In honor of our burgeoning relationship, our chefs traveled to Cuba to make picadillo-a traditional Cuban dish. One of our chefs, Chef Spencer, had recently returned from a trip to Cuba and was able to tell us about the country first-hand. Some things we expected, like warm weather and delicious food while others, like how there is no internet, shocked us!
To make our picadillo, we first chopped onions with a special box that kept our eyes free of tears. Then we minced the garlic and diced the green pepper. We added the onion, garlic, and peppers to a bowl filled with ground beef. We then added tomato paste, raisins, capers, grape juice, and a splash of white vinegar. With all our ingredients in the bowl it was now time to season! We smelled the oregano and cumin before combining them with salt and pepper and adding to the bowl. We then tore parsley to garnish our dish once cooked.
With everything prepared, it was then time to cook! We added our prepared mixture to a hot skillet and smelled as the delicious aroma of picadillo filled the air.
While our meal was cooking, we made Mango Batido-a delicious Cuban mango milkshake. We put mango, milk, condensed milk, and ice into a blender and in just a few seconds it was ready to drink!
With mango batidos in hand we sat down to eat. Picadillo is an extremely versatile dish. It can be eaten plain, used as a filling in empenadas or tamales, or served alongside other things. We ate ours with rice and Cuban style black beans flavored with the same spices as our picadillo. It was as delicious as it smelled.