29 June, 2007

Moros y Cristianos

Donna-Jean lives in Jersey and probably has not seen or tried this dish before, so she requested that I post the recipe. Happily I do so, along with a little history of the dish! It's so very simple and humble, yet so very healthy.

Interestingly, whilst Hubster and I ventured over to Half-Price Bookstore today after teaching summer school, Hubs noticed a recipe for said favorite dish in a Spanish cookbook, with the name of Moros y Cristianos(!) - harkening back to the days when Spain was freed from the clutches of the Moors. ¡Es muy interesante! I never knew this before.

Hubster and I first tried this dish when eating with a favorite set of mentors whom we knew back in Oklahoma City. We used to go long-distance cycling with them. He worked for the FAA and she was an art teacher in the local school district. Their home was multi-level and incredibly artsy, complete with African art and a propped-up wooden door with stuffed socks sticking out of it. After one of our long rides with them, they fed us "Cuban Black Beans and Rice" for dinner.

We were more into vegetarian food at the time, and this dish appealed to us, as it made a complete protein when combined with cheese, avocado, tomato, onions, salsa and sour cream.

Black beans and rice is a popular Cuban dish said to bring good luck when eaten on New Year's Day. This reminds me of the Southern tradition I grew up with: eating black-eyed peas every New Year's Day.

In Spanish, the dish is called Moros y Cristianos or Moors & Christians (amazing, eh?), with the black beans representing the Moors and the white rice representing the Christians.

Our kids grew up calling it "Black Bean Mountain!"

I prefer short grain brown rice, but hubby prefers Uncle Ben's "converted" (notice the pun ;) rice (aka parboiled rice) in the orange bag, dontcha know! It is a very consistent rice, and is less sticky.

Here is one fast and easy recipe that we use most often.

Pick out any rocks from the dried bean package and rinse beans well. Soak and cook the black beans as per the package directions. There is less staining if you pour off the soaking water and add fresh water for cooking the next day. I like to add chicken or beef bouillon as a stock (traditional is pork broth), to make it richer, plus onion and/or garlic powder. If you have soaked the beans overnight, they will cook in a stock pot in 1 1/2 hours time.

Cook your favorite rice of choice separately. At serving time, have nice bowls of individually chopped tomatoes, onions; shredded colby-jack, cheddar, or mexican cheese; sour cream, guacamole or just plain avocado slices, cilantro, and salsa on the table for family and guests to add what they choose.

Supply ample tortilla chips or fresh tortillas to eat along with this dish.

Here's another recipe ~


1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional--we prefer hotter peppers most of the time)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup rice
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can (15 ounces) black beans or 1-1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged black beans rinsed, drained
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, thyme, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf in olive oil until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.


Señora Javamom

1 comment:

Donna-Jean said...

Thanks so much, Java Mom! We'll definitely try this, and think of you! :-)