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This Cuban recipe has a curious name that harks back to the era in Spain when black Muslims and white Christians, along with Jews, lived side-by-side on the Iberian Peninsula. But by the time Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba the great genocide known as the Inquisition was well underway. Black beans are native to the Americas and Spain introduced rice to Cuba by way of Asia. The marriage of these two ingredients makes one of the most staple dishes of Cuban cooking. My 5th grade students would make this recipe year after year, and every time the kids and adults would love it.
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 1⁄2 cups white onions, diced
- 2 1⁄2 cups green peppers, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 1⁄2 cups chicken stock or 4 1⁄2 cups vegetable stock
- 3 cups long-grain white rice
- Use a large, eight-quart covered stockpot. Heat the olive oil over low-medium heat, then add the onion and garlic pepper and keep stirring them until they are tender. Add garlic and fry another minute or two. Add the tomato paste, black beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf and vinegar. Cook for about five minutes, stirring gently.
- Add the chicken stock and rinsed rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 20 to 30 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked.
- Finally, add salt and pepper until it tastes just right. Remove the bay leaf, serve hot.