Call it what you want — country fried steak, Cuban egg-breaded steak or even the more highfalutin Milanese. Regardless, the idea that a thin, tender steak is lusciously coated in breadcrumbs and fried to a perfect, golden crisp is something that transcends cultures, one of life’s simple pleasures. So it’s not surprising Latin cuisine has it’s own take on it — the bistec empanizado, or Cuban egg-breaded steak as some call it. A quintessential comfort dish, there are a few keys to making this the Latin way. First off, forget traditional breadcrumbs. Instead a classic bistec empanizado uses cracker meal made of ground Cuban or soda crackers, which are seasoned with oregano and cumin, that classic spice combination. Just as important — and one of the key distinctions between the Latin version and most others — is making time to marinate the steaks in lots of garlic and citrus juices.
INGREDIENTS FOR BREADING
1 cup bread crumbs
Follow instructions for breaded steak, prepare basic sofrito. When ready to serve, place slice of ham on top of each steak and then a slice of cheese on top of ham. Place steaks in a baking dish, place 2 spoonfuls of sofrito mixture over every steak. Bake at 350°F (175°C) until cheese melts. Serve egg-breaded steak with salad, red beans or rice.