My food friendship with Emi was brought to new heights in Miami where he took me on a culinary tour of Cuban Coffee and Fritas and I think we had a churro too. Miami is a culinary assassin of a city if you know where to go (Whoever said 1500 calories a day is enough should be beaten).
First up: In honor of the other weekend’s Puerto Rican Day Parade which I was lucky to avoid by skipping town, I present to you my favorite coffee…Cuban Coffee! Cuban coffee is rich, decadent and strong. What I love most about making it is the process:
First, you need to start with finely ground Cuban coffee (espresso grind). Using an Italian espresso maker like a Moka Express fill the bottom of the espresso maker with cold filtered water then pop on the filter and fill loosely with the ground coffee beans. Throw that baby on the stove (high heat) and wait for it percolate.
Once the coffee is brewed. Take a teaspoon or so of sugar and add to a cup or tacita (small cup). Fill that cup/tacita with the coffee and shoot back! If you want you can add warm, full fat milk (you can also use condensed milk for extra kick) to make cafe con leche.
fritas. copyright: emiliano granado
Next, the frita. What is this bun of love you ask? It’s a Cuban hamburger beetches! Hellz yes, I said it, you read it – a Cuban hamburgesa. What’s the diff? The frita is more like a sausage patty with shoestring fries piled on top of it. While a hamburger has an exquisite, simple flavor, the flavor of the frita bursts with spices (cumin and paprika were two I detected). Here’s a recipe from All About Cuban Cooking, I would try and add a bit of cumin to this as I swear I tasted it in Miami. This would be a great alternate to bring to a summer bee bee que.
And finally, the churro. Most of us have experienced the churro at Six Flags or some other amusement park but little do we know much about this decadent treat. The churro, also known as a Spanish doughnut, originated in Spain and can be found in many, if not all Latin countries (most notably, Mexico). It’s a simple treat of fried dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar and typically served with Cafe de Olla (in Mexico) or hot chocolate. The one I had in Miami was most excellent as the very old “bakery” we went to was, well, very old and charming. If you have a craving, you can get a mean one at Doughtnut Plant.