Traditionally in Spain legumes are cooked to be a main dish; containing things like chorizo, black pudding, clams or shrimp, they don’t need anything else than a piece of good bread to scrape the dish.
However, in Panama (and I guess that in other countries of Latin America as well) legumes are usually a side dish for the everlasting rice and the delicious meats that we eat. That’s why these recipes are quite simple and don’t have an overpowering flavor.
- 500 g black eyed peas (aka Cornille)
- Water, enough to cover the beans
- 1 seedless green pepper, in half
- 1 onion, in half
- 5 garlic cloves, 4 crushed
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh chopped coriander to taste
- ¾ tsp. dried oregano
- Cumin to taste (optional)
- ½ cup dry red wine
Wash the beans, cover with water and let them soak overnight or at least 6 hours.
Bring the peas to a boil over high/ medium heat. Add half green pepper, half onion and one garlic clove. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, chop very finely the other halves of pepper and onion; we are going to use these to make the sofrito for the beans. In a big skillet, heat olive oil, add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add green pepper and coriander, cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
When the beans are tender, pour the sofrito into the peas and add the bay leave, oregano, salt, cumin (optional) and dry red wine and stir a bit.
Cover the pan again and cook over low heat from 30 to 45 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle some fresh coriander (optional).
Serve hot over white rice.
Adapted from Estefan kitchen by Emilio & Gloria Estefan