If I had a Superpower from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

Martas kitchen logo 1 copy-1

Note: I apologize for my extended absence from Babalú. I’ve been fighting a personal health battle that I won’t bore you with. Thank you all for your gracious patience with me. I’m ba-a-a-ack! =D

Sometimes when my family is around the dinner table, we play games where we ask hypothetical questions. The discussions always take an interesting turn as we dig into our imaginations to try and one-up each other.

A few nights ago, my son, Jonathan threw out this question:
“If you had a superpower, what would it be?”

And so the game began.

Lucy: “I’d love to be able to stop time.”
Eric: “I would want to read people’s minds.”
Adam: “Super strength, hands down.”

Apparently they have given this a lot of thought. (Or maybe they’ve just watched X-Men more often than I have, but that’s not important right now.)

“Create fire!”
“Walk through stuff.”
“Laser vision!”

The conversation went round and round with everyone offering suggestions and even fantasizing a little and I still could not come up with a remotely suitable answer. They became a little impatient with me.

“Mom, you don’t need to take this so seriously.”

I thought hard. And you know what I finally came up with?

If I had a superpower, it would be to be able to give people comfort when they needed it. Wouldn’t that be amazing? This superpower would involve being tuned in to the type of pain others were in and being able to give them exactly what they needed. I didn’t know what to even call it.

But suddenly, I had an epiphany….

“I know! If I had a superpower, I would be… A Cuban Mother!

(Shut up. I know.) =D

Crockpot Boliche
(Cuban Pot Roast)

4 lb. chuck or rump roast (slow cooking will make it fork tender)
8 cloves of garlic – minced
1 1/2 tsp. Dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/2-cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced thickly
2 cups beef stock
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1-cup naranja agria (bitter orange marinade)
1-cup dry white wine
1-cup small red potatoes
1/4 cup green pimiento-stuffed olives with liquid
3 bay leaves

1. Pat the roast dry and lightly flour.

2. In a mortar, smash the minced garlic, salt, pepper and oregano together to form a thick paste.

smashed garlic

3. Rub the garlic/oregano paste all over the roast.

meat rub

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and brown the roast on all sides.

5. When the roast is browned, remove from skillet and place in crockpot.

6. Place the onions in the same skillet you used to brown the meat in, and cook them quickly – maybe 3 minutes on medium high heat. Do not brown.

7. Remove onions and place over the roast in the crockpot.

add onions to pot

8. Cover the roast with beef stock, tomato sauce, bitter orange, and white wine.

9. Add the potatoes, olives, and bay leaves.

add potatoes &  olives
10. Cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours. Or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Or if you like, 30 minutes on high-pressure in a pressure cooker.

11. Arrange the roast on a platter surrounded by the potatoes, onions and olives.

12. Carve the roast and serve at the table. (What good is having a superpower if you don’t get to show it off sometimes?)

slice of boliche

Buen Provecho!

15 thoughts on “If I had a Superpower from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen”

  1. Before my kosher days I used beef eye round and stuffed it with bacon then saute little pieces of bacon with the sofrito. Now that I keep kosher, I buy the shoulder roast and stuff it with a smoked beef product called “Beef Fry”, it comes really close to my non-kosher version, but alas, it’s not the same. Sniff, sniff.

  2. Oh my, Oh my! one of my favorite things to eat. Will definately have to try this one this weekend. I actually just bought a new crockpot but have not had a chance to use it so this is perfect.

  3. Que buena pinta! I would be very interested in knowing if anyone-Marta, included–has some other Cuban dishes that can be made in a crock-pot.

  4. Thank you for this. I’ve been looking for boliche around to test it out on the crockpot as I’m sure it comes out perfect. You just saved me some experimenting time!

  5. Nice Marta!! How goofy am I? I never even thought of using a crockpot! My mother used to use a pressure cooker, and since I don’t own one, family hasn’t had a home made boliche for ages. This will soon change, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a thick slice over some fluffy white…MMMMM!!! My mother also used to stick about three carrots and olives in it, other times she’d insert a roll of ham. And while the ideas are flowing, it wouldn’t hurt to use a turkey sausage if you’re not on good terms with pork – I suppose variations are allowed, right? Just a thought….

    Eddy: If they did have a Cuban cooking show, it would inevitably turn into them sticking jalapeños into everything. Case in point; when Emeril did ‘ropa vieja”, he left out olives and red bell peppers, but he added tons of hot sauce and a bunch of cilantro on top..:-P Cuban. Yeah. Right.

    Maybe Marta would like a TV spot on the Food Channel. Why not, she seems every bit as perky as Rachel Ray, whatta you say Marta?

  6. Hot Damn, Marta! Your post inspired me. Got a venison roast in my crockpot as I write…oughta be ready (nice and tender) right before I leave to go ‘fishin tomorrow..Thanks for the inspiration!

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