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News Americas, HAVANA, Cuba, Fri. July 8, 2011: With Cuba opening up to more Americans, the flavors of Cuba are definitely coming into the spotlight more.
For a taste of Cuba in your own kitchen, try the Cuban national dish, Monk’s Black Beans.

Black Beans
10 c water
1 4 oz jar pimientos, (chopped)
1 lg green pepper, chopped
1 lg onion, chopped
2/3 c olive oil
4 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
2 tb sugar
2 tb vinegar
4 garlic cloves crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 ts oregano
2 tb cooking wine
2 tb olive oil

Place the beans in the water in which they are to be cooked with 1 green pepper overnight before going to bed.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Add the chopped onion, garlic and pepper.
Empty 1 cup of beans in the skillet then crushed them well.
In a large pot add this mixture along with the chopped pimientos with the left over beans.
Add the salt & pepper, bay leaf and sugar and bring mixture to a full boil.
Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
Add vinegar to taste, cooking wine and simmer for another hour or more.
If after coming to the boil, you find the soup too thin, continue to cook uncovered a little longer.
If your soup seems to be too thick, add more water. Before serving add 2 tbs. of oil.
Serve the Monk’s Black Beans over steamed white rice.
Yields: about 8 servings per person.

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