One of the first meals I learned how to make was what we in our family affectionately call "Puerto Rican Dinner." My dad is Puerto Rican, and while the follow is probably just just the standard Caribbean food we all know and love (rice and beans, spare ribs, and maduros), to us it's a piece of our family. A recipe handed down from my great-granny and probably even further back.
So if you're ever hankering for some good rice and beans and you don't have a decent Spanish restaurant near you, this is a recipe for an amazing meal hopefully your family will love too.
For the Rice:
Vigo Rice, just follow the directions on the bag (you will need olive oil and water).
For the Beans:
1 Can Goya Black Beans
3 TBSP of Sofrito
2 TBSP of Recaito
A Generous amount of Adobo (I prefer the kind without pepper)
1-2 TBSP of Olive Oil
Heat on High for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low until rice is done. Stir frequently. There is also a good recipe on the can, but with Sofrito and Recaito half your work is done for you already so sometimes I prefer to be lazy.
For the Ribs:
As many spare ribs (pork) as you think you'll need.
Boil the spare ribs for about 20-30 minutes until the meat is cooked. Drain, then put into a large bowl(s). Coat in soy sauce and brown sugar. Let sit for as long as desired. Then either BBQ or Bake until the edge are singed.
For the Maduros:
You can take two routes with this. If you can find the right platanos to use (there are two kinds, one is the maduros which are soft and sweet and usually more expensive and the other is tostones which you fry up, press down, then fry again to make it like a chip) then I'd rather make them fresh. You usually need at least 2 for 4-5 people. Slice and fry/saute in olive oil (be generous with the amount you use, with just a little bit they are dry out and burn more easily) until they start to brown. If you can't find them, use Goya and follow the directions on the box.