Getting into Panama City after getting our butts kicked on what would be our last at-sea passage, complete with a blinding rainy season downpour just as we were getting into the tiny La Playita Marina at Amador...we were hungry for some slow cooked Cuban food. Right across the street from La Playita we found the most amazing Cuban Black Beans and I've been keen to try to recreate the recipe.

Ummm, one of the staples here at the adventure base is black beans, which keep well after cooking as leftovers and I can fold them into a number of dishes.  But on this day, I was keen to try to recreate the taste of the Cuban black beans we had tasted in Panama City, and I found an easy recipe to try with my new pressure cooker.One of the bummers of selling our sailboat outside of the US was the hard decisions we had to make about what we would keep and what had to go.  Logistics in this case meant a series of hard decisions, opting to get rid of most of our precious cookware simply for weight savings.  This meant all of my hard earned cast iron and our pressure cooker.  So getting back to the US has meant buying things again (sucking sound of money flying away).  Inevitably I’ve bought a new, smaller pressure cooker and have started to use it for things I consider staples, teaching myself how to make rice and beans that are edible.  

For the recipe I wanted to make (Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas) I needed cooked black beans so I decided to jump in the deep end and try to recreate the taste of the Cuban black beans we had in Panama.  Surprisingly I found a simple and easy recipe to follow in the booklet that came with my pressure cooker, the “Pressure Cooker Recipe Book” from T-Fal.  I can’t show it to you because I can’t find a link to it, but the recipe is on page 18, for cuban-style black beans.  I wasn’t sure about a recipe for these spicy beans out of a pressure cooker book, but after reading the spice list, I decided to try it out.  

One of the key techniques I messed up with beans in the past is the soaking.  I would never soak them long enough and have a lot of impatience to start cooking.  This time I soaked them overnight and it made a real difference.  So the recipe calls for the beans (one bag- 16 oz), onion, green pepper, garlic, oregano, cumin, apple cider vinegar, salt and whatever they mean by latino seasoning.  I put in Adobo for latino seasoning but I think you can use whatever you feel is right.  

The rest is easy enough.  Get the onion, green pepper and garlic browned in the pressure cooker, then add all the spices and finally the beans, water and apple cider vinegar.  Lastly, not in the recipe but for taste I added one teaspoon of chili powder. 

Then set up the pressure cooker and after it comes to temperature, cook for 15 minutes then turn it off.  Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

Aside from the fantastic beans we munched on in Panama, this recipe DELIVERED.  Wow, these beans were fantastic- spicy and flavorful at the same time, while providing a hearty compliment to other recipes or mixed with rice.  This recipe is Vegan/Vegetarian and pretty damn tasty!   

We try to continually improve our homes wherever and whatever they are.  Boat, Bus and Adventure Base have been the same.  An overall vision for what we think we want, then tweaked by what the budget can afford and what kind of hard labor is in store for us to get most of it done ourselves.  So here we are working on the Bus and the Adventure Base, continually trying to improve all that we can before we take off on more travels.  But this blog isn’t all about home improvement…so I’m totally not going to bore you with all the things we’ve been doing to quickly improve, upgrade and modernize the adventure base…while continually doing maintenance and upkeep on Greta the Green Machine.  But I will bring you more recipes and family travel as we go along.  There’s LOTS more to come!  

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