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.
Monday, November 17, 2014
CUBAN BLACK BEANS
Here is a recipe from south of the border . . . way south . . . all the way to Cuba.
3 cups dried black beans
1 qt water
3 T extra-light olive oil 1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 jalapeno, split and seeded
1 bunch of cilantro, long stems cut off
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
¼ t allspice
2 T ground cumin
½ t coriander
½ t 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 at least 8 hours. You can also do this overnight.
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 discard the water. Add the beans 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.