Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Photography by Donna Samonte

I once cooked this recipe for a catered lunch and a lady asked me, how I cooked the fish and what I seasoned it with... answer - salt, pepper and a dash of paprika. When cooking fish, it's very important to get a fresh one, nothing beats a good fresh fish!!

Broiled Salmon

1 lb Salmon Fillet (2 pcs @ 1/2 each)
Sweet Paprika

Wash and pat dry the fish and set aside. Combine equal amounts of salt, pepper and paprika then rub it on the salmon fillet.

Heat griddle/grill/broil under high heat and cook each side for 3 or 4 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with chopped scallions.

Best served with steam vegetables.

Tip: Leftover broiled salmon can be used for salads too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yum..yum..Vaca Frita!!

Photography by Donna Samonte

Last February in one of my weekend get-aways in Miami, my friends brought me to dinner in an authentic Cuban restaurant (I can't remember the name) somewhere in Coconut Grove.

What in the world is vaca frita? Literally translates to "Fried Cow", it's yummy....addictive!!! This Cuban Shredded Beef recipe is simply a flank steak boiled with an onion, a bay leaf, peppercorn and sherry until tender, then shredded and sauteed with onions, lime juice and orange juice until crispy ( as far as I recall the taste of it).

It is usually served with rice, black bean soup and plantain...and here's my version.

Vaca Frita (Stir-Fried Beef)


2 lbs Flank Steak
2 pcs Bay Leaf
10 Black Peppercorns
2 tbs Dry Sherry
1 Onion (Large-sliced)

2 tbs Olive Oil
1 Bell Pepper (Medium-diced)

1/2tbs Oregano

Seasoning rub:

2 tbs Lime Juice

2 tbs Lemon Juice

3 gloves Garlic (Finely minced)

½ tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Ground Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

2 tsp Salt

*1 Onion (Small-sliced) for sauteing


In a covered pot, place all ingredients at the bottom of the steak. Boil the steak in a covered pot with 3 cups of water. Simmer until tender for about an hour. When cooked, allow steak to cool down and once cooled place meat in a glass bowl and add seasoning rub.

Mix all the ingredients and rub it on the steak. Then after, cut into 2-inch chunks, shred it using your fingers and fork, and place in a glass bowl. Allow to marinate and set aside for at least 1 hour to overnight.

Remove the meat from the marinade and squeeze out the excess liquid. Heat the olive oil in a skillet or griddle in heat the oil over medium-high heat until fragrant and cook the beef shreds, add the onions and cook until the beef is crisp.

Sprinkle with the parsley, serve over white rice and black beans.