La Bodeguita del Medio is one of the most famous eating and drinking places in Old Havana. Started in 1942 by Angel Martinez as a small bodega (grocery store), it evolved into a mecca for Cuba’s leading writers and artists. Even Hemingway was said to have dropped in for a mojito or two. Moros is a staple at every Cuban meal. This recipe, adapted slightly from La Bodeguita, serves 6-8. (By the way, it is the tradition to sign your name on the wall at La Bodeguita; if you go, look on one of the second floor door frames. I hope my signature is still there.)
1 cup dried black beans
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small green pepper, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
3 cups long-grain white rice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Drain, and place in a Dutch
oven or heavy stock pot with fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil, then
reduce to the simmer. Cover, and cook for 1 hour, or until beans are
tender but not falling apart. Drain the beans, and reserve all of the
In the same Dutch oven, add the oil, and sauté the garlic, pepper and onion for 3 minutes. Stir in the black beans, rice, and the bean cooking water. Add 2 cups of water.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the rice is tender, approximately 18-20 minutes. Stir frequently. If you need to, add more water, half a cup at a time, to keep the rice from sticking before it finishes cooking.
When the rice is done, stir in lime juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.