Flavorful, spicy, savory—what more can we say about the classic dishes of Cuba that make the most delectable summer wedding appetizers! You’ll see what we mean when you check out these 7 recipes we’ve singled out for you today. Most are surprisingly easy to do, which makes them great for small, intimate weddings where family members may be your gracious chefs! Some can even be made ahead, with final prep just before the reception itself. Plus they each have a recommended “perfect partner” in a Cuban cocktail or a fine wine!
7 Cuban Appetizer Recipes and the Drinks to Serve Them With!
Take your pick from these zesty appetizers that will have guests feeling “a la Cubana” at your summer wedding reception. Click on the links for the appetizer and cocktail recipes—and the sources of the recommended wines.
1 – Mini Potato Chorizo Empanadas with Kendall-Jackson AVANT wine
Guests will love the potato filling combined with flavorful chorizo (sausage) encased in a crescent of flaky crust! Goes wonderfully with the blend of fruity notes of plum, raspberry, strawberry and pomegranate in Kendall-Jackson’s Avant Red Blend Wine.
This recipe by Vianney Rodriguez includes this helpful tip: “These empanadas come together even quicker with the help of pre-made pie crusts, or look for pre-made emapanada dough sold in the Latin freezer section of most grocery stores. Prep the day ahead and pop in the oven the day of your party.”
2 – Fried Plantains with Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
These plantain “chips” use just 3 ingredients (gotta love that!) and are fried to a delicious crunchiness. Great opener to a meal, served with Kendall-Jackson’s Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, a “crisp white with hints of gooseberry, fig, grapefruit and starfruit.” The recipe by Lauren Kelp sounds like a breeze, so do give it a try!
3 – Cuban Sandwich Sliders with Pinot Noir or Chardonnay
Another classic is what is known as the “Cuban sandwich.” Here, Recipe for Perfection gives it a bit of a twist presented as an American slider, using soft dinner rolls in place of traditional Cuban bread. The fillings of cheese, ham and roast pork are still there, though, and are nicely paired with a Pinot Noir wine with notes of berries and cherries or a Chardonnay with hints of citrus, vanilla and oak. Serve either one, or both!
4 – Stuffed dates, Iberico ham and figs served with Cancháncharra
Now, this sounds authentic, doesn’t it? Cancháncharra is a Cuban cocktail made with rum, lime juice and honey syrup. And just look at those scrumptious appetizers to go with it! Dates stuffed with blue cheese and pecans, slices of Spanish ham and fresh figs. Just follow the recipe and how-to-serve procedure from Alan Rosenthal Co. and wow your guests!
5 – Spicy Smoked Marcona Almonds and Parsnip & Sweet Potato Crisps with the ever-popular Mojito
These look light, but certainly pack a flavor punch! The almonds are oven-roasted with a coating of smoked paprika, while the parsnip and sweet potato are thinly shaved then fried in sunflower oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Imagine those flavors set against the lime and mint of an ice-cold mojito! You can make these all, thanks to the recipes via Alan Rosenthal Co.
6 – Papas Rellenas (Stuffed Potatoes) with the classic Cuban Mojito
Said to be one of Cuba’s most popular comfort foods, these are described in the recipe from Memories in the Baking as “a spicy Picadillo… cradled in a cloud of creamy mashed potatoes, rolled in cracker meal, and fried until golden crisp.” How can you resist? Plus, a recipe is also provided for the classic mojito cocktail that is the perfect pairing for this appetizer.
7 – RITZ Cuban Minis paired with “Cuba Libre”
If your wedding will have a more casual vibe, why not opt for this clever take on Ritz crackers topped with the “Cuban sandwich” essentials: pulled pork, ham, sliced cheese, mustard and pickle—courtesy of All Recipes. An equally casual drink to serve with these would be the famed “Cuba libre,” basically Coca-Cola with dark rum served on ice and garnished with lime wedges! Grab the recipe we found over at The Little Epicurean.
If you’d like to start the “Havana Nights” theme at your engagement dinner or rehearsal dinner, visit our post for decorating, food and drinks ideas! Or maybe you’d consider throwing a party with a Latin vibe, as we showcase in this post.