Thursday, March 12, 2009

Moros y Christianos - Moors and Christians + Ensalada Cubana

Moros y Cristianos - Moors and Christians - is an allusion that dates back to an era in Spain when black Muslims and white Christians lived peaceably together on the Iberian Peninsula. The Conquistadors brought rice to the new world where it was combined with native black beans, forming a dish that became a staple of the Cuban diet. I first sampled this in a cafe on Bergenline Avenue in Union City, New Jersey. The bodegas and cafes that line this street offer a bargain priced education in Cuban cooking to any who want it. I've played with this recipe over the years and have come up with a quick and easy version that is meatless and costs pennies to prepare. It's also kind to the waistline. It can be served as a main course or a side dish. I like to serve this with Ensalada Cubana, a salad that goes well with the rice and beans. I think you'll enjoy both recipes.

Moros y Christianos - Moors and Christians

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 large bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 (14.5-oz.) cans low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups long-grain rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
Garnish: finely chopped bell pepper, etc. (optional)

1) Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and saute for 2 minutes more. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, broth and vinegar. Add rice, cumin, oregano, black pepper, pepper flakes (if using), black beans and bay leaf. Mix well.
2) Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro. Cover pot and let sit 15 minutes. Garnish as desired. Yield: 4 entree or 8 side servings.

Ensalada Cubana - Cuban Salad

1 small head iceberg lettuce, coarsely shredded
2 cups drained pineapple chunks
1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup red wine vinegar dressing
Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Place lettuce, pineapple, avocado and onion in a large bowl. Mix well.
2) Pour dressing over all; toss to coat ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Yield 4 to 6 servings.


Anonymous said...

Love your beans and rice recipe. Have an avocado and just wanted to do something different with it. Your salad sounds great. Always enjoy being in your kitchen!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Hi Susan...I'm still fighting the last traces of jet lag so I'm up at this ridiculous hour of the morning. Imagine how much fun I'll be this afternoon! I'm so glad you like it here. Come whenever you can. I think you'll like both these recipes.

Martha said...

Love stores about the recipes.

Julia said...

Have we finally entered the era where moros y christianos finally coexist happily like they do in this dish?

Black beans and rice is a classic, love it!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Julia, we are working on it---that's for sure.

Unknown said...

Yes, always enjoy being in your kitchen. This recipe will be in my 'to-try-list'

Cathy said...

What a lovely meal, Mary. I love all these flavors and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. I'll be making this combo soon.

Netts Nook said...

Mary this sounds great I bet the apple cider vinegar brings out allot of flavor. Yummy

Pam said...

Mmm. I love rice and beans - great recipe. The salad sounds good too.

Donna-FFW said...

Mary, this looks so darned good, I just said Yum out loud. Holy cow, is that ever beautiful!

La Bella Cooks said...

Now this looks like a fabulous dish. I can just imagine the flavors!

Lisa said...

Looks tasty! A nice dish for Lent.

Mary Bergfeld said...

A big hello to all. I hope you'll be able to try this. I did a demonstration for a church group and this was one of the recipes I shared with them.

Anonymous said...

Very colorful and flavorful looking! It's really nice and hardy. I love black beans and rice.

Lori said...

This recipe has been on my to do list forever. I have made it quite a few times and it's one of my favs. I use a recipe from Daisy Martinez. I really must make it soon. You have inspired me to go and make it!

Singing Horse said...

Thanks a lot for the recipe! I just made this tonight. The rice was really awesome!

Sourav show said...

Thank you so much for the recipe! This is something I just made tonight. The rice was incredible!

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