Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Las Fritas de Graciela

“Fritas” are usually described as Cuban hamburgers, but they are so much better! Everyone has their own recipe and our friend Millie told us that her Aunt Graciela’s fritas were fantastic and that she was willing to share it with us. YAY! Needless to say it wasn’t a hard sell - not only did we learn to make them, but we got to eat them too!

We met at Millie’s house a few days ago and got into the process of making fritas Graciela’s way. Her version is different from the traditional recipe in that she doesn’t use “pimentón” (Spanish paprika), so the flavor is less complex than what you may be used to - but when garnished with crunchy potatoes (she actually has a machine that makes the thin stringed julienne potatoes), chopped raw onion and ketchup on a potato bun - fantastic!

As usual, generations mingled as we drank wine, told stories, and most importantly laughed and had a wonderful time.


1 large onion
2 eggs
3 slices of white bread - torn into small pieces
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 lbs ground sirloin
20 potato slider rolls (smaller than hamburger buns)

For Garnish
4 large potatoes - peeled, julienned and fried crisp (these can be replaced with one can of potato sticks)
1 large onion chopped
Ketchup to taste


This recipe makes about 40 patties or 20 servings of two fritas per person - but most people will go for a third!
  1. Puree the onions, eggs, bread, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in blender or food processor.

  2. Knead or fold the puree into the meat and let it sit for at least one hour.

  • NOTE: If making the julienne potatoes from scratch, this is the time to make them by peeling, "julienning", putting them in water for about 15 minutes, draining thoroughly and frying them until very crisp.

  1. After an hour, roll the meat mixture into 2 inch balls.

  2. Fry the meat balls until lightly brown, then flatten them and continue frying.

  3. Put the meat patty in a potato roll and garnish with the potatoes, raw onion and ketchup - and if you like, although not traditional, with mustard.

  • NOTE:They're great to make ahead of time, just freeze the meat balls in wax paper and thaw before you fry them.

We ate a lot of fritas! You'll be amazed how easy it is to eat two or three of them. They're a great summer lunch, maybe by the pool accompanied by beer, wine, soda - or my personal favorite "frita drink"...Mamey shake!

¡Buen provecho!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Miami loving fritas! My mom used to make them and we would also eat them in this outdoor restaurant called Moro Castle if I remember correctly that was on NW 7th st around 28/29th Avenue. You can definitely eat more than one! I don't see them in menus around Miami much anymore so it's nice to have a receipe.