Cuban Book Launch –Test Recipes

I’m planning my menu for my book launch, which has a Cuban theme because The Beggar’s Opera is set in Cuba. (Check out the book trailer –Penguin did an amazing job!)

I decided to try making fried plantain — or tostones — tonight, because plaintains are (a) inexpensive and (b) exotic. The  way to cook tostones is to peel and slice green plantains (ones that look totally raw and inedible ) into rounds. You fry them until they’re brown, remove them and bash them to get the starch freed up (they flatten out like crackers), and refry them again briefly.

I put a dollop of cream cheese in the centre (a mild goat cheese or really thick Greek yoghurt would work just as well) and a dab of hot red pepper jelly on top. And were they ever good! (The little Penguin plates were on sale at Homesense last year; couldn’t resist– with Penguin Canada my publisher!)

The second recipe I tried was for Cuban picadillo.

This is a typical Cuban dish made from ground beef (or texturized soy more often these days, because of the chronic shortages). It has some unusual ingredients in it as well as onions and tomato paste — olives, capers and raisins!

And wow, is it ever good! The raisins and the capers add a sweet-salty taste that’s hard to describe. Definitely bringing a big batch of this to the launch. Not sure what I’ll try next but I can tell you this — I’m having as much fun planning this launch as I’ll have being there!

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6 Responses to Cuban Book Launch –Test Recipes

  1. Karen Opas says:

    Sounds good!
    Did you ever find a source of chocolate cigars? I think that the Laura Secord store might carry them, if Purdy’s is out of the picture.


  2. Those dishes look fantastic, especially the first one. Yum.

    BTW, I shared the link to your book trailer on FB, and e-mailed it to my friends. Many have come back to say how much they are looking forward to the book.


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