Eat Like a Cuban: Abuela’s Recipes

recipe

Recipes and photography by Lena Diaz.

“Frijoles negro” (black beans)

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups dried black beans

1 med onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

salt to taste

splash of olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover the beans. Place washed beans in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

Meanwhile, in a pan sauté onion and garlic in a little oil. After a few minutes add oregano and salt.

When beans have softened, add the onion and garlic mixture and keep cooking on low heat for another 20 minutes or until beans reach a stew-like consistency. When ready to serve add a little olive oil. Serve over white rice (arroz).

TIP: To cut cooking time in half use a pressure cooker, an essential utensil in the Cuban kitchen.

cuban3

I love to watch my abuela sort patiently through the rice—a task that seems to occupy hours a day.

“Pescado sobre uso” (fish in tomato sauce)

INGREDIENTS:

4 white fish fillets (cod, sole)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lemon

salt to taste

For sauce:

1 med onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

splash of cooking oil

salt & hot sauce to taste

Mix juice of 1 lemon with minced garlic, salt and marinate fish for 30 minutes (up to a full day).

To make sauce, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaf and hot sauce. Cook on low-medium heat. In the meantime, fry the fish fillets in hot cooking oil for a few minutes on each side. When golden, add to the tomato sauce and cook on low heat until sauce thickens. Season to taste.

A side of “tostones” (fried plantains)

Peel and cut green plantains into 1 inch slices. Fry them in hot vegetable oil for a couple of minutes. Take them out and with a side of a knife lightly squish them to 1/2 inch. Drop the slices in the hot oil again and fry for another few minutes until golden. Season to taste.