My parents have been in town helping us get settled with our new baby. Between cooking, cleaning, or holding the baby for me to rush through a shower, they've provided those extra sets of hands that new parents so desperately need.
My favorite part of their helping has been making meal after meal, almost 3 times a day for over a week. A couple of nights ago my dad stepped in to make dinner. He made his usual, the Frita, Cuba's version of the hamburger. Although it's not a cheeseburger, I decided to make an exception and fill you guys in on what constitutes a Cuban hamburger.
Here is a small write up from "Serious Eats - A Comprehensive Guide to Making & Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are" about these delicious burgers.
#28 on the "Where the Beef is: 30 Great Burgers" is El Mago de las Fritas in Miami, FL.
... Regulars know to order the well-seasoned burger topped with super thin, incredibly crisp matchstick fries ...
Since my dad made the entire batch of Fritas using no measurements, there is no real recipe I can include (I tried searching for a recipe online but none resembled my dad's recipe, what I consider to be the holy grail of fritas). My dad's version includes ground beef (sometimes ground pork or turkey too depending on what we have in the freezer), flour (can be white, whole wheat, once again whatever is in the pantry), pureed white onions, paprika, and salt. Another missing ingredient was the spice clove which I did not have, but was told was an important component in the mixture. Once the meat mixture is combined, thin patties are made and frozen in between slices of wax paper.
Once you are ready to eat, each frita is fried in vegetable or canola oil until crispy on the outside. The burger is then topped with chopped up cucumbers and onions, ketchup, and those super thin matchstick shoestring fries. The result is a delicious combination of salty and crispy goodness. I ate two and am not ashamed.
It doesn't look like much but then again this wasn't the one I ate ... I had already eaten half of it before I realized I hadn't taken a picture. Usually I would've made sure the photograph had a little more pizazz. Oh well ... we still have a stack of frozen fritas in the freezer. I can always do frita review round 2. And I promise you it'll still be delicious.