Me, a lover of all things food, can not believe it's taken me this long to write about a/ THE Dominican delicacy... known as habichuela con dulce, in English.... sweet beans. OK, go ahead and say it... that sounds gross... completely and absolutely gross!!
Well, like most delicacies, it is an acquired taste, and I have acquired the taste! Ha! So, what does one do when you find out 90 minutes before your flight departure time that the flight is cancelled???? Plus it is Lent/Easter season in the DR!!!! You make the favored lenten dish of the country... habichuela con dulce!
This time of year everybody and their mama will be making a version of this dish. Some use only carnation milk, others only coconut milk or both. Some people serve it with whole beans which I think would be weird.... just too beany, and actually when folks leave a few bean pieces floating around it still seems too beany. So, I like that my family purees it completely. So, think smooth sweet bean soup with the flavor of sweet potato or pumpkin pie.
Step 1... let beans soak for 4-8-12 hours. Then put in a pressure cooker and blanch until soft.
While the beans are cooking, peel the sweet potato and put it on to boil with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. This makes the house smell oh so good... like boiling potpourri or something.
Be careful that the batata aren't too soft because then they just break all apart into tiny chip sized pieces. Oh yea, hats off to the host chef, Amalio.
Add the batata, a TON of sugar, seriously, probably 2-3 lbs worth, a pinch of salt, the coconut and carnation milk and let simmer for a half hour. Then add the raisins and simmer about 10 more minutes.
Then voila!! You are ready to enjoy this uniquely Dominican treat... aka Habichuela con Dulce. So, who has enjoyed this delicacy before?? Does anything similar exist in other latin america countries??