¡Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen is a work of art. The photos evoke a feeling of warmth and love and makes you feel like you are sitting in a kitchen of an authentic Cuban home. The photos are raw and gives you a glimpse of what it’s really like to visit a Cuban kitchen and the Cuban people.
My very first Cuban food experience was at Gloria Esteban’s restaurant on South Beach. I remember the restaurant being packed with people. My friend and I found a bench to sit on while we waited. Out of nowhere this man came up to us and offered to share the appetizers he and his family ordered. He insisted we try everything when he found out it was our first Cuban food experience. He immediately welcomed us and made us feel like honorary family members. That’s when I feel in love with Cuban food and Cuban people. I always correlate Cubans with love and food.
¡Cuba! brought back all of those wonderful memories and highlighted the generosity of the Cuban people and diversity of their food. The recipes vary from Ropa Vieja Sliders to Cuban Fried Rice to Mojito Cake. These recipes will inspire you to fill your kitchen with Cuban smells.
Black beans are a Cuban staple. I love black beans and eating a big bowl with shredded cheese and avocado. The Instant Pot enables me to get my black bean fix with little preparation or time. This is my twist on black beans. They are not authentic Cuban black beans but inspired by the beautiful people of Cuba.
- 1 pound black beans, dried
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2-3 cloved garlic, crushed or finely diced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- ½ teaspoon Alaea sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves, optional
- Sort through the black beans and remove any debris or broken beans.
- Rinse the black beans and set aside.
- Turn your Instant Pot onto the “Sauté” mode.
- Add vegetable oil.
- Sauté the onions until softened.
- Sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Make sure not to burn the garlic.
- Slowly add the chicken stock and water to the Instant Pot.
- Add the rinsed black beans, salt, cumin, and bay leaves.
- On your Instant Pot, select the “Manual” mode and press the ‘+’ button until it reads 45 minutes. Set the top knob to “Sealing” and not “Venting”.
- The Instant Pot will beep at you when it finishes cooking the beans and sets itself to “Keep Warm” mode.
- Turn off the pressure cooker and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Use the quick pressure release to release any residual pressure.
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