Flavors

We lived in Old Havana and my mom was the one who used to do the shopping, so I would take advantage to cook and when she got home the meal was almost ready. The first thing I cooked was macaroni with chorizo and cheese. My dad used to love it. Before, the macaroni that were sold were long and hollowed out, not like the ones sold now which are short. That was his passion.

Who taught you how to cook?

I learned a bit of cooking with my mom who, although she was very good at making sweets, used to cook so-so.  My neighbor was the one who taught me the most, she was a magnificent cook.

What do like to cook the most?

I really like to make congrí [rice cooked with beans]. It comes out very good, in my style: separated and with pork fat.

Your favorite “bread with something”?

I love to prepare the bread with cheese, well-toasted, crunchy, well-crushed and burned on the outside.

Rice with kitchen pot

Actually the kitchen pot is the sauce left over from the preparation of dishes. But I also call kitchen pot the bits left over from the meals during the week. It can be a bit of chicken with sauce, small pieces of pork meat, squid, fish, ham…. Anything will do. The secret of the preparation lies in the soy sauce and the finely cut scallions that give it a good touch. Ah! It is important to add an omelet cut in small pieces or scrambled eggs. This is a dish that saves us when we find ourselves in a difficult situation, and it can be served for lunch or supper, and at the beach houses it works great.

The recipe cannot be measured by quantities, so what’s important is how to make it. The rice used is from the day before, which would be the ideal, or rice cooked very early in the day and left to cool. It has to be well separated so that it functions better. In a pot you lightly fry all the kitchen pots. You can add seasoning if you want: garlic, onions and peppers, always to the taste of whoever is making it. When all the pots are well mixed and the seasoning is lightly fired, add the rice and mix. Add the soy sauce until it has a dark color. You have to make sure that the rice wasn’t made with too much salt so that it doesn’t come out too salty with the soy sauce. Add the omelet or the scrambled eggs, mix well and, lastly, garnish with the finely cut scallions. It should be served hot.

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