5 Cuban Appetizers For Thanksgiving

So you have dibbled and dabbled in the Cuban cuisine and find yourself in love with the Cuban cooking, so here are 5 Cuban appetizers for Thanksgiving. What is unique about the Cuban cuisine is that it is a combination Spanish, African, and Creole influences. The authentic Cuban recipes below are quick and easy, and is plentiful for your entire family.

1. Ensalada (Salad)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onions sliced in rings
  • 1 chopped head romain lettuce
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 1 tomato sliced in rings
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. On a platter, organize lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions.
  2. Sprinkle with water, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

2. Tostones (Fried Plantains)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • canola oil for frying
  1. Start by peeling the plantains but cutting off its edges, slitting it down the middle and peeling horizontally.
  2. Cut in five to six pieces.
  3. Fry in oil for two minutes, then remove from oil and smash each plantain using a cup.
  4. Refry until golden brown (about four to five minutes).

3. Masitas del Puerco (Fried Pork Chunks)

Ingredients:

  •  1 pound pork loin, cut in 1 ½ size cubes
  • 4 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice or sour orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt to taste
  1. Prepare the marinade by combining  garlic, lemon juice or sour orange juice, cumin, oregano, and salt.
  2. Pour over pork and marinate over night.
  3. The following day, simmer pork with marinate juice on low heat in a covered skillet for eight to ten minutes.
  4. Transfer the pork to a new skillet without the marinade and sauté lightly in two tablespoons olive oil.
  5. Add  ½ small onion and green pepper sliced into rings.
  6. Sauté for about four to five minutes. Drizzle the marinade on top and serve. 

4. Guayaba con Queso y Galletica (Guava and Cheese on Crackers)

Ingredients:

  • guava paste (found at the international market)
  • cream cheese
  1. Slice the guava and cream cheese into thin slices and place on a cracker of your choosing.
  2. Serve on a platter.

5. Pan Frito con Mojo (Fried Bread with Garlic Sauce)

Ingredients

  • Cuban or Italian bread, sliced
  • 8 fresh cloves smashed garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • butter for toasting
  • 1/3 up lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ideally, this recipes calls for a loaf of Cuban bread, but since most stores don’t sell it, it can be substituted with Italian bread.

  1. Toast bread in a skillet using butter.
  2. For the mojo, lightly sauté  garlic in  olive oil for three to four minutes.
  3. Add lemon juice and sprinkle a dash salt pepper.
  4. Simmer on low heat for six to eight minutes. This tangy garlic sauce can also be used on salads and meats.  
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