photo by Robert Reed
Food on a cruise is usually amazing, but I’ve been less impressed with the offerings at resorts. Most disappointing is when you travel to a resort in the south and there’s very little local cuisine and instead a great deal of sometimes poorly-executed European and American offerings like pizza, burgers, nachos and unidentifiable leftovers mixed with mayo (those salads mom used to make).
A wise friend once asked me “Why would I want to eat the resort sushi? Would you go to Japan to eat Aruban food?”
While in the Dominican Republic, I asked some of the kitchen staff what dishes were authentic for the local population. It turns out that beans and rice is the most popular dish. Because of the poor economy, meat is an infrequent luxury. At the resort I stayed at, the beans and rice became my staple lunch as I avoided the raw pizza, sad-looking burgers an mystery salads.
Dominican Rice and Red Beans (Moro de habichuelas rojas)
- 2-1/2 cups of uncooked white rice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and liquid reserved
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cups water
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Rinse and drain rice in cold water and set aside.
- In a deep pan, heat oil on medium and saute the onion, pepper and garlic until onion is translucent
- Add tomato paste and stir for 1-2 minutes.
- Add beans and mix for 1 minute.
- Add vegetable stock and vinegar, stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice, cilantro, oregano water and reserved liquid from the beans and stir.
- Cook uncovered until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Reduce to the lowest setting, cover and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before serving.