Yummy at Home, Recipe 6: Dominican Fusion Comfort

Listen, I’m scared, too. The US death toll is climbing fast, thanks to Trump. (Yep, I’m mad as heck at how he’s mishandling this pandemic.) As a friend pointed out, Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is egalitarian. So do yourself a favor and stay home and cook, read and exercise. If you’re not working or taking care of others, stay put. We don’t even know if we’re secret spreaders of this thing. It is through my pain and uncertainty that I continue to cook and read and share. This is what I have to give. This is my medicine:

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Dominican food is hard to find in California unless you make it at home. A staple at our house is red beans (Habichuelas) and rice–main Dominican fare. Slow cook unsalted beans with water, garlic, onion, bay leaf, dried oregano, basil and pepper. This takes about 3 hours, so you can substitute can beans if you don’t have the time. Once the beans break open you can salt and season them with tomato paste, cumin/fresh cilantro and paprika. Allow the vegan beans to thicken and serve over steamed rice.

As a modification, you can turn these Dominican-style beans into a modified chili base by adding for favorite meat: ground chicken, turkey, beef or lamb, and vegetables: green, red or yellow peppers, corn, carrots, potatoes, olives, peas or/or green beans. (Frozen or canned veggies will also work!) Be sure to add additional spices for each additional ingredient. Don’t lose flavor.

We ate our with maduros, ripe, fried plantains. Of course, greens, collards and broccoli are always welcome at our table.  Serve hot, and as Her Royal Highness Princess Diandra says, “Yam.”

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