Moros Y Cristianos (Cuban Black Beans and Rice)

final

What could be heartier than a bowl of beans and rice?  Comfort food at its finest I tell you.  Fragrant, warm, satisfying…the list of adjectives could go on and on.

So I guess the name needs to be addressed- the name is believed to refer to the dark-skinned Moors and the light-skinned Christians that occupied the Iberian Peninsula (hence the black beans=Moors, or Moros and the white rice=Christians, or Cristianos).  Politically correct? Hmmm not quite.

This traditional dish is a staple in Cuban cooking.  Normally served as a side dish, accompanying meaty dishes, moros y crisitianos can definitely survive as the star of a meal.  It has plenty of protein and carbs to fill up any belly out there.  Just scoop some into a bowl and done.

WHAT YOU NEED:

– ½ cup of dry black beans, rinsed;

-3-4 cups of water;

– ½ onion, chopped;

– 1 green bell pepper, chopped;

-2 cloves of garlic, crushed;

– ¼ cup of white wine;

-1 cup of rice (traditionally white rice);

– ½ teaspoon of cumin;

– ½ teaspoon of chile powder;

-1 teaspoon of crushed oregano;

-1 teaspoon of cumin;

– 1 bay leaf;

-1 cup of water;

-oil;

-salt.

WHAT YOU DO:

Sort through the dry beans for any stones (hey it happens).  Soak in cold water overnight.  The next day drain beans, toss into a colander and give them a good rinse.  Place beans in a large stockpot with enough water to fully submerge beans.

beans in pot

Cook on medium heat, covered (note: you may have to tilt the cover slightly in order to let some of the steam escape).  Cook until beans are tender (anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours, stoves vary a lot).  In a separate saucepan, heat oil until shimmery.  Add onions and green bell pepper.  Sauté until onions are translucent.  Toss in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

saute

Next, add the rice and coat thoroughly with oil (in fact add more oil).  Stir frequently until rice begins to get some color.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine.

with rice

Add the chile powder, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, salt and black beans.  Give it a good stir and pour in the water.  Cover and cook over medium heat until rice is done.  Let stand a few minutes.  Discard the bay leaf and fluff up rice.

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