so i promised you guys some cuban recipes, and i figure its high time to deliver. Black beans are a staple of cuban cooking so we'll start there. Pick up a small bag of black beans at your local grocer. doesn't have to be the big bag, the little one makes plenty. empty the bag into a big pot and sift through looking for any funny colored beans and/or rocks- yea, you do find them on occasion. fill the pot with water up to the top of the beans or slightly higher. let them soak in the pot overnite.
day two: chop up one large onion (i used a spanish onion this time, but yellow ones work just as well), one green pepper, and one clover garlic. This is a tad more garlic than my mom usually uses, but it came out real good, so i'm sticking with it. drain some of the water out of the pot of beans, but not all. Fill it back up with water roughly 2-3 inches above the level of the beans. put it on the stove and bring to a boil, adding in the chopper onion, green pepper, and garlic.
now the tricky part- the spices. I say tricky cause there isn't really any measurement, it's kind of a "little bit of this", "lot of that" type thing, but it isn't all that hard. Throw in a fair amount of Garlic powder, Onion powder, basil, and "Complete Seasoning" (don't ask me what it is, but apparently its complete.). Go a bit heavier on the Cumin, but don't go nuts, and go REAL easy on the oregano cause it's a tad bitter. of course a little salt and pepper, and two bay leaves. be sure to crack the bay leaves to get some good flavor out of them.
once you've got the pot at a boil and the spices all in, let it boil for another 10 or so minutes, then turn the heat way down, cover, and let it simmer. Now, beans are like chilli- the slower you cook them and the lower the heat, the better they are. I started these around 4:30 and didn't pull them off the burner till about 10:30. Be sure to check on the beans about every 20 minutes or so, give em a good stirring, and if they look low on water, don't hesitate to add some. BUT don't go crazy! you want the sauce to be thick and not watered down.
now, I made 2 cups of rice for the one pot of beans and it measures out just about right. don't start the rice till about 20minutes before the beans are ready. Pj's mom Virginia almost fell over laughing when i had to ask her how to make rice. She couldn't believe a cuban didn't know how, but she showed me the ropes. 2 parts water to 1 part rice. splash of olive oil, and a bit of salt. bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 10minutes. keep checking on it so it doesn't dry up, and stir so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pot. pull them both off the heat when finished.
now put down a heaping helping of rice, pile on the beans and enjoy.
My mother would consider it sac-religious, but i chopped up some raw onion and put it on top, along with a bit of hot sauce, but you can enjoy it any way you want.
other than the beans, it's been school, work, and choppers.
here's one from way back that butters just sent me. me and one-leg dave on top of the hill at the first Shady Mayhem... I believe we were about to indulge in some devil's lettuce if i'm not mistaken.....
boy, long hair and quite a few more pounds.