Cuban-Style Steak and Moros y Cristianos

I was really excited to make this dish. It included many of my favorite flavors in a combination that I would not expect. I must admit, though, I was also a little intimidated. One, the dish included meat. Cooking meat makes me very nervous. I’ve never had food poisoning, but I attribute that to consciously choosing other varieties of protein in my meal. I also knew Lesley was not a fan of meat and didn’t want to disappoint. Second, it had A LOT of prep work. I’m sure it goes without saying, but my nights are full! Where was I going to find time to chop all of those onions? Then I remembered! Lesley has a food chopper! Oh, that made my excitement even greater. I always wanted to try one of those, and if it worked, it would save me a great deal of time. I brought home my borrowed food chopper and got to work. In no time (okay, maybe 45 minutes or so), I had chopped all the onions and green peppers, made the marinade, and assembled the garnish all with a baby on hip. Success!

Cuban-Style SteakCuban style steak

6-8 oz flank steak or round steak

1/2 cup naranja agria (2 parts orange juice, 1 part lemon juice)

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup medium onions, chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

Olive oil

2 limes, cut into wedges

1) Combine naranja agria and garlic. Marinate steaks for 1 hour.

2) Prepare garnish in a medium bowl. Combine parsley, onions, and lime juice. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the mixture and cover. Set aside.

3) Cook steak. Garnish the steak and serve with lime wedges.

Moros y Cristianos (Cuban Red Beans and Rice)Red Beans and Rice

1 1/2 cups dried black beans

1/4 cup olive oil

2 1/2 cups white onions, chopped

2 1/2 cups green peppers, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 bay leaf

3 Tbsp white vinegar

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tsp salt

1/2 Tsp pepper

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

3 cups long-grain rice

Olive oil

1) Saute onions and green peppers in olive oil until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 to 2 more minutes.

2) Add tomato paste, black beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, and vinegar. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring gently.

3) Add chicken stock and rice. Bring to a boil. Turn the temperature down and allow to simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

*This recipe makes a lot of rice. Approximately 8-10 servings. Depending on the size of your family or the number of guests you have over, you will likely have leftovers. Try making Leftover Rice Cakes with this flavorful rice!

Ali’s Awesome Sangria


Another excitement for me in preparing this dinner was making sangria. I’ve never made it but always wanted to try. While looking at several sangria recipes, I decided that, basically, you throw a lot of fruit into red wine. So I did, and it was amazing.

1 bottle of dry red wine

1 6 oz can of peach juice

1 20 oz can of cubed pineapple, with juice

1 nectarine, chopped

2 oranges, chopped

1 lime, juiced

1/2 cup sugar

1) Combine all ingredients in pitcher and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Serve chilled.