Sunday, April 22, 2007

Frijoles Negros Cubanos con Plátanos or Cuban Black Beans with Plantains

This is my favourite Latin American food. Period.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 min

For the beans:
  • 2 16oz cans black beans [Goya rules]
  • 1 medium onion, chopped [fine or coarse, it doesnt matter because it cooks so long]
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 1/2 large pepper diced small [I've used green and red both, it depends on how strong you want the pepper flavour to be]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbs orange juice
  • 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil [actually any oil]

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Nonstick is a VERY good idea because this gets sticky. Add garlic and toss for 30 seconds. Add onions. When they're translucent, add peppers. Cook about 5 min. Add spices. Cook about 5 min. Add beans, water, orange juice and salt. Stir. Cover and let simmer for 30 min, stirring periodically. Whenever you stir, mash some of the beans up into the gravy. By the end about one third to half the beans should be coarsely mashed, so that the gravy becomes very thick. This works very well with any beans in a gravy actually. Add vinegar and turn off the heat. Stir. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

For the plantains

  • 2 ripe plantains, preferably with blackened skin
  • olive oil

Peel the plantains and slice them about 1/2 cm to 1 cm thick. depends on how much oil you want to use and how long you have to cook them. Thick is good because the sugar caramelises best that way. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Again, how much you use depends on you, I like to shallow fry them not deep fry them, so I have about 1 or 2 mm of oil in the pan and add more as required. When the oil is hot place the slices in the pan. When they are brown on the bottom turn them over. When brown on the other side remove from pan and leave on paper to absorb excess oil. Serve hot. If you must, nuke em, but they have to be warm at the very least.

Serve with tortillas, arepas or white rice.


NOTE: the sugar I'm talking about is the sugar in plantains, they have a sugar content.

1 comment:

N said...

drrrooool indeed. (just didnt get the sugar caramalising bit??!)