The Recipes

Classic Dominican Lunch
La bandera (the flag) is a plate of rice, beans, meat, and tostones

As Angel Ferreras from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine, July 2012

Serves 6
Cooking Time: 1 hr


2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning (main ingredients: salt, turmeric, garlic powder)
1/4 green pepper, cut into 1/2" chunks
1 slice red onion, sliced into thirds (small segments)
1 tsp oregano
1 can pinto beans, drained (black, white, pink, or red work, too) 
4 oz. tomato sauce
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

Put all the ingredients in a medium sauce pot. Bring up to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve beans and sauce in a bowl family style on the table, with white rice, meat, and tostones. Angel put the rice on his plate, then spooned beans including sauce on top of his rice.


2 cups rice
2 tsp vegetable oil 
2 tsp salt

You can cook white rice however you like. He had a particular way of doing it that produced a crispy layer of rice on the bottom of the pan which is a delicacy served separately called concon. (Accent on the second o). Bring 1 quart of water to a boil with vegetable oil and salt in a large, heavy bottom pot with lid. In a separate bowl cover the rice with water by a couple inches. Drain rice in a mesh strainer. Repeat two more times. Add drained rice to the boiling water, stirring with a wooden spoon. After five minutes or so, when spoon stays standing up in the cooking rice, cover the pot with tinfoil and a lid. After ten minutes, turn the rice so the rice that was on top is on the bottom and recover. Cook another ten minutes. Serve the fluffy rice in one bowl and the cocon - the crispy rice at the bottom - in a separate dish.


3 green plantains
about 2 cups vegetable oil

Cut off the ends of the plantains, then puncture the skin, running the tip of a paring knife through through one of the ridges and flush with the flesh inside. Then wedge your fingers in the incision between the skin and the flesh, and pop the peel off the flesh. Continue doing this around the plantain until all the skin is off, making more incisions if you need to with the knife. Use the back of your knife to scrape any remaining bits of peel off the plantain. Cut across the plantain so you have 5 or 6  1 " thick cylinders. Heat 1/2 inch deep vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed saute pan. Fry both sides of the plantains for about 5 minutes until the pale yellow color turns darker yellow, but not brown. Put on a paper towel lined plate or try. Then smash each piece with the bottom of a glass or a little press called a tostonera so the plantains flattened into discs. Fry these again until bubbles slow down. Sprinkle with salt and serve.


La bandera includes some kind of meat, often times stewed beef called carne guisada. That night, his girlfriend and son made kabobs. Do anything you'd like. Here is a great recipe for the stewed beef that I have adapted from a Dominican cooking site and cooked many times to rave reviews.

Dominican Stewed Beef

Serves 6

2 1/2 pounds stew beef
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sazon marinade*
1 tsp pepper  
4 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
pinch cinnamon
¼ cup olive oil
3-4 cups hot water
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste

Mix soy sauce, sazon, pepper, garlic and cinnamon. Coat meat evenly with this mixture by massaging with hands. Cover and let marinate in fridge for 1-6 hours. Heat oil in heavy bottomed large pot (with lid) or pressure cooker pot, add meat, cilantro and water as necessary (to stew the meat and leave a little sauce once the meat is tender). When the meat is tender, add tomato paste, and cook for five minutes more. Taste and add salt if necessary.

*“Sazon” marinade:

1/2 head garlic
1 onions
1 bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 chicken bouillon cub
1 Tbsp oregano
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 Tbsp achiote powder
1/2 Tbsp olives
1/2 Tbsp capers
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup water only if needed

Cut all the large ingredients into cubes and blend in a blender. Add small amounts of water to help the blender get moving if necessary. Store in ziplock bags in the freezer for handy use as marinades, or to flavor rice dishes. This may also be known as sofrito.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2012