Monday, June 11, 2012

I Love You, Miami (and Fritas too)!

I have been gone from Miami for 2 years, 4 months, 9 days, and about 16 hours -- but who's counting?

Mi Gringito and I just got back from a trip back home to visit the family.  We were only able to be there for a week, but oh what a week it was!!

First off, this was the first time in years that I did not have to ask a flight attendant for a seat belt extender.  I was so giddy, I had to take a picture of how much seat belt I had left over once I was secure:

Our first item on our "To Do" was have a good 'ol Cuban Hialeah!

Cafe con Leche y Una Tostada - Ambrosia & Nectar of the Gods!
Second item: Go to Cuba Nostalgia. For those who aren't "in the know", Cuba Nostalgia is an annual festival held on the weekend of May 20th.  I rarely went when I lived in Miami, but I was tickled pink when I found out that our trip was coinciding with this event! What can I say? Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I was on a mission at Cuba Nostalgia, though.  I could not leave there without a charm for my bracelet from Santayana Jewelers and a print from Tony Mendoza. I succeeded on my mission and got these:

Yes! A Caja China (right next to my cafetera!)...isn't that the cutest thing ever???

With Tony's art, I was torn.  He has so many awesome prints but I only had a few dollars to my name, so I grabbed this one titled "Cafe Amor" and vowed that it would be the first of my collection.

I vow to make this my first of many of his art!

There were so many lovely things to see. Mi Gringito especially loved the old baseball uniforms.

Third item: See the new Marlins Stadium.

Thanks to my lovely cousin, Tatertot, we were able to enjoy a Miami Marlins game at the new Marlins Stadium.  I have to say that I was impressed with the venue, the food and the new "look". The uniform and colors are growing on me and Mi Gringito had me on a day long journey to find him an orange Hanley Ramirez t-shirt.

Definitely could not complain about our seats!

The food, albeit pricey, was delicious! I am still dreaming about my  Shrimp Burger!

The home-run board...a little too flamboyant for my taste...


Billy the Marlin was shuffling!

I got a kick out of the signs in Spanish...
So, after an awesome and tiring week and us about to head home, Mi Gringito mentions to me that he has never had a frita. I was flabbergasted as were Mami & Papi.  Them being the wonderful hosts that they are decided to remedy that problem and took us to El Rey de las Fritas. Oh readers...what a treat! I wasn't able to finish an entire frita, but I did enjoy the few bites I could. Did Mi Gringito like it?  Well, I hope that he wasn't just being polite as he scarfed down three of them!

Once we got home, Mi Gringito couldn't stop raving about the fritas he had eaten in Miami.  That's when I mentioned that I had at least three different recipes for fritas in my arsenal.  He begged and pleaded for me to make them and make them I did!

I looked at the three recipes I had on hand as well as a handful on the internet and noticed that not one of them was even similar.  Some called for onions, some omitted chorizo, some were pork, others ground beef.  I decided to just take the information I gathered from my research and make my own version. If they ended up tasting awful, I could always learn from my mistakes and move forward.

Fritas Cubanas con Papitas

  • 1/4 C Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Bread Crumbs
  • 1 1/4 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Onion Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 lb. Ground Pork
  • 12 oz Ground Chorizo
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 16 to 18 Round Potato Rolls
  • Ketchup
  • 1 can Potato Sticks


  • In a small bowl, mix the evaporated milk, breadcrumbs, paprika, onion flakes, cumin, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and the egg. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, mix the ground pork, chorizo, salt and pepper.

  •  Add the seasoning mixture to the meat mixture and blend well. Hands really work best with this step, but you could use a fork if you wanted to.

  • Wash your hands frequently, it gets messy.

  • The mixture is a bit wet, so you want to cover it and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. I left mine in the fridge for about 3 hours and it made it very manageable in the next step.

  • Divide the mixture into 16 - 18 equal sized balls.  You can make them smaller or bigger, its basically a taste preference in this step.  I found that 16 balls became the perfect size for the bread I was using.

  • Flatten the balls into patties that are about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. 

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil using medium-high heat. Make sure not to crowd your pan and fry the patties approximately 3-5 minutes per side.  

  • Let patties drain on a napkin while you fry up the remainder of the patties. 

  • Place a patty on the bottom side of a potato roll then top with loads of Potato sticks and a dollop of ketchup.  

So, once I was finished I asked Mi Gringito if mine were as good as the ones he had in Miami.  With his mouth full, he responded that they were better!  I certainly enjoyed them as well, and let me tell you that they tasted even better the next day cold and right out of the fridge! Move over, cold pizza--there's a new bad boy in town!

I'll let you guys be the judge, though! Buen Provecho! Let me know if you try this out!

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