I felt especially cuban today. I've been cooking a lot more in the last two months that I had been in a long time. But today especially, I felt more cuban. There's something about cooking an authentic dish like "potaje de garbanzos" [garbanzo been soup] with real chorizo sent over from our relatives in Spain that my brought me to my hispanic roots. It's a dish that takes some premeditation and planning. One has to soak the beans overnight, otherwise you'd be biting down on small flavored pebbles. The peeling, the eyeballing and tricks to ensure it's authenticity flowed out of me tonight. The odors from the kitchen were driving wonder boy crazy and mom could smell my creation from the garage. I sensed my grandmother in the kitchen, reminding me to add the right amount of salt, measured out in the palm of my hand. There's no recipe to look to, no measuring cups or spoons, just good ol' fashioned intuition. The smells and well trained taste buds are your gage to when it's done. Here's a glimpse of my recipe. Sorry, there's no true measurements. I eyeball everything.
16 oz bag of dry garbanzo beans
half a medium yellow onion (cut in chunks)
half a medium sized red bell pepper (cut in chunks)
a quarter of a medium sized squash (any will do) cut into chunks
4 small to medium sized potatoes peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1 ham hock
1 small package of chorizo
salt (two palmfuls)
a pinch of pepper, garlic powder, cumin, cilantro, onion powder and oregano
Soak the beans overnight in a large pot to ensure tenderness. In the morning, remove the water they soaked in overnight and add new water (approximately eight to ten cups). Add the rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook until all ingredients are tender. Approximately two to three hours. Serve with rice or your favorite salad and enjoy.