5 June 2016

Cafiroleta - Cuban Coconut Delight

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com, courtesy of the Cocina Cubana Club by Sonia Martinez. Tweaked a little to the availability of ingredients. Please try the recipe and leave your comments!

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 3/4 cups grated coconut, tightly packed
  • 1 3/4 cups corn syrup (Recipe below)
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp white wine
Corn Syrup
Yield 1 3/4 cups
  • 2 cups white sugar  
  • 6/8 cups (120 ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (You can substitute with 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and simmer, stirring often, until it reaches the soft ball stage, about 25 minutes. Cool and store in a covered container at room temperature.
  • Syrup should keep for about 2 months.
Before browning

After browning

Served with Homemade Cream Cheese
  • Mix grated coconut and corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium - high heat until it starts to boil. Add the egg yolks and cook for a few minutes. 
  • Add white wine and simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not stir.
  • Place the mixture in an oven proof dish and broil until brown on top. (I preheated the oven and baked for about 25 minutes on 200 degrees C).
  • Serve hot with or without cream cheese. 
  1. The dish tasted delicious even without browning.
  2. The original recipe calls for a can of coconut in heavy syrup. As this is not available even in the supermarkets in Chennai, I checked the ingredients of the can and thus settled for grated coconut and corn syrup in the given proportion.

Southern Fried Chicken

Inspired from the menu of The Manhattan Fish Market, Chennai! I was initially wondering what a chicken dish was doing in a seafood joint. But when I wanted to do the Manhattan Fish and Chips for dinner and checked about the availability of cherry snapper (which is actually red snapper - I checked with TMFM!), the fishermen in Chennai happened to be on a strike and cherry snapper was not available. So, I looked at this dish again and found it quite interesting - Country Style Fried Chicken -  with a good old-fashioned Southern taste. And I started hunting for the recipe and found an excellent one - one that can even give KFC a run for their money! It's from food.com by Paula Deen posted by Sharlene W.

Serves 6

  • 2 lbs ( 900 grams) cut-up chicken
  • Peanut oil for frying

Sauce mixture
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup hot sauce (I used Tabasco sauce)

Seasoning blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dredging mixture
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • For sauce mixture: In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add hot sauce and whisk together well. Pour this mixture into a large plastic zip-top bag.
  • For seasoning mixture: In a small bowl, combine salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder.
  • For dredging mixture: In a another bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan to 350°F. 
  • Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces with a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle chicken generously on both sides with seasoning mixture.
  • Drop a few chicken pieces of chicken into the bag of sauce mixture and squish around to coat thoroughly.
  • One piece at a time, roll chicken in flour mixture (You can let it rest for a while so that the flour sticks to it) and drop into hot oil. Fry until brown and crisp. Dark meat (legs and thigh) takes longer to cook than white meat (breasts and wings). Check if done by piercing to the bone in the thickest part with a fork. If the juices run clear, it is done.
  • Drain on paper towel and serve hot.