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Guest Post: KDK’s Cuban Black Beans

March 26, 2013

Here is a fantastic recipe from our neighbor and long time friend KDK. Everyone can use a good bean recipe, and Cuban black beans are even better!

Cuban Black Beans- Vegetarian Salmon

From KDK:
Growing up my mom worked full time as a teacher and got home just in time to get dinner on the table.  So there wasn’t a lot of room for originality and we didn’t eat big, elaborate meals.  We ate simple food that was easy to fix and good for us.  My mom is a huge fan of a healthy, well balanced plate and taught me the importance of a “rainbow of colors” on your plate (I still use it to this day when I make dinner).  My mom also didn’t grow up in the U.S., she was born and raised in Cuba.  So, while she didn’t cook tons of Cuban food every night (my dad is American and very “meat and potatoes”), black beans were a weekly staple in our house.  Over rice, pureed into soup, in dip, you name it, we ate it.  To this day, I judge every plate of black beans I eat against my mother’s.  Whenever we go home we ask her to make them, and she makes them now for our kids.  Occasionally I try my hand at it, and I know it’s not quite as good, but they’ll do when she’s not around.  The key to good black beans is time.  They’re not hard to make, not ingredient heavy, they just take time and patience.  I love to eat them over some brown rice, but they’re great in tacos, as a soup or even under a nice Tuna (sorry, we’re not vegetarians!) with some fresh avocado.  Enjoy!

KDK Mama’s Black Beans


  • 1lb. dry black beans (I use Goya)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • 8 cloves garlic (diced)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1. Soak the beans overnight.  In a pinch, you can use hot water instead of cold, mix with beans, bring to a boil, and then let sit for an hour.  But it’s better to just let them soak all night.
2. Cook covered on high until they boil.  When boiling, lower heat (keep covered) and cook for 45 minutes.
3. In frying pan saute onion, green pepper and garlic in the olive oil.

Cuban Black Beans-Vegetarian Salmon
4. When beans are done, take out 1 cup and mash (I use a potato masher, but my mom uses a good old-fashioned fork).  Then return the to the pot and add in the sauteed vegetables.  The add the salt, pepper, oregano, sugar and bay leaf.

Cuban Black Beans- Vegetarian Salmon
5. Stir, cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour.
6. Add the red wine vinegar and cook 1 more hour on low heat.

Buena Suerte!

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