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Cuban Tacos and a Guava Cream Cheese Crisp

May 12, 2011

The latest food photography project, courtesy of the ever-talented Chris.

I love tacos.

And I love Cuban food.

And– other than its appearance in a theme song for a certain kids’ TV show– I’m a big fan of the phrase “best of both worlds.”

So… I made Cuban tacos!!

Instead of the traditional seasoned ground beef, I made picadillo (pronounced “peecah-DEE-yo”) with ground turkey.

There are several ways to make picadillo (usually with ground beef, though), but almost all contain some kind of tomato base, wine, chicken stock, onions, garlic, and peppers. Some recipes also have cinnamon, raisins, olives, and huge array of savory spices from cumin to oregano.

But, most importantly, lots of onions, lots of peppers, and lots of garlic.

It might look like a lot, but the onions and peppers cook down quite a bit. And the extra flavor adding into


My rule #1 when cooking: when in doubt, add some wine. 🙂

Simmering the turkey, allowing the sauce to reduce.

See? The onions cooked down a lot!

Topped with some gouda, avocado cream (recipe below), and fresh cilantro.

Cuban Picadillo Tacos

makes about 8 tacos

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper, seeds removed, chopped*
  • 1 1/3 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 c green olives, sliced
  • 1/4 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c white or marsala cooking wine
  • 3/4 c tomato sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • olive oil, for sauteeing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • corn tortillas
  • gouda cheese, sliced thin
  • fresh cilantro
avocado cream:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 c non-fat Greek yogurt
  • splash of lime juice
  • salt, to taste
  1. Sautee onion, pepper, garlic, and bay leaves in olive oil over medium-high heat. Continue until onions begin to become clear.
  2. Add in the turkey, brown slightly, and then add in the sauce, wine, chicken stock, olives and spices. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove cover and cook for another 15 minutes, or until liquid reduces.
  4. Puree the avocado, Greek yogurt, salt, and lime juice.
  5. Put in pastry bag (or Ziploc with a small hole cut in the corner) and use as a topping over the tacos. Add fresh cilantro on top.
*Once the seeds are removed, you can freeze the other halves of the peppers for later use. No need to waste them!

And now on to dessert!

I made Guava Cream Cheese Crisp in individual ramekins.

The crust/crisp topping had a little something extra to give it a tropical twist… COCONUT!!

There’s more than enough butter in the crust/crumble to not have to grease the ramekins. Just flatten it in!After the crust is flattened in, layer the sweet cream cheese and the chopped guava and sprinkle plenty of crumble on top. Don’t forget to rinse the seeds out of the guava!

Off to the oven!

Guava and Cream Cheese Crisp

makes 3 servings

  • 1 large can guavas, drained and seeds removed
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 c + 2 T sugar, divided
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 2 T shredded coconut
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2/3 c non-fat or light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, 2 T sugar, brown sugar, and coconut. Gradually mix in butter, combining until a crumble is formed.
  2. Flatten crumble in the ramekins with the back of a spoon.
  3. With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, 1/4 c sugar, and cinnamon. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among the ramekins as the next layer.
  4. Add in about 2 guavas worth of the chopped guava in each ramekin as the next layer.
  5. Top the ramekins with the crumble to your liking. Bake 15-20 minutes, until mixture inside is bubbling.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2011 12:59 pm

    Beautiful photos!

    • May 18, 2011 12:07 pm

      Thanks! Chris’s photos come out so great that I’m thinking of having prints made… although that might be kind of vain since it’s of my own food. 😉

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