Cuban Day Dreaming

Sometimes culinary inspiration come to me when I hear music. A very rhytmic salsa, mellow enough to be qualify as a mambo, did it for me earlier today. Lunch plans were instantly decided and Sophie's Cuban Cuisine, quickly became for a small group of my colleagues, the place of choice.

Sophie's is Cuban inspired food joint , here in NYC. There a few of them scattered throughout the city,  each delivering savory Cuban inspired food, consistently great. At Sophie's you can certainly get a tasty Cuban sandwich stuffed eith pork, pickles and Swiss cheese,  but I suggest that you venture over to even more complete meals. You won't go wrong with a platter of yellow rice, black beans and a mound of crispy, yet succulent roast pork, Pernil, as they call it. Want even more flavor? Then try the goat stew, and brace yourself for a real explosion of flavor. Almost forgot, ask for a side order of sweet plantains, slightly caramelized , a wonderful burst of the island's culinary tradition.

So go ahead, check out their website - Sophies Cuban Cuisine. And then , go , all you New Yorkers, go to the nearest shop.  If you can't try your at my Shrimp and Plantain dish. You will like it.

Spicy Sweet Plantain Shrimp
Spicy Sweet Plantain Shrimp

Preparation notes

Toss the cleaned shrimp into a hot skillet ith EVOO, a pinch of salt, and a hint of sliced garlic. Cook half way through, then remove from the heat and place in a holding bowl. Toss the cut, sweet plantains (you know , the ones that are ripe), into the skillet and cut until slighty caramelized. Toss in a couple of red dy chili, without breaking them. When the plantains form specks of light brown color, toss the shrimp back into the skillet and cook for one or two minutes more. For garnish and extra heat,  top with a a red, dry Mexican chili, if you have courage.

One question does remain. Who is Sophie? An exotic island dancer or the owner's sweet little daughter, who in old Havana would entertain the patrons with smiles and tunes? Somethings best left to one's imagination.

Salud meos amigos.


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