Moros y Cristianos Recipe 

Family Reunion

My family, like so many others, felt compelled to leave Cuba in the early years of the revolution. I was five years old when we left everything we knew. We left behind our home and our possessions, but saddest of all, our extended family. These are the people I share my earliest memories with. There were birthday parties and Mother’s Days and Nochebuenas and summers in Varadero that we would never share again. Gone were those amazing Sunday dinners at my Abuelita’s with all of the family present.

Did I say “left behind?” Excuse me, I meant to say “robbed.”

Yes, robbed.

Robbed of the lives we could have shared together. I am sad for my dear cousins and aunts and uncles who have lived practically an entire lifetime having been ripped off from experiencing the wonderful warmth of family.

But, ever the optimist, I continue to have hope.

My hope is that even though we have been forced apart by time and distance that we will (very soon!) be reunited once again. After all, we are Cuban, we are patient, and we have very long memories.

So with that in mind, here’s my offering for today:

Moros y Cristianos


  • 3 cups white rice
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ can tomato paste
  • 2 cans black beans w/ liquid
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1) Rinse the rice in cold water until water runs clear.

2) In a large pot (with lid), sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in olive oil until translucent.

3) Add tomato paste, black beans, cumin, saffron, oregano, bay leaf, balsamic vinegar.

4) Blend together over medium heat.

5) Add chicken broth and rice. Bring to a boil.

6) Reduce heat, cover, simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.

7) While still hot, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the cooked rice and fluff.