|Moros y Cristianos - Black Beans & White Rice|
Monday, June 27, 2011
Moros y Cristianos: A meal fit for a king
Marash Girl's first visit to the home of Alfonso Munera and Lucia Mejia was when Alfonso, a scholar from Cartagena, Colombia, was at the University of Connecticut in Storrs on a Fulbright, and Lucia was teaching Spanish at the University. Through the kindness of Arppie Charkoudian, Marash Girl was introduced to this wonderful young couple and became fast friends that long ago summer -- was it really over 20 years ago? And so today, when she decided to prepare Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice), Marash Girl immediately replicated, as she has been doing for many a year, the meal that Lucia made for her on the first day that she visited Lucia's home. Although Marash Girl usually prepares this dish starting with dried black beans, she (as Lucia did that day after class) did not have the time to soak and cook the dried beans. Luckily she just happened to have a 15 oz. can of Ortega black beans sitting on her shelf, and let's see . . . yes, she had onions, and green peppers and fresh tomatoes! So Marash Girl was ready to prepare dinner in 20 minutes. Setting the rice ("Cristianos") on the stove to cook, she started chopping an onion, and set it in the fry pan with olive oil; while the chopped onions were sauteeing, she chopped a green pepper and added it to the onions; then chopped up three small "Italian" plum tomatoes, and added that to the vegetable mix sauteeing on the stove. While all that was lending a heavenly aroma to the kitchen, Marash Girl opened the can of black beans (Moros), rinsed and drained the beans, and after about 10 minutes, added them to the vegetables. Stirred that up a bit, simmered for a few minutes more, then with a flick of the wrist, added Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and Aintab red pepper (an Armenian touch which Marash Girl could not resist!)
Voila. (Whoops! Sorry for switching to French!) A meal originating in Colombia, South America, a meal fit for a king. Thank you, Lucia!