THERESA AND Amador Fernandez are basking in sun and success in the Malaga Restaurant Miami, which has captured what one might imagine to be the romantic lure of Cuba.
Iron grids on the windows provide a Latin look. One goes through a central corridor with rooms to the left and right, both with a Mediterranean decor and warm, intimate table settings. In the back is a courtyard as one can only have in a warm climate.
And there's Theresa Fernandez, who after the lunch crowd has thinned out, sits down in the dining room with her husband and peacefully enjoys a little lunch and a cup of coffee.
As with many family-owned restaurants, Theresa and Amador are bound to their business. Theresa does most of the cooking; Amador waits on tables and manages the business. And one way they've become closer to their 17-year-old son is to have him work part-time at the restaurant.
Their black beans dish is not the pureed soup served elsewhere, but a thick, garlicky mass that settles in the bottom of the stomach. Some people like it; others prefer the soupy version.
There's no debate on the garlic shrimp, however, which is the hit of the restaurant whenever it's offered. It's a truly potent combination of garlic, onions, garlic, olive oil, garlic and wine. BLACK BEANS (6 servings) 1 pound black beans 10 cups water 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion 2 large green peppers 5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons salt Dash pepper 3 bay leaves 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 cup dry white wine
Wash beans well and discard any dirty or rotten beans. Soak beans a few hours in water and cover if possible. Place beans in large saucepan. If any water is left over from soaking, combine with enough additional water to equal 10 cups.
Cook uncovered along with one cleaned, chopped green pepper for about 3 to 4 hours or until tender. Chop onion, remaining green pepper and garlic and saute in hot olive oil. Add salt, pepper, bay leaves and cumin and cook over very low heat until the onion and pepper bits are browned.
If any liquid is left once beans are tender, discard. Combine beans with onion mixture and continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. Add wine just before serving. GARLIC SHRIMP (6 servings) 2 pounds large shrimp in shells (20 to the pound) 2 large onions 1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves Parsley sprig 1 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 2 1/2 cups dry white wine 1 teaspoon grated cheese (romano or parmesan is fine) 1 teaspoon butter 1 can (about 1 pound) peas 1 can (about 8 ounces) large sweet peppers (available in Spanish sections of food stores) Cooked rice
Clean shrimp well, taking care to extract the dark vein that runs the length of the body. Leave the tail on. Wash shrimp well and set aside.
Chop onions fine and grind together (you can use grinder, food processor or blender) with garlic and parsley. Combine with olive oil, salt, pepper, wine, cheese and butter and beat into a sauce. Heat in skillet. Add shrimp and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally just until shrimp are cooked through and are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in peas and peppers cut into strips. This dish tastes better if chilled overnight and reheated the following day. Serve over hot cooked rice.