I was born on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. My mom, Izetta, was born in Tennessee and raised in Waterford, Virginia. My dad, Charles Irving, was born in a small town outside of Leesburg, Virginia. Most of my aunts and uncles remained in Virginia. We would drive to the country every Sunday and had wonderful Sunday dinners with relatives. My mom would help cook in their big country kitchens. Nothing says comfort like southern food and. . .good ole' hospitality is truly a southern tradition.
I have been in a Cuban food mood. Here is another delicious Cuban recipe and you use the pork from the Cuban Pork and Black Beans dinner for the sandwich. Start this soup in the morning by soaking the beans and let sit on the stove for 8 hours.
3 cups dried black beans
1 qt water
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 jalapeno pepper, split and seeded
1 bunch of cilantro, long stems cut off
3 T extra-light olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
¼ t ground allspice
2 T ground cumin
½ t ground coriander
½ t ground turmeric
2 bay leaves
1 small smoked ham hock
2 qts chicken broth
4 scallions, chopped
Lime wedges, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Rinse and sort beans, discarding any foreign material.
Combine beans and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil
for 2 minutes.
Cover and set aside for 8 hours.
In a skillet, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery,
garlic, and jalapeno for 10 minutes.
When cool, spoon into a food processor along with most of
the cilantro, leaving some for garnish, and process.
Drain the beans and add to a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
Add the ham hock, chicken stock and processed vegetables.
Add the spices and simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours.
To serve, remove the bay leaves and ham hock.
Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls.
Place a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl of
Garnish with some scallions, fresh cilantro, and a lime
wedge on the side.
1 loaf of Cuban or Italian bread
Deli ham slices
Swiss cheese slices
Dill pickles, sliced lengthwise
Cuban shredded pork
Cut bread in half and spread Dijon mustard on both sides.
Add a slice of cheese, 2 slices ham, some dill slices, shredded pork,
and another slice of
Grill in a panini grill or on a griddle with a cast iron skillet
weighing it down.
Pico de gallo (pronounced pee koh de gah yoh) translates to rooster's beak. It is an authentic fresh Mexican salsa, sometimes called salsa fresca. Nothing says summer like chicken or steaks on the grill and a bowl of Pico. It is also delicious with quesadillas.
6 plum tomatoes, most of seeds removed, and diced
½ sweet onion, diced
4 scallions, diced
½ English cucumber, diced
1 bunch radishes, diced
jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
½ to 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely
Juice of 1 lime 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
½ t sea salt
½ t fresh or freeze-dried oregano
Place all of the above
ingredients in a bowl; gently toss and set aside for 30 minutes, for the flavors to develop.