Monday, April 30, 2012

Trinidad, Cuba-Restaurant Museo 1514 and a Recipe for Cuban Black Beans and Rice

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Trinidad, one of the best preserved cities in the Caribbean,was founded in 1514 by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar. Located in central Cuba, four hours from the capital, Havana, Trinidad's architecture is a beautiful mixture of Neo Classical and Baroque with a Moorish feel. Strolling along cobblestone streets lined with red roofed pastel houses festooned with wrought iron balconies takes one back to the era when sugar cane was king and Trinidad was a wealthy city. Today, Trinidad is most noted for its tobacco farming, but tourists flock to the white sand beaches dotted with three and four star hotels. UNESCO declared Trinidad a World Heritage Site along with the Valle los Ingenios (sugar mill valley).

Havana Club Before Dinner

Just off the main square, Restaurant Museo 1514  with its massive table settings of antique silver, fine china from Europe and objets d'art looks more like a page out of a glossy magazine advertisement in a wealthy city, yet behind the glittering storefront is a fine restaurant serving Spanish/Cuban cuisine.  Sixteen of our group dined here and not only enjoyed a fine meal, but were entertained by a band playing classic Buena Vista Social Club music and salsa dancers.

Antique Silverware on Tray
An Ornate Silver Champagne Bucket or Vase
Antique Silverware
Our Chef

Table Setting with Hand-Embroidered Linens

A Recipe for Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

2 - (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups green peppers, small dice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1/2 cup sofrito
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
2-1/2 cup long-grain white rice
5 cups chicken stock
Salt and Pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion and green pepper in the olive oil until tender. Add the garlic and sofrito and saute another 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, black beans, oregano, cumin and bay leaf. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring gently taking care not to mash the beans.

In a large saucepan, add the rice and chicken stock. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked.

Serve the beans over the rice and top with a little sofrito, cilantro and lime slices. Enjoy with a daiquiri!

Brii of Briggishome is host for Week #30 of Black and White Wednesday created by Susan ofThe Well-Seasoned Cook. Be sure and look for the roundup for this event on Wednesday, May 2. Be prepared for a monochromatic feast for the eyes!

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Montreux - Black and White Wednesday

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Where have I been for over a month? Traveling around Cuba for two weeks visiting schools, pharmacies and clinics without having access to the Internet or telephone kept me from keeping up with my food blog. The people of Cuba are very friendly, happy people who love to have their photos taken. Those photos will have to come later as I am now in Montreux, Switzerland with my beautiful and talented daughter who was so sweet to ask me to accompany her for a conference she was attending. I've walked nearly the entire city and hope to go on the scenic railways later on in the week, as well as cruising on the numerous boats that are a frequent site on Lake Geneva.
View From Royal Plaza Hotel

But you have come to my site to see black and white culinary photos! Everyday, I'm photographing my lunch and sometimes dinner depending upon the lighting situation in the restaurant. No one pays much attention to me when I pull out my iPhone-I guess the camera phones are becoming the norm now. The photos were taken with the  Hipstamatic Foodie SnapPak, a great lens/film combo perfect not only for food photography, but also for landscapes and still-life photos. Photos were converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

 Fresh, Crusty Bread

A house Rose from La Rouvenaz, Montreux
Fish Soup with Garlic Toasts and Rouille

A very warm welcome back to Susan, creator of Black and White WednesdayWeek #28 made its debut this past Wednesday. I'm happy to be back in the groove of thinking food and food related images in monochrome.
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.