Growing up Cuban in Miami is magical. My parents both had to work all the time, and so when I was little I spent every day at my Yaya’s (Abuela’s) house. Things you must know about my Yaya, she had 9 kids and almost no money when they got here from Cuba so she had to find a way to make a ton of food and make it delicious and she basically rocked it. I had 7 of my cousins with me each day, and she would put us to work in the kitchen showing us how things got done. We were basically a croquetta assembly line. She passed away almost 11 years ago today and I feel closest to her when I cook. Especially when I cook Cuban. I think of her even more when I make my healthy modifications because let’s face it I love everything about being Cuban and Cuban food, but it’s not exactly heart healthy. I can almost hear her telling me how ridiculous I am. So here it is Yaya, I kept her basic framework and made my small twists and I will let you know WYWD (What Yaya Would Do) as we go along.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 potato chopped into small squares
- 1 cubanelle pepper, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup of tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup pimento stuffed Spanish olives with 1 tablespoon brine from jar
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 cup of great quality Vino Seco or white wine
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 and take your chopped potatoes spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with one to two tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle oregano, and garlic powder over the potatoes. Mix it up and throw it in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes or until golden. Make sure to move them around halfway.
*WWYD: she would fry the hell out of those potatoes in a deep fryer or a pot of oil (definitely more delicious but not as heart or waist friendly).
While those are baking, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion, peppers, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and sautee until onion is soft, stirring frequently, about 4-5 minutes and then add in the garlic. Sautee another two minutes. Add ½ cup tomato sauce and stir in with all the vegetables for about a minute.
Add the ground turkey with salt and pepper, and the vino seco. Be sure to mix into the sofrito. Cook together on medium high for 10-12 minutes.
Then take the heat to medium low adding the pimento stuffed Spanish olives, raisins. Take the potatoes out of the oven and throw them in and simmer for 5 minutes so they absorb some of the juices. If you need some water go ahead and add ¼ cup.
Taste for salt and pepper.
WWYD: Over white rice with fried plantains or black beans
Things that would make Yaya turn in her grave: Over cauliflower rice
Yaya and I would agree that adding one fried egg on top is never a bad idea
To make Picadillo soupier for serving over rice, you can add chicken or beef stock.
Leftovers Plan: you can throw it into empanadas and freeze
Traditional cuban homemade croquettas. Easy to follow step by step just like Abuela used to make in her kitchen. Bite size and delicious
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