July 25, 2011 in Vegetables
One of the highlights for me of our family USA vacation was our stay in Keywest. It’s known for being the southernmost city in the continental USA and is closest to Cuba. The sun sets daily over the Gulf of Mexico and can be seen from Mallory Square and is a wondrous sight to see and experience. Keywest has its own annual mardi gras street party known as Fantasy Fest which is held in the last week in October and runs for 10 days. We were in Keywest only for 2 nights of the festival and I absolutely loved the atmosphere, the buzz and vibe with its more than a hint of risqué which always appeals and was very sad to leave before the grand finale which ends in a body painting contest and a Halloween party.
Keywest is known for its seafood and the famous keylime pie. It’s only recently that I have become aware of such a thing as food photography (not that I have any practical knowledge) – all my pictures taken on our holidays are more fun pics and are like the foodnetwork’s ‘Gary’s Big Bites’.
My daughter, Linda eating crumbed conch which is a large mollusc (a sea snail). Conch is very popular in Florida.
Rajen’s prawn cocktail – he was too quick to be caught munching.
My steak stack.
The first night of the Fantasy Fest kicked off with the Goombay festival which has the tastes, sights and sounds of the Caribbean and is a family friendly street party.
The Cuban influence, as it is so close to Keywest, can be seen in the food as well. My daughter, Lynn, buying the Cuban rice and beans at the Goombay festival which must be the most inexpensive meal that we had during our trip but it was so tasty and I was so pleased when I found a recipe to make it and it’s perfect for meatless Monday.
CUBAN RICE AND BEANS
2 Tablespoons cooking oil (olive, canola etc.)
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large green pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon each ground cumin and oregano
½ teaspoon chilli powder
300g can tomato puree
11/2- 2 cups hot water
425gr can red kidney beans, drained
2 Tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
½ – 1 teaspoon salt
Sour cream and chopped fresh coriander to garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft.
Stir in the green pepper and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir until it is evenly coated with oil.
Cook stirring frequently until the rice has turned milky white.
Add the cumin, oregano, chilli powder and tomato puree.
Pour in 1 ½ cups hot water and stir until everything is well combined.
Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover.
Cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice is just tender, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice does not catch on the bottom.
If the mixture looks too dry, add another ¼ cup hot water repeat if necessary).
When the rice is cooked, stir in the beans and coriander and salt to taste.
Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh coriander.