Cuban style Black Beans
The problem with being a writer is that writing mandates sedentary activity. Is that an oxymoron? If you think about it, even as active as he was, Hemingway couldn’t type while watching out for stray bulls skulking around the streets of Pamplona, could he?
It’s worse for those of us who write about food.
If I’m writing, I’m sitting. If I’m researching, I’m eating. Thus the problem.
As I keep working on the revisions for The Apple Pie Alibi, a culinary-based, cozy mystery using the locked room murder format (in case you had forgotten,) I have started to read a new book – Eat to Live, written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. More on the book later, but I also had Dr. Fuhrman’s accompanying cookbook of the same title. And with a church pot luck today, I needed to cook something.
Hmm. Need to cook something. Brand new cookbook. You get the picture.
This is my version of Cuban style black beans. It is vegetarian friendly; and slightly different than the recipe found in the book. The published recipe is fine, I’m sure. I just didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I had to make do with what I had.
Place the following into a large crock pot / slow cooker:
3 large cans of cooked black beans, drained.
1 cup water
2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and rough chopped
1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, pressed (or finely minced if you haven’t a garlic press)
1 Tablespoon of cumin
1 Tablespoon of dehydrated cilantro (use a few sprigs of fresh cilantro if you can get them. It’s out of season on my back porch right now.)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 good slosh of sherry vinegar, about a shot glass’ worth
Mix well, cover, and cook on low heat for at least 8 hours. Stir occasionally.
Need more heat? Add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper or jerk seasoning. Or both.
Need meat? Add a cup of diced ham. Maybe some chopped pineapple, too; although that has nothing to do with meat. It just might taste good.
(Normally this would pair well with a Cuba Libre, but given our event was a church luncheon, iced tea worked very well instead.)