We got together with our friends Jonna and Mimi at Tom and Debi's house to socialize,drink mojitos and eat Cuban food. Jonna makes great mojitos by the way. I volunteered to bring ropa vieja. Debi says that ropa vieja is JLo's favorite food by the way. While I was at the grocery store buying the ingredients for the ropa vieja, I spotted rabo de res. I haven't seen ox tails in any of the supermarkets and have been considering going to the meat markets in search of them. Well, beef tails seem like a close enough name. I bought several kilos of it to store in my freezer to make things like ox tail soup and Rabo Encendido. Which translates as tail on fire. The heat is supplied by black pepper and Spanish chorizo. Not wanting to disappoint everyone, I decided to make the ropa vieja but also bring along a bowl of Rabo Encendido, after all we all want to broaden our culinary horizons don't we. This photo is of the Rabo.
What is a Cuban meal without black beans or rice? Debi made this Cuban classic Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians). She also made some really yummy appetizers, a brushetta with tomatoes, cheese and balsamic vinegar, but I forgot to photograph it. I wish I had remembered because it was a lovely looking dish.
These are bolillos, Jonna said that she got to have the Mexican experience of buying lots of rolls at the panadería. She was referring to the fact that often at the bakeries you see people buying dozens and dozens of these rolls. I think they are either making tortas or molletes.
Now we come to the ropa vieja. Not only JLo's favorite but Husband's too.
Let's face it, you have to have bananas with Cuban food. These were baked with rum and butter among other things. It's not a dessert but a side dish, like candied yams.
This is the fixings that Jonna brought for the mojitos. The rum is called Flor de Caña, a Cuban rum now made in central America. I can't remember where, but maybe Jonna will remind me.
Here is a filled plate, showing all the food. Looks pretty good to me!
Husband is clearly enjoying himself. You can't really tell but he has on a guayabera over his swim trunks, just another Cuban touch to our Cuban food night. In the background is T&D's lovely backyard and swimming pool.