How to Make the Best Moros y Cristianos
(Moors and Christians – a Black Bean and Rice Dish)
Jorge Castillo: The dark-skinned Moors invaded Spain in the eighth century and Cubans have been eating tons of this stuff ever since.
Glenn Lindgren: There are as many recipes for black beans as there are Cuban cooks.
Jorge Castillo: Traditional black beans and rice (frijoles negros) is served with the prepared beans on top of cooked, white rice.
Raúl Musibay: This dish is different because the rice and beans are cooked together.
Jorge Castillo: Please don't confuse this dish, as many do, with Congri. The traditional dish of Cuba Oriente, Congri is made with red beans.
Cuban-style black beans cooked with rice.
Drain and rinse the beans. Add enough water to cover once again and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and cook until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Drain.
Rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear.
Use a large, eight-quart covered stockpot. Sauté the onion and green pepper in the olive oil until tender. Add the garlic, and sauté 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 the rinsed rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes – until the rice is fully cooked.
Finally, adjust the seasonings by adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Serve Hot.
For an added treat: Drizzle some olive oil (don't be stingy!) over the rice in the pot, and fluff cooked rice gently with a fork.
If plating the rice as a side dish, drizzle a little olive oil over individual servings and garnish with some parsley or cilantro.
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