First, off, Jorge's legendary Black Beans (text in italics is my witty commentary):
Jorge's Frijoles Negros
Sauté until crisp a nice piece of Salted Pork
Remove crispy pieces of salted pork retain fat
Add: finely chopped
Garlic 3 or 4 cloves
Onions 1 Medium
Cook these for a couple of minutes and add
Green Bell Pepper
Cook for another couple of minutes
Small can pimentos (puree)
Small can tomato sauce (use sparingly)
Once the above ingredients are ready Add:
The mixture from above (usually called sofrito in Cuban cooking)
1.5 pounds of black beans pick through to remove rocks.
Throw in crispy salted pork pieces
10 can low sodium beef broth
Dash red wine
2 bay leaves
Cuban oregano (will be hard to find – I grow it, I am sure you can substitute)
Ground coriander 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Pepper About 1/2 tsp
A squeeze of lime juice (optional)
Once the pressure cooker reaches pressure then cook for 50-60 minutes.
Once it is safe to open it, open it. Check for consistency. If still too watery, cook on the stove top to reduce and thicken. A trick to thicken them quickly is to remove a small amount of the black beans and mash them well or put them through a food processor and add them back in (
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then you are not Cuban (EXPURGATED). Every Cuban kitchen has one. If you don’t have one, use the traditional method of soaking the beans overnight. And without the pressure cooker, they need to cook for about 2-3 hours. But they're so very worth it.
Next up, the chicken - it was very simple, but sometimes that's best.
Chicken with Lemon Mojo
1 whole chicken, cut up (they'll do it at the store for you, but I have no idea how you say "cut up" in Hebrew. So not ready for my first knife fight)
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice the lemons, mince the garlic, and combine all of the ingredients in a bowl (except the chicken. In a large sealable container, place the chicken and cover it completely with the mojo (the Cuban word for "oh my god, this stuff is good. I want to eat it with a spoon."). Marinade for 8 hours or overnight, turning to make sure everything is covered (we only marinaded it for 8 hours, and it was incredible...it's even better overnight). Drain off some of the marinade - I left about 1/2 inch in the bottom of the pan, and roast in the oven at 200 Celsius for an hour.
And the salad!
2 yellow nectarines
Dice everything except the avocado, mix it together. You want to do this a few hours before serving so that the flavors can mix. At the last minute, dice the avocado and mix it in.
And of course, the Papas Rellenas
5 pounds potatoes
3/4 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Small can tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup olives, sliced
2 tbsp capers
Oil for frying
In a frying pan, brown the ground beef. Remove from heat and drain the liquid. Set aside. Now heat the olive oil and saute the garlic and onion until transparent. Add the ground beef back in, the tomato sauce, and red wine. Mix well and reduce until the mixture is moist to the touch but there is not liquid remaining in the pan. Add the olives and capers and mix well. This is picadillo - it will form the filling. Set it aside to cool.
Now peel all those damn potatoes, chop them, and put them in boiling water, like you were going to make mashed potatoes. When they're soft, drain the water and mash the potatoes. Now the fun part: while the potatoes are still hot, just cool enough to touch without a trip to the hospital, take a spoonful of them in your hand and shape it into a patty. Make a small depression in the center and fill it with picadillo (it's normal to curse and move the patty from hand to hand). Now cover the picadillo with more potato, and shape the whole thing into a ball. Set it on a cookie sheet to cool and repeat until you run out of potatoes.
After the balls have cooled and hardened, prepare four shallow bowls: two with 1-2 eggs, well-beaten; 1 with flour; and 1 with bread crumbs. Take each ball, dip it in egg, then flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. This gets messy fast, so it's best to have two people have them each use one hand for each bowl. Set the completed balls on a cookie sheet and repeat.
Now you heat the oil, fry them, and serve them hot. They're pretty delicious, so you'll decide to make them again, even though they were a pain in the ass.
I can't really post a recipe for dessert, because it's just the Nestle toll-house cookie recipe, made as bar cookies. There's something about Israeli chocolate chips and the margarine that they use here that causes it to turn into something more fudgy, like a brownie.