Meet the Chef

Chef Victor Santos emerged on the Miami culinary scene two decades ago after graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and wasted no time making his mark. The Brazil native honed his culinary and entrepreneurial skills while co-owning the famed Asian noodle business I Kyu Noodles, which put him in touch with some of South Florida’s culinary icons including Norman van Aken, Michelle Bernstein, Douglas Rodríguez among others. Chef Santos was an integral part of the opening team for the luxurious Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa on Miami Beach, where he developed menu items that accentuated the flavors of the region while learning and developing flavorful combinations that were waist friendly. He developed the passion for creating menus using contemporary cooking techniques married with traditional flavors and after a successful run at fine dining, Chef Santos worked in more casual concepts from Italian to American Barbecue, and for the last two years has overseen the Culinary Operations at Tinta y Café, a well-established Miami institution with locations in Coral Gables, and Miami Shores. At Tinta y Café, Chef Santos delights customers with award winning Cuban Ham Croquetas, mouthwatering Sandwiches and notable Cafecitos, Coladas and more.

Chef Victor Santos
Chef Victor Santos

Watch the Class:

Full Recipe:

Cuban Styled Fricasse with Steamed Rice and a Tomato and Bell Pepper Sofrito

Yield 4 portions

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, legs or breasts
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper 2 TBS to taste
  • Ground Cumin 1 TBS
  • Oregano 1 TBS
  • Garlic powder

For the Entrée

  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 each Spanish Onion, diced
  • 1 each Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 each Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 4 each Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup White wine (substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 16 oz of canned tomato
  • 1 each Bay Leaf
  • ½ cup Green Olives, pitted
  • 2 each Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • ½ cup Water or Chicken Stock

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mix the kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder and sprinkle all over the chicken pieces, making sure to coat all pieces with a good amount of the seasoning
  2. Over high heat and using a large saucepan sear the pieces of chicken, 2 by 2 or 3 by 3. Make sure the pan is not overcrowded, otherwise you will create steam. Brown the chicken for about 2 minutes per side, then remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, add the second amount of olive oil then the onions, and both red and green peppers to the pan and sauté until the onions are translucent and the peppers are fragrant. Then add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock to the pan and deglaze or remove all the tiny pieces of charred chicken that remained stuck. This is going to release those flavors into the stew. Reduce the wine with the vegetables until it is almost dry.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for approximately 8 minutes or until they start to give out their water. Add the cumin, the bay leaf, olives, salt, pepper, and chicken back into the pot along with the water.
  6. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes, add potatoes, then simmer for another 20 minutes, making sure the potatoes are submerged in the liquid.
  7. Add the peas, adjust seasoning, and serve alongside the steamed rice.

Steamed White Rice

Yield 4 portions

Ingredients

  • 2 cups White Rice
  • 2 each Garlic cloves, crushed
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 4 cups Water
  • ¼ TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and the crushed garlic cloves and sauté until translucent or approximately 4 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and season with salt while mixing the rice, making sure the grains are coated with the oil.
  3. Add the water and increase the heat to high, bringing the water to a boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked thoroughly.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve alongside the Chicken Fricasse.

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