! Come see! Kelly @ http://chickncharge.blogspot.com/

  19. How fun is that???!! You are blessed! OOO wish I had been a part of that meal...yummy! My clan here would have LOVED it. So glad you're feeling better.

  20. Just when I was feeling skinny.. lol! A clerical note, I'm Teri L (I was on the prowl when we began cooking & hooked a man in 2008)
    Love ya!


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