July 2020 Brunch Menu

In honor of the Black Lives Matter movement, July's book selection is Assata: An Autobiographyby Assata Shakur.

Plantain Hash

Original recipe from African Bites

"...he stood over her body, lifted his foot and slammed it down on her face. Her nose crumbled like a souffle" (The One, p.97).


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 large ripe plantains
  • 2 cups black beans or sausage
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • paprika to taste (smoked if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes 
  • 1 small bell pepper diced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons bouillon powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 3-4 Large Eggs
  • avocado (optional)


    1. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees F
    2. Using a sharp knife cut both ends off the plantain. This will make it easy to grab the skin of the plantains.
    3. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain; peel only as deep as the peel.
    4. Remove plantain peel by pulling it back. Dice plantains (medium to large dice or cut according to preference)
    5. Heat up a large skillet or cast iron with oil up to ¼ inch- medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
    6. Fry the plantain in batches, turning once, until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan!
    7. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the fried plantains and drain on paper towels.
    8. Spray a baking sheet and place plantains on them in a single layer; spray lightly over the plantains using cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees F, turning plantains frequently – for about 12 -20 minutes or until plantains turn slightly brown.
    9. Add ¼ cup or more oil in a skillet with onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Allow to sweat for about a minute.
    10. Add bell pepper and diced tomatoes to the skillet and  bring to a simmer. 
    11. Add in beans or sausage, and bouillon powder. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add more seasoning if needed and sprinkle with parsley (optional)
    12. Crack 3-4 eggs over the top of the hash in different spots. Add a little extra salt and pepper to the eggs if you wish. Place the skillet in the preheated oven on the top rack and bake at 400 degrees F or until the eggs are cooked to preference.
    13. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate and serve with avocados and/or Cuban Toast. 

      How to make Cuban Toast: Cut a large loaf of Cuban bread bread horizontally and butter the inside. Then close the halfs and butter the outside on both sides. Put into a hot sandwich press or a hot griddle with a heavy weight to press on top of the toast, such as a cast iron pan. Toast until golden on each side.

    Assatarata Cocktail

    The "Canchanchara" is considered the first truly Cuban cocktail. Guerrilla soldiers during the war for independence would drink a mixture of rum, citrus, and honey in the mornings to ward off the cold. This drink become the predecessor to the daiquiri.

    Although it’s typically served over ice today, it’s believed that the original mixture was served hot, similar to a Hot Toddy. It's perfect for soothing a scratchy throat and lubricating those vocal cords!



    • 1.5oz rum or cachaça (preferably Havana Club white or aged rum)
    • 1oz fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 oz honey (try making a honey syrup to make this easier to measure)
    • ~2oz boiling water
    • 3-5 fresh mint leaves

    Pour boiling water over mint leaves then add other ingredients.
    Stir and enjoy. This is sure to wake you up in the morning!