Saturday, December 26, 2009

Moors and Christians

Left: Moros y cristianos (rice and black beans...Image via Wikipedia

For breakfast this morning, I topped rice cooked with black beans, heated in the microwave, with a plain omelet and Valentina hot sauce, and went to town. The rice-beans combination is called congris, a Cuban term for dirty rice, but it's also known as moros y cristianos or Moors and Christians (at left in photo), a term reflecting the Arab occupation of Spain that ended in 1492.

The moros were left over from our Cuban roast pork feast on Christmas Day -- accompanied by ham croquettes and a Spanish potato omelet -- all from Belarmino Rico, owner of a West New York Cuban sandwich shop called La Pola, the Spanish town where he was born. All that was missing was a salad I forgot to make in the rush of heating up the Cuban food and preparing lamb, a hamburger, a hot dog and mashed potatoes for three guests who don't eat pork. Next year, I'll sautee collard greens with garlic.

The roast pork I sliced and plated was moistened with an addictive garlic sauce or mojito, which also goes into Rico's Cuban sandwiches before they are heated. This morning, I sliced off the roast pork's skin and fat and put them in the oven to crisp up the skin and liquify the fat. I ate entirely too many pieces, but included something healthy in my breakfast -- a small bowl of cabbage kimchi.

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