AMI's Most Memorable
Each issue, AMI's team will be sharing some of their best food moments with our readers.
Rice & Beans, Beans & Rice!
If you grew up in a Cuban Household, you had a steady dose of beans & rice, like seven days a week. Predominately black beans & rice, but my mom Raquel Maria (which was also my grandmother's name, my sister's name, and my niece's name) would also cook red beans and rice and the occasional garbanzos & rice when there was a ham bone to work with. Thankfully black beans & rice was a very nutritious meal, since we didn't see many vegetables growing up.
Every Cuban family has their own version on how to make black beans, kind of like potato salad in the South. The basics are to start with a Sofrito, (sauté diced green peppers, diced onions and garlic in olive oil), then add the beans, bay leaves, cumin, vinegar, pimentos, salt & pepper. My mom's secret ingredient was to add some ketchup instead of sugar. She would make a huge pot of black beans that would last a week. We would have rice & black beans every night with either chicken, beef, or pork. Mom would then make croquettes with any of that leftover meat. I like to add some red wine instead of the vinegar and top the rice & beans with fresh cilantro.
You would think after eating so much beans & rice I would have had enough to last a lifetime but au contraire, black beans and rice is one of my favorite comfort foods, fast and easy to make and I crave it all the time.