Okay, so I don't have darts in the house. But today, we're still going to a distant, magical land--Cuba. It isn't as exotic as you may have presumed it would be, but Hemingway I think would agree that it is just as enthralling and mystical as any mystic country. I don't know if you are a big fan of his work or if I am in fact that big a fan too. But I once read The Old Man and The Sea to the boy (when he was seven). I don't think he remembers the book at all but it was a good book to read with the rambling way the words rolled out of my lips with a story just went on and on. That old man kinda reminded me of MY old man. :-)
Anyway, the recipes for today's lunch box came from the blog La Cocina de Nathan (Muchas Gracias!) written by Nathan (of course) who so generously shares the ancestral recipes of his family to the world. I am truly in awe of people with such giving hearts and I am certain that theirs is a legacy that would transcend time and place as each dish finds its way to the tables and hearts (not to mention stomachs) of people around the world. What a happy, happy thing! I myself, have never cooked Cuban food before and I am more than happy to have done so. The flavors are both familiar and different because our country, the Philippines, has at least 300 years of Spanish influence. So the smokey taste of paprika is familiar while the earthy tones of cumin is different to most Filipino palates. If you decide to follow a recipe with such strange spices, I suggest that you add them little by little to the dish you are preparing. Spices are like voices, you know? Some are like whispers of flavors while others are like mad banshees screaming at a close distance. Cumin is one of those screamers, so better to put just a little at a time. You wouldn't want to not hear (or taste, really) the other flavors of the dish.
Today's lunch: Salpicón (Mini Cuban Meatloaf-Fresh Tomato Sauce on the Side), Moros y Cristianos (Black Bean Rice-- Also called Castamiento or marriage (of the black beans and white rice)
Muy rico Nathan! Muchas Gracias! :-)