This is the second time I’ve made Arroz con Pollo. The first was during Costa Rican week and now estamos en Cuba. Translation: we’re in Cuba.
There was no real reason for choosing Cuba. I pretty much choose countries at random but I do try to choose countries from different parts of the world each week. Like, I won’t do Vietnamese one week and then Cambodian week the next or Brazilian followed by Portuguese. I like to switch it up a bit week by week because I feel like it keeps me on my toes and my stomach doesn’t get too bored.
I didn’t use a cookbook this week, I used a website, A Taste of Cuba. I prefer to only use one website instead of a bunch of different websites because it’s easier to keep track of one versus many. I used a bunch of different sites for Indian week and I had to go back and delete a crap ton of bookmarks afterwards. It wasn’t that big of a deal but it was just one more thing I had to do.
Researching recipes for Cuban week was, how do you say, interesting. As anyone with an internet connection knows, US relations with Cuba have definitely changed over the past year. I think most people would argue that it’s for the better but there is a small sect of people that actually think it’s not the greatest news. I kept reading about the urgency to visit Cuba before it “changes” because apparently Cuba being in a time warp is a good thing. Without getting too political, because no one reads a food blog for politics, that way of thinking is stupid.
Yes, I said it.
Cuba is in a time warp because its restrictive, oppressive government has not allowed progress. That’s it. The end.
I guess it’s a good thing almost no one reads my blog so I can’t offend anyone.
But this meal was not offensive (way to segway, Melissa).
Ingredient wise, it was similar to both the Tico Arroz con Pollo and the Peruvian Arroz con Chancho. In taste, they were all a little similar as well. The Tico version also called for annatto but during Tico week I substituted it with paprika and this week with saffron. I think the Panca Chili Paste gave it the same flavor in the Peruvian version. I feel all three were used mostly for color and flavor was secondary. The Cuban version was a little saltier, which I think had to do with the marinade. I wouldn’t call it savory, it was definitely salty, but it wasn’t terrible.
More than anything I liked the ease of the recipe. I didn’t have to sit in front of it for long and I always enjoy meals that allow me to get out of the kitchen. Both girls liked, which I kind of figured they would. Although you never know with the three year old. I will say she’s getting better about eating the food. There are a lot less “Yucks” and “It gross” than there used to be so either she’s getting used to the varied cuisine or I’m just learning how to ignore her. A little from column A and a little from column B.