Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cuban Rice and Beans

I love Caribbean food. I find it all to be warm, hearty and spicy...my favourite combination!
Unfortunately most people associate Caribbean food with what they eat at all inclusive resorts and Taco Bell. You need to get off the resorts and eat at small establishments at the side of the road in order to get the REAL STUFF!!

I had a variation of this rice when I visited Miami a few years back...it was at an authentic Cuban restaurant...where they only made home cooked Cuban meals. I had the BEST Cuban sandwich and this rice. This is my attempt at re-creating it...and I am pretty sure I have nailed it! I just need to get my Cuban aunt to try it to see what she thinks!

 Finely chop 1 Green Pepper and 1 Onion
 In a heavy bottomed pot (Cast Iron if you have it), drizzle 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until the onions start to lightly brown.
 Add 5 Minced garlic cloves, 4 tbsp Tomato Paste, 3 Tsp Cumin, 1 Tsp Oregano, 2 Bay Leafs and 2 Tbsp White Vinegar. Add a little salt and pepper as well. Let this cook with the onions and peppers for about a minute.
 Turn the heat down to medium/low and add about 5-6 cups of Vegetable Stock. Bring the mixture back up to a boil and add 3 cups of long grain rice. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is halfway done.
 At the half way point add 1 can of rinsed black beans. I like to use the canned beans instead of the dried beans...more of a time saver than anything. Cover the pot again and finish cooking the rice until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 more minutes)
Fluff up the rice and beans and serve with a drizzle of good quality olive oil while still hot. So delish and simple to make! Enjoy!

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