Review: The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook

I don’t know a lot about Cuban Cuisine but I do know I love a good Cuban sandwich and there are quiet a few recipes for versions of those in the book. I have never heard of the Versailles Cuban Restaurant, but learned from the book that it’s been a famous restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana since 1971. The restaurant has been featured on The Food Network, the Travel Channel, and CNN. It was also named one of the top places to visit in Miami by Time. After reading and cooking from this book I’d love eat there someday.

The beginning of the book starts with an interesting history of the family and restaurant. Next comes the recipes. There are several I have marked to try: Galician White Bean Soup that contains collards, white beans and several pork products, Avocado Salad, Cod in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Fried Chicken Chicharones – which calls for a delicious sounding marinade made up of sour orange juice or a mixture of  lime juice and grapefruit juice, garlic, onion and olive oil, Shredded Fried Beef and Onions or Fried Cow, Oxtail Stew (my son loves another version of this I have made), and Asturian Bean Stew which is said to be similar to a cassoulet, to name a few.

The names of the dishes are in both English and Spanish. I like that there are suggestions for alternate ingredients for those called for that might be hard to find in some areas. There are also helpful tips included in many of the recipes including the one I chose to make first Meatloaf or Pulpeta.

The recipe calls for ground sweet ham such as honey or maple and the tip suggests buying sliced ham from the deli and pulsing in the food processor until finely ground which is what I did.  I found out hubby and I love Cuban Meatloaf. It’s very moist after simmering in a tangy tomato sauce after some sliced olives are inserted, then the mixture of meats and other ingredients are rolled in cracker crumbs and allowed to rest in the fridge for an hour. Next it’s browned in some olive oil before adding to the tomato sauce, garlic onion and bell pepper and seasonings that have been simmering for 45 minutes, where it’s allowed to simmer in that delicious tomato bath for another 45 minutes to an hour. Well worth all the cooking time and your house smells heavenly from the spices and other ingredients.

Cuban Meatloaf
Cuban Meatloaf

I had taken a really great picture of the meatloaf then accidentally deleted it from my camera. So the picture you see here is one of the leftovers that I had readied for the fridge. This is great warmed up and the sauce makes a wonderful gravy for mashed potatoes and I bet would also be good on rice.

I won this book awhile back from the Flamingo Musings blog. Thanks to her for introducing me to this wonderful cookbook.


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