Sunday Supper: Palomilla Steak with Black Beans and Plantains

June 8, 2014

Cuban Palomilla Steak

Many moons ago, I attempted to make this steak for my now-husband (back then new-ish boyfriend). I was just out of college, in my first “real job”, and while I had cooked quite a bit in my days, I hadn’t made up recipes on the fly much. Maybe I should back peddle a bit and explain why I was attempting to cook a palomilla steak…

Cuban food was not something that was easy to come by growing up in northeast Tennessee. Black beans and plantains weren’t in the grocery. I had never even heard of a Cuban sandwich. This all changed on a trip to Tampa. My mom and I ate at Columbia restaurant. I had my first taste of black beans and rice and plantains, served on the side of this magical, flavorful thin steak which I’ve for years referred to as Cuban steak, but I’ve learned after many Google searches is actually called a palomilla steak. Initially I always slid the onions to the side, preferring the light flavoring left behind. But as I grew up, I learned to love onions, and the green stuff they mixed in with them, and this became my go-to dish at any Cuban restaurant.

Back to the attempt to recreate this dish in the early 2000s. (more…)

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Hoppin’ into the New Year

December 28, 2013

Hoppin John

Hoppin’ John is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s something that really shouldn’t be confined just to the first day of the year. For those of you who have never heard of Hoppin’ John, it’s a traditional Southern dish made with rice and black eyed peas, and when eaten on New Year’s Day, it is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the year. It is generally served with greens. The black eyed peas are supposed to resemble coins, and the greens add to the year’s prosperity and wealth due to their green color (you know, the color of money). Sometimes cornbread also gets into the action, given its golden color (again, the color of a different kind of money). While I’m not sure about all that, I am sure that creamy black eyed peas mixed with the saltiness of bacon and spiced up with some andouille and pepper makes taste buds happy and fills up bellies. (more…)

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Southern Favorite with a French Twist: Soup Beans with Red Wine

October 22, 2012

French Soup Beans

At the age of 18, I moved away from Tennessee to the midwest, and I had more than my fair share of culture shocks. Most of these had to do with food. A ham biscuit at Hardee’s was made with deli ham, because no one north of Kentucky had ever heard of country ham. White Lily flour was only sold in Williams-Sonoma, and a small bag would cost you eight dollars. Barbecue was most often beef, most often ribs. And in the self-proclaimed barbecue capital of the world, being invited to a barbecue didn’t mean you were going to get smoked meat, but that you were simply grilling out some burgers and hotdogs. And soup beans… no one knew what these were. How was I to explain it? I had no other words for soup beans – they were soup beans, cooked and served with cornbread most usually. (more…)

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