An Afternoon In The Kitchen Of The Christina And Nitza Project

LC with Christina

Christina and Burger Beast

Christina Flores Gomez-Pina was featured in the Miami Herald 6 months ago for her blog La Cocina de Christina. Inspired by the Julie and Julia book she decided to use Nitza Villapol‘s Cocina Al Minuto as the guide for blog. There are approximately 600 recipes that she will be making all and all will be covered by her blog. Christina happens to be a co-worker of my sister’s and I inquired about a possible invitation to her kitchen. I was interested in watching her prepare on the book’s Burger recipes. I missed her Frita recipe which I heard from her family turned out good. This was a family affair as her husband, children, parents,brother and his squeeze were there to taste test everything.

 Cheeseburgers Recipe

Cheeseburgers Recipe

What originally was going to be one Burger to taste became 2 along with the addition of another recipe for “Perros Rellenos” or Stuffed Hot Dogs.

Perros RellenosRecipe (pic courtesy of Christina)

Perros RellenosRecipe (pic courtesy of Christina)

These would complete recipes #60 and 61 and would leave still leave another boatload of recipes to go. The recipe for “Cheeseburgers” called for the Burger to be made out of half ground Beef (she used Chuck) and half of either Ham or ground Pork. She decided to try making both and see which was better. The recipe involves grinding of both the Ham/Beef and Pork/Beef mixtures with Onions, Garlic and Mustard.

 The Ham Grind with Chuck

The Ham Grind with Chuck

I’m not going to attempt to give the full explanation for the recipe but you should definitely check out her site for the recipe and the explanation on how to cook it. She’s thorough and much easier to understand through her writing and pictures than I am. Alright back to the burgers, 16 patties are formed as the recipe makes 8 Burgers (8 doubles, sounds like Nitza was my kind of lady) with Cheese in the middle.

The Ham version

The Ham Version

 The Pork Version

The Pork Version

Christina decided to use Martin’s Potato Rolls as the buns and Velveeta as the cheese (the recipe called for processed cheese). I believe neither existed in Cuba. Ok, I know for a fact neither existed in Cuba, which led to a great conversation with her mother about how gross Spam is.

Ham guys on the Cast Iron Skillet

Ham guys on the Cast Iron Skillet

Pork dudes on the Cast Iron Skillet

Pork dudes on the Cast Iron Skillet

Toasting the buns

Toasting the buns

The HAMburger

The HAMburger

The PORKburger

The PORKburger

We all tried both Burgers and I found the pork version to be the tastier one and having more of an “actual Burger taste”. Everyone else seemed to prefer the Ham version. Some of them compared the Ham version to being similar to a Frita taste. I didn’t say a word. Why? It’s not my house (and I was outnumbered) but since I’m writing on my blog I can now say what I thought. It didn’t taste similar to a Frita but it was good, not as good as the Pork version though.

The second recipe for “Perros Rellenos” involved slicing the Hot Dogs long wise and putting a slice of Cheese in there, wrapping them in Bacon and then cooking them for 5 minutes.

 Sliced & Stuffed with Velveeta

Sliced & Stuffed with Velveeta

Then Wrapped with Bacon

Perros Rellenos just Out of the Oven

Perros Rellenos just Out of the Oven

The recipe actually mentions the hot dogs coming in cans instead of the packages we’re used to. Christina’s mom confirms that in Cuba hot dogs did indeed come in cans, weird. The other odd thing was the recipe, it said the Hot Dog wrapped in Bacon would be cooked in 5 minutes in the oven. There’s no way it would only take 5 minutes, it actually took 20. She used Hebrew National Hot Dogs, Martin’s Potato Hot Dog Buns and Velveeta for the Cheese. Once out of the oven, she topped them with Ketchup, Mustard and Potato Sticks.

Perro Relleno

Perro Relleno

The “Perro Relleno” was really good but how could not they not be considering the ingredients she used. I had a great time and I want to thank Christina and her family for having me over, being so hospitable and of course letting me take pictures. Please make sure you check out her blog, she’s still got a whole of bunch of great recipes to go through: La Cocina de Christina.

About Burger Beast

I started writing the Burger Beast food blog to tell folks about those little forgotten gems in South Florida. Over the course of the last 5 years or so I've added News, Opinions, & Tips on a variety of Food related subjects. My first love will always be Burgers but Comfort Food is where it's at. At the end of the day I’m a regular dude who writes about a bunch of things I think you should know about.
  • Carlos Miller

    Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are big in the Southwest with the Mexicans. I used to love them and make them myself and it takes at least 20 minutes unless you like raw bacon.

    I like the addition of the cheese, which I will try next time.

    I use flour tortillas instead of buns.

  • South Ocean

    Hot dogs in a can? Are you sure she wasn't referring to Vienna sausages?

  • The Burger Beast

    If she was referring to Vienna sausages then this would be a really gross recipe.