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Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos)

From Cuba

Editor's note: A special thank you to cookbook author Miriam Hopodar, who was kind enough to take these pictures in her home and e-mail them to me for use with her recipes.

Yield: 4 servings

Named by some latter day culinary humorist, the Moors and Christians of this Cuban dish are black beans served over white rice.

It is served on New Yearıs to bring good luck. Note that the beans must be soaked ahead of time. Moros y Cristianos is often given a sour flavor by sprinkling with a little vinegar before serving. I’ve substituted a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresher flavor.

  RECIPES FROM HEAVEN'S BANQUET
  • Bulgar with Vermicelli (Arishdaov Tzavari Yeghintz)
  • Weihnachtstriezel (Christmas Eve Braid)
  • Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos)
  •  
    Click here to return to the Holiday special

    • 1 cup black beans
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 tbsp butter or oil
    • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
    • 1 cup finely chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
    • 1 1/2 cups pureed fresh tomatoes
    • salt
    • black pepper
    • lemon wedges
    • cooked rice

    1. Clean the beans. Place in at least 3 cups water and soak for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.

    2. Drain, rinse, and place in a 2-quart saucepan with the water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer until tender, about 2 1/2 hours. At this point, the water should just cover the beans.

    3. Melt the ghee, butter, or oil in a 10-inch skillet. Add the thyme, and saute on a low heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the celery and bell pepper and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.

    4. Add the vegetable mixture to the beans. Simmer until the sauce surrounding the beans is thick and gravy-like, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice, garnished with a lemon wedge to squeeze over the beans.

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