Honestly, I don't know that much about the island of Cuba.
California history classes focused on Spanish missions, Native Americans, Civil Wars, and a lot of Asian Wars (from what I remember). My only knowdleyte of Cuba comes from Pop-Culture - yes, the infamous Che Guevara image on a shirt. Somehow wearing that shirt meant you were a bad-ass rebel. There is also a song... Coco Cabana. Not really sure how it goes, but the melody is now stuck in my head.
I know it is in the Caribbean sea so the food is tropical, focusing on fruits that grow in humid weather, and lots, and LOTS of seafood. And, something about cigars... You cannot get them because the USA and Cuba don't trade, so that means they are better than cigars you can get other places.
Watching the independent movie "CHEF" by Jon Favreau inspired me for many different reasons. The social media aspect and the world we live in today, the theme of following your dream.. And the food! The Cuban Sandwich! Right after Jeff and I rented the movie we searched the internets for recipes on how to make Cuban sandwiches (meat and vegetarian). Much like our love for the Po' Boys of NOLA - the Cuban style sandwiches we made have become a staple of our dining at home routines.
Forward to last week where Cuba was in the news (this is one of my favorite articles, since it hits home for me: 9 questions you were embarrassed to ask about the Cuban embargo). Jeff received the movie CHEF in his stocking, and the day after Christmas, while a bit hungover, we watched the episode of "No Reservations" where Anthony Bourdain traveled to Cuba to eat, drink and talk politics.
We decided that Cuban Black Beans and Rice, stuffed in peppers was definitely on the menu for this week. A perfect last home-cooked meal to 2014 - a year where Jeff and I tried to vary our recipes and focus on flavors from Latin America (inspired by our honeymoon).
I adapted food blogger, Apple & Sparkle's recipe for Cuban Black Beans & Rice.
And stuffed Bell Peppers with the mixture (along with parmesan cheese), paired with Eel River Blonde ale and a salad.