Doing ‘old clothes’ quickly

LINDA GASSENHEIMER

Doing ‘old clothes’ quickly

By LINDA GASSENHEIMER Knight Ridder Newspapers

Sunday, April 18, 2004

“Old clothes” is the literal translation of Ropa Vieja, a Cuban dish made with leftover meat or flank steak that has simmered until it falls apart.

For this quick version, I cut the steak into paper thin slices and sauteed it first. Then I added it to the sauce for a few minutes to absorb the sauce flavor.

The result is the feeling and flavors of the traditional long- cooked dish without taking hours to make. Served with a 10-minute rice, this makes a great, quick dinner.

This meal contains a total of 547 calories per serving with 30% of calories from fat.

Countdown:

Make rice.

While rice cooks, prepare and cook meat dish.

Wine suggestion: With a blend of rich and savory flavors like this, try a nice, soft Cabernet Sauvignon — maybe one from Chile.

Helpful hint: I like to boil rice like pasta, in a pot large enough to let the grains roll freely in the boiling water. This method gives fluffy rice every time.

Pan-Fried Ropa Vieja (Flank Steak in Tomato Sauce)

1/2 pound flank steak 1/2 medium onion, sliced (1 cup) 2 carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup) 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 medium green pepper, sliced (about 1 cup) 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes with sauce 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 cup sliced pimentos in water Salt and freshly ground black pepper Cut meat into paper thin slices.

Heat medium-size non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with vegetable oil spray. Add meat and saute about 2 minutes. Remove to plate.

In same pan, saute onion and carrots 3 minutes. Add garlic and green pepper and continue to saute 5 more minutes. Add whole tomatoes and oregano. Break up whole tomatoes with a spoon as they cook. Simmer 5 minutes.

Return meat to pan. Mix well. Add pimentos, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 1 minute. Serve over rice.

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 338 calories, 27g protein, 30g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 60mg cholesterol, 478mg sodium, 6.4g fiber. Calories from fat: 35%.

10 Minute Rice

1/2 cup long grain white rice 2 teaspoons canola oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring large pot with 2 to 3 quarts of water to boil. Add rice and boil, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Test a grain; rice should be cooked through, but not soft.

Drain rice into colander in sink. Mix in oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 209 calories, 37g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 5g fat, no cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 0.5g fiber. Calories from fat: 22%.

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