I'm a Southern girl. Most Southern girls know their way around food. Those of us with country grandmas stood in the kitchen from the time we were knee high to a grasshopper learning how to cook.
And then there's me.
My grandma tried, but she didn't have much to work with. The rest of my family knew it. Grandma said once that anyone who can read a recipe can cook, to which my dad, rest his soul, replied, "You've never had her cooking." Sigh.
But finally, 20 years after my grandma died, I got the hang of it. I learned that the number one rule in cooking is to stay in the kitchen. Trust me on this one. If you wander off to do the laundry, there will be a smoke alarm involved.
And pizza ordered.
So after I finally got the golden rule of cooking settled in my head, cooking became an accomplishment I could be proud of, and meals at my house got a lot better. I have actually traveled a lot, and I've picked up recipes from a lot of places. I bring those home and add some of grandma's down home goodness to it. Now, I've gone from creating epic disasters to having our children come over just so they can have some of whatever's for dinner. Of course, they could just be hungry. They're barely out of their teens, and good lord, nothing eats like a teenager. They're like locusts.
But still. Yay, me!
I've decided to start with a recipe that only recently made its way into regular rotation.This is my take on Vaca Frita, a Cuban meat dish. Fortunately for everyone at my house, my husband owns a butcher shop, so a good roast is never in short supply. We eat a lot of meat in the South. In fact, I don't think we have many vegetarians in Southern Alabama. There's one that shops at my husband's butcher shop. I know, right? She's a vegetarian, but her husband is not. What an awesome marriage those two must have. I'm serious about that. Kudos. But she's the only vegetarian I've heard rumors of around here.
So grab a fork (if it turns out right, you won't need a knife), and dive into this awesome Cuban cuisine.