A few days ago, I shared my secrets to making the perfect (to me) Cuban sandwich, one of which was a succulent and juicy, marinated roast pork or lechon asado. But, man (or woman) cannot live by Cuban sandwiches alone. No, no, no! One also needs a few fabulously delicious Cuban side dishes to complement those sandwiches. And, Moros y Cristianos is one of them.
Moros y Cristianos is the Cuban version of rice and beans. It translates to English as “Moors and Christians”. This interesting title is presumed to be a reference to the period during the Middle Ages called the Reconquista, when the Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula, and the Spanish won it back. The black beans represent the Moors, who were dark-skinned, and the white rice represents the Christians, who were light-skinned. Since Cuba was colonized by the Spanish in the early 1500’s, and since Spain continues to have a strong influence on Cuban culture, the name has stuck.
Though just as traditional, this dish differs from seasoned black beans over rice you might find on the menus of various Cuban restaurants. To make Moros y Cristianos, a sofrito of onions, peppers and garlic is first prepared. The beans and either water or broth are added and the beans are simmered in it until tender. Then, the rice is added right to the same pot and cooked with the beans and vegetables. It’s a perfect one pot dish! read more >>