Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cocktail Hour on the Porch, Cuban Food Inside

Sunday night, we had a lingering cocktail hour on the porch, something I'd like to try to do at least a few nights a week, followed by dinner inside. I mixed up a batch of Latin Lovers (pineapple-orange juice concentrate, cranberry juice concentrate, lime juice, Malibu, ice---blended smooth) and J had Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade. I cut up an heirloom tomato and took it on the porch with a bowl of tiny fresh mozzarella balls, a few stems of basil, a baguette, a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of balsamic glaze. We nibbled and sipped, blew bubbles and drew pictures with sidewalk chalk. Finally, I left J to enjoy the summer evening and went inside to cook. I made bistec de palomilla, black beans & rice, fried plantains and green salads with avocado chunks drizzled with olive oil and cider vinegar.

Bistec de Palomilla
1 top round steak, cut in half
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice of 1-2 limes
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
Chopped parsley
Allow your partner to pound steak to within an inch of its life...well, a quarter-inch, actually. Mix garlic, lime juice, salt & pepper. Marinate steak in mixture for at least an hour while you enjoy cocktails on the porch with the Buena Vista Social Club soundtrack or Celia Cruz on in the background. Pat steak dry. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until very hot. Brown each steak 2-3 minutes per side, tossing the onion in for good measure. Serve steaks garnished with onion and parsley, with a lime slice or two to squeeze over the top.

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