Today was gloomy, and full of rain and freezing rain.
It made me miss Cuba.
In an attempt to get back a little piece of Cuba, I decided to look up some Cuban recipes. I’ve made a few Cuban dishes before, but I have a hard time knowing if it tastes the way it’s supposed to. There aren’t many Cuban restaurants here in Toronto, and we just found out that the one we usually went to is closed. Boo!
I just bought some Mahi-Mahi, which reminded me of our last trip to Cuba. I paired it with some Moros Y Cristianos (rice and black beans) and drizzled with Cuban Mojo. “Moros y Cristianos” means Moors and Christians – the white rice and black beans representing the cultural mix of Cuba’s early settlers.
I think I missed again.
I have to say that this didn’t turn out quite the way I expected. I don’t think the mojo recipe is quite how I remember it from Cuba (a little less blended, more mixed, and less like a super tangy garlicky mayo). It was a little overpowering. The Moros y Cristianos turned out pretty yummy, but it took a little longer to cook because I chose to use brown basmati rice instead of regular white rice. That, and I can see that it isn’t the typical dish found in Cuba — their dish is coloured almost entirely by the black beans (see this photo, the dish on the left). I’m not sure if they start with dried beans normally, or if they put the canning liquid into the dish to get that colour. In any case, mine was good, but not quite right.
I still miss Cuba. Next time I’m making plantain fritters or yuca fritas. Yummy!
Recipes after the Jump
Moros y Cristianos (Cuban rice and black beans)
(I used this recipe)
- Olive oil — 1/4 cup
- Onion, finely chopped — 1
- Bell pepper, finely chopped — 1
- Garlic, minced — 3 to 4 cloves
- Tomato sauce — 1/2 cup
- Black beans, cooked — 2 cups
- Thyme –1 teaspoon
- Oregano — 2 teaspoons
- Bay leaf — 1
- Rice — 1 cup
- Water or stock — 1 3/4 cups
- Red wine vinegar — 1 tablespoon
- Salt and pepper — to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, beans and herbs and simmer for 5-10 minutes to meld flavors.
- Stir in the rice, stock or water and vinegar and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let set covered for another 5-10 minutes. Then stir lightly with a fork and serve.
Mojo (Cuban pungent garlic sauce)
(modified from this recipe)
- 1/2 C Good quality olive oil
- 3-4 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1/4+ cups of lime juice (could also mix lime and orange)
- Salt , to taste
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Adjust the amount of salt or juice to taste.