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Gluten-Free Bread Sticks

Brazilians use versatile Pao de Queijo dough to make delicious gluten-free bread sticks. If not eaten immediately, store cooled bread sticks in a closed container in the refrigerator for a few days. To soften chilled bread sticks, warm them briefly in the microwave.

Gluten-Free Annatto Oil

Made with olive oil and annatto seeds (achiote, in Spanish), this vivid, dark- orange oil adds smooth flavor to Cuban Creole dishes. Store it in your refrigerator for several months. Annatto seeds are available in the Hispanic specialty section of grocery stores.
gluten free empanadas recipe

Gluten-Free Empanadas de Picadillo

Gluten-Free Empanadas are baked or fried pastries that can be sweet or savory. This recipe is easy to double. The empanadas can be cooked ahead and taken to work or school for lunch. They can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

Gluten-Free Papas Rellenas

These tasty little mashed potato balls are the ultimate comfort snack. A thin, crunchy crust surrounds a center of savory hash. They’re a bit labor intensive but well worth it. Double the recipe and freeze the extra for later. They can be prepared ahead and reheated. This recipe can be made with egg replacement.

Gluten-Free Cuban Creole Stew

This Cuban national dish, called Ajiaco Criollo, was original to the native Taino people. The Spanish and Portuguese adopted and added their seasonings. Full of tubers, vegetables and 3 pounds of meat, this thick soup has many variations, depending on availability of ingredients. Meat choices include beef short ribs, flank steak, beef brisket, tasajo (salt dried beef that must be desalted before using) and ground pork. Chorizo sausage, an important ingredient, contains annatto oil, Creole seasoning and vinegar, which impart flavor and color to the stew. If you can find malanga, use it; its flavor is nuttier than sweet potato. Serve stew with gluten-free bread.

Gluten-Free Mojo Pork Roast

Pork is a favorite in Cuban cuisine. This gluten-free dish can be roasted in the oven or cooked in a slow cooker. The marinade contains bitter orange juice (Citrus aurantium), available in some Hispanic grocery stores.* This meal is traditionally served with white sweet potato (also called boniato or Florida yam), black beans and plantains. It’s just as delicious with mashed potatoes and a fresh green salad.

Gluten-Free Cuban Comfort Food

With U.S.-Cuban relations re-established and travel restrictions loosening, now is the perfect time to sample Cuban food. These gluten-free recipes call for some ingredients only available in Hispanic grocery markets or in the Hispanic section of larger supermarkets. If you can’t find them, do what a Cuban household would do. Use what’s on hand—fresh, local and seasonal.

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