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Saturday, March 10

Ropa vieja

Oil, extra-virgin olive
2 tablespoons +
¼ cup
Steak, skirt, cut along the grain into 6-inch pieces
2 ½-pounds
Salt, kosher
2 teaspoons +
1 ½ teaspoons
Onions, white, halved
1 large
Bell peppers, green, halved, seeded
1 large
5 cups
Bay leaf
Garlic, smashed
Cumin, ground
1 teaspoon
Oregano, dried
1 teaspoon
Wine, dry white
¼ cup
Tomatoes, crushed
2 cups
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat 2-tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 
  2. Sprinkle the steak with 2-teaspoons salt. 
  3. Working in batches, sear the steak pieces until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a bowl. 
  4. Add a half of the onion and half of the bell pepper and cook, stirring after 2 minutes, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Return the steak to the pot, and add the water, bay leaf, and one clove of garlic.
  6. Cover and braise in the oven for 2 hours. 
  7. Transfer the steak to a bowl, and let cool 10 minutes. 
  8. Shred the steak by hand, and return to the bowl. 
  9. Pour the cooking liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; reserve 2 cups liquid, discard the solids and remaining liquids. 
  10. Thinly slice the remaining onion and bell pepper halves. 
  11. Heat the remaining ¼-cup oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. 
  12. Add the sliced onions, peppers, and remaining cloves of garlic. 
  13. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. 
  14. Stir in the cumin and oregano, and then add the wine. 
  15. Bring to a simmer; add the steak and remaining 1 ½-teaspoons salt; fold to incorporate the vegetables. 
  16. Simmer until the meat is warmed through, about 5 minutes. 
  17. Add the tomatoes and 2-cups reserved cooking liquid. 
  18. Bring to a simmer, stirring. 
  19. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. 
  20. Gently simmer, stirring every 5 minutes, until the meat is tender and the liquid is thickened, about 20 minutes. 
  21. If necessary, uncover and cook several minutes to thicken the sauce. 
Recipe from Food&Wine Magazine, March 2018.

Cuban-style black beans

Beans, dried black, rinsed, drained
1 pound
Onions, halved
2 medium
Bell peppers, green, halved
2 medium
Bay leaves
2 +
Water, cold
8 cups
Garlic, smashed
3 cloves
Salt, kosher
1 teaspoon +

Oil, extra-virgin olive
¼ cup +
2 tablespoons
Wine, dry white
¼ cup
Cumin, ground
1 ½ teaspoons
Oregano, dried
1 ½ teaspoons
Tomato paste
1 teaspoon
Pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon
Cilantro, chopped

Lime wedges

  1. Combine the beans, half an onion, half a pepper, 2 bay leaves, and water in a pressure cooker. 
  2. Lock the lid, select Beans (if using an InstantPot), press Adjust to set the pressure on high, and set the timer for 15 minutes. 
  3. Release the pressure naturally, and discard the onion, pepper, and bay leaves. 
  4. Finely chop the remaining onion and pepper halves. 
  5. Sprinkle 1-teaspoon salt on the smashed garlic, and rub to form a paste. 
  6. Heat ¼-cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  7. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic-salt paste. 
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. 
  9. Stir in the remaining 2 bay leaves, wine, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste. 
  10. Cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is incorporated and the wine has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  11. Remove the cover from the pressure cooker, select Sauté, and stir in the onion-pepper mixture; season with salt and pepper. 
  12. Simmer until the beans are cook through, about 30 minutes. 
  13. Drizzle with remaining 2-tablespoons oil. 
  14. Serve the beans with cilantro and lime wedges. 
Recipe from Food&Wine Magazine, March 2018.

Crispy fried sweet plantains

Oil, canola
4 cups
Plantains, peeled, cut diagonally into ½-inch pieces
Salt, fine sea
¾ teaspoon
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat to 350°F. 
  2. Add half of the plantain slices and cook until the bottoms are mahogany-colored with speckles of yellow poking through, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  3. Flip and cook until deeply caramelized, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Remove with a mesh skimmer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with half of the salt. 
  5. Repeat with the remaining plantains and salt. 
Recipe from Food&Wine Magazine, March 2018.