ONE MINUTE WITH ALICIA …. CHAPTER 1. LUCKY BEANS
There is a beautiful tradition in Curacao to cook bean on the first of day of the year. This is to represent abundance and good luck for the New Year. I love this tradition whether it is for welcoming the New Year, a new home, a new enterprise. Having said this I would like to introduce Mementos new enterprise, ‘One Minute with Alicia’. The idea is to share and pass forward old/new ideas, traditions, ‘howto’, etc. . So from time to time I will post a video or a blog with something we would love to share with you.
My version of ‘Black beans for the 1st of the Year’ is a fusion between Curacao, my adopted home and my roots as a Dominican. So, for those of you who love to try out and enrich the palette – here goes:
- GOYA Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) 15.5 oz 439 gr
- For those who have the time natural beans are perfect – just recommend to soak them over night. If you love red/kidney beans the flavor will be slightly different, but will be just as good.
- GOYA Tomato Sauce 8z (227gr) Spanish style.
- GOYA Extra Virgin Olive Oil - a cap full will do.
- ½ Onion thinly chopped
- ½ Tomate sliced in cubes
- ½ Red peppers – finely chopped
- 6-7 Bacon strips cooked on a Cuisinart griddler until nice and golden.
- Red Vinager
Cooking Essential - Cuisinart non stick skillet. I absolutely recommend it as its handles stay cool on the stove top – ideal for cooking.
It’s as Easy as 1.2.3.
- Chop your tomato, onion and red pepper. Place on separate bowls. Preparing in advance . The key is to have to have everything you need ready.
- Grill bacon strips on a separate pan slowly so that all the grease will be release – cook about 5-8 minutes. . Remove the bacon from the skillet
- Leave your Cuisinart skillet on the stove top. Add your onions, red pepper and for last your tomato. Sautee round 5 minutes.
- Add your Black Beans – mix and cook around 5 minutes.
- Add a small can of Tomato sauce
- Add some water (you can also include all purpose seasoning - bitter orange from Goya gives it the zing flavor). Some people like the sauce very heavy – others not. So play with it until you find ‘your flavor’.
- Add your Bacon strips that are already finely chopped and dried ( I always place them on cooking tissue paper to dry out – yes, keep the fat out).
- Add a dash of Salt– preferably Himalayan pink salt. For those of you/me that love a dash of Pepper will be great.
- And last but not least – a spoonful of red vinegar. It will give it that pop taste.
Don’t forget your essentials – a good cook needs good working tools/material/food. Regarding the tools, I highly recommend Cuisinart. It ‘ simply stands by me’ in the kitchen. Yes, here at Mementos we do not charge additional ‘warranty fees’. We stand by You.
In closing, I know that some will wait all year to cook these beans on the first day of the year. I love to cook these at home for any occasion – especially on Mondays – what a great way to start off the week. And don’t forget if you just purchased your new home or are moving into a new location – well you will not lose anything by starting off that first meal with your beans. As they say, put that ‘energy out there’