Sometimes it’s the simplest things that taste the best, and that is definitely the case here. My wife demanded hinted that she wanted more rice in her diet to help with her fitness program, and while her Puerto Rican rice is wonderful, I was in the mood for something a bit different, and this dish is the result of that.
Red beans and rice is one of those dishes I’ve loved for a very long time, but never attempted myself. It was simple to either order it as a side at a restaurant or to open a box (Gasp!, Say it ain’t so, Jerry!) and follow the instructions. For some reason, I thought it would take quite a few tries to get it right, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s fairly simple, and can be adapted to fit nearly any taste, from serious carnivore (just add the flesh of yer favorite mammal), to the complete vegan (use water or veggie broth instead of the chicken broth I used, maybe toss in a mushroom or two for body, and you’re there!)
- 2 cups long grained white rice
- 4 cups + a tad chicken stock, beef stock, water or vegetable stock
- 2 13 – 16 oz. cans red beans of your choice (I used kidneys) drained well
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, chopped (If using the refrigerated pre-chopped kind, 1 tsp = approx 1 clove)
- 1 tbsp sofrito (if you don’t have this, either omit, or use salsa, pico de gallo, tomato paste or crushed tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley, if desired, for garnish
Heat a medium sauce pan over meduim-high heat until fairly hot. Add oil, onions, celery, bell pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until onions and celery are just beginning to turn translucent. Add garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
Add rice, liquid, chili powder and sofrito. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed.
Add beans, stir to combine, cover and return to heat for 5 minutes.
Season to taste, serve and enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
At this point I’m not really sure. I think a bit more liquid would probably have helped, as the end result was a little dry, and perhaps a bit more heat would have been nice as well. Otherwise the dish was very good, and even made a wonderful leftover dish in which I added about 1/2 cup of Sargento’s Mozzarella with Sun Dried Tomatos and Basil and baked it off at 350° until the cheese was bubbly.
In the end, definitely something I’m going to revisit! but then anything that starts with the Trinity (Onions, bell-peppers and celery) is something I usually love to death.