Abuela’s Cuban Garbanzos Fritos is something you make when you are in the mood to do something magnificent. Because that is what this dish is, truly magnificent.
But don’t let the majesty of Cuban Garbanzos Fritos scare you off from making it. Cooking is all about just trying things out. The more things you try, the more experience you gain and the easier new recipes will come.
The great thing about learning to cook Cuban food is how similar most of the dishes are. It gives you a good baseline for how things should look and taste as you take on new recipes. This means that after a few dishes you will basically be a pro.
Now back to Garbanzos Fritos. As with most Cuban food there is a sofrito base here. However there is a twist because the base is elevated with the greasy drippings from the bacon and chorizo. If you are not into the bacon and chorizo, you can go forward with this recipe without it and it’s still so delicious (in our opinion).
A Little Short Cut to Abuela’s Cuban Garbanzos Fritos
For anyone who is intimidated by fresh beans, DON’T BE! You can just use two cans and no one will be able to tell the difference, we promise. If you like to do fresh beans, and you have the time to do it- go for it. There is no right or wrong way.
One of the best lessons we took from cooking with our Abuela’s is you make due with what you have. If you are missing an ingredient, or don’t have time for fresh beans do not panic. Just go with what you have. Find a good substitute (or something close enough) and roll with it.
Abuela’s Cuban Garbanzos FritosCourse: Entree, AppetizersCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy, Moderate
1 bag of fresh garbanzos (chick peas) or 2 cans drained chickpeas
1/2 lb (about 6 slices) bacon cut in small pieces before frying
2 slice hormel canned ham cut in small cubes, or any good breakfast ham
2 large spanish chorizos sliced in button rounds, or cut diagonal (looks better)
1 large sweet onion diced
6 garlic cloves minced
1 large sweet red bell pepper diced
1 large Cubanelle pepper diced (can substitute a poblano or a green pepper)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ cups vino seco
¼ tsp worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic powder
1 pack sazon con achiote
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tbsp parsley diced (about two small handfuls) separated
1 cup water
- If you are making fresh garbanzos, leave one bag covered in 4 cups of water overnight and covered. Once you have soaked them overnight, drain. Put them in a large pot in about 6 cups of water, along with half an onion and 2 bay leaves NO SALT, and bring to a boil. They will need to boil for at least one hour to get soft and ready to throw into the recipe.
- As the beans boil, about 45 minutes you can get started. In a hot deep skillet fry bacon pieces until crisp but don’t let it burn. Scoop out of pan and set aside in a separate dish.
- Now with a pan filled with greasy bacon drippings, add the onion and begin to cook. Then add the pack of sazon, teaspoon of paprika, and some salt and pepper. Stir for a minute, and then add the peppers, ham, and Spanish chorizo. Saute all until the onions and peppers are cooked down.
- Then add tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and vino seco. Stir with the vegetables. Once it settles and starts to come together, clear a little space in the pan and add your garlic and cook it evenly before stirring in with the rest of the vegetables.
- Add the chickpeas, a teaspoon of salt and pepper (especially if working with fresh beans since they have not been salted at this point) turn the heat up to high. Stir and let it all cook together for a 2-3 minutes.
- If you’re using fresh beans, add 1 cup of water, and lower the heat and let simmer all together for about 6 minutes or until the water has almost evaporated.
- Add half the parsley, and the bacon. Stir well, and continue sauteing over medium low heat until your sauce is somewhat thick. Chickpeas should have a thick sauce and not be soupy or watery. Continue to stir and cook over a low flame for about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning salt, then serve over white rice or alone with crusty Cuban or French bread.
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