08.17.20 – 08.20.20
Arroz con Habichuelas
Puerto Rican red beans stewed with ham, beans, potatoes, & carrots
*plant-based option: bean curd
savory rice with onions cooked in broth
hearty Puerto Rican-inspired
green salad with tomatoes, capers, peppers, pimento olives, & hominy
Bright & tangy dressing for the red beans & the salad made with green bell peppers, onion, chili, garlic, & vinegar
sweet, fried plantains served with crema
Next Week’s Meal:
Californian Central Valley tri-tip bbq served with a bevy of grilled vegetables, Curious Bread, & roasted garlic
*plant-based option: grilled Portobello
There is no better time to discover a new cuisine than when traveling to an exotic locale. Arriving for the first time in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we really did not know what to expect. We had one night in town before flying onto another island with our two young kids. All we knew was that we needed to visit the “old city” – the fortified walls and colonial-era forts that ringed this city founded by Spain in 1521.
We rented two bikes with kid’s trailers and headed out. After climbing a number of hills through ever-aging neighborhoods, we arrived at Castillo San Felipe de Morro, popularly known as El Morro. Behind its sea-facing walls is a large grassy park with hills sloping upward to the path leading to the furthest turreted point on the high cliff face. Lining the sidewalks were vendors selling the perfect entertainment for this breezy locale: kites. We bought a kite for the kids and then spent hours chasing our son and daughter up and down these hills as the wind kept the kite aloft. Just a magical memorable time…that left us famished.
With our short time in Puerto Rico, we had not planned on diving into its local cuisine. But as dusk fell, we walked away from El Morro towards a quiet plaza nestled among centuries-old buildings. We found a quiet outdoor restaurant serving traditional “cocina criolla” – Puerto Rican Creole – yellow rice, red beans, sweet plantains, crema…wonderful! Such perfectly flavored sufficiently spiced simple food that represents centuries of tradition originating from native, Spanish, and many other traditions that have mingled over the years on this beautiful island.
Just as “all good food begins with a story,” good food is rooted in its immediate locale. Sitting there in the middle of old San Juan, the ocean breezes blowing over the fortified walls with the sunset in the distance, satiating our hunger with this proud culture’s traditional foods. Our hearts fell in love with Puerto Rico, and we share that love with you this week.
From our table to yours…
Eat well, be well!