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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Adding flavor to Beans and Rice for love and longevity




I grew up on beans and rice. We had limas, pintos, and red beans fairly often. I loved them then and love them now. Whether it was on the stove or in the crockpot, Mom showed me just how easy it is to whip up a pot of beans.


Neil and I took the plunge to transition to Caribbean living for a while. On the plane headed to Punta Cana, I developed a craving for black beans and rice. It took several more days to get to our villa and obtain all of the groceries needed for a heaping helping of black beans and rice. Once we did, it was worth every peso.


Neil and I also saw a show recently on the areas of the world that people live the longest. They highlighted areas from different continents and some of the elders living in daily life. Consistently, beans and rice were a staple in their diet. High levels of physical activity were also part of the equation in each village. I hope you enjoy getting moving daily. I am gonna help you out in some beans and rice tips that you can count on for a lifetime.


Going back to thoughts of my Mom, she would put every ingredient in the pot or crockpot from the very beginning of cook time. I go about making my beans a little different. I prefer to cook dried beans until they are tender in salted water only. Then I make my flavored broth. I find it works best to finish the cooking time for the beans in a broth to add the flavor. You can even soak and tenderize the beans a day or two ahead. This method not only simplifies the process a bit but it will limit the number of burners going in the kitchen at once.


Another reason I use this method is I find it easier to control the outcome in the flavors of the beans. I like caramelizing my vegetables at the beginning of the broth stage. If I were to do that at the beginning of cooking the beans, the caramelized flavor would get lost. Try it out for yourself and let me know how it works for you.


Rice can be cooked in many different ways. For beans and rice, I enjoyed lightly browning my rice in butter before adding in water. I also add bouillon granules or stock instead of water to add more flavor. I believe the method used to cook rice can make all the difference in the reception and flow of the coordinating recipes. So my rice cooking method for gumbo is different from jambalaya. Both of those methods are different from beans. And this could be the biggest demarkation in what makes my classic or standard rice recipes different and delightful.


Thank you for reading this and other blog posts. I am sending love and delicious vibes to you for all of your kitchen endeavors. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions. And enjoy them beans, y'all!


Black Beans

⦁ 1 lb dried black beans

⦁ 1/2 Tbsp salt

⦁ 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

⦁ 2 cup diced yellow onion

⦁ 1 cup diced red bell pepper

⦁ 1 cup diced green bell pepper

⦁ 4 cloves garlic, chopped

⦁ 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon granules

⦁ 1 tsp dried oregano

⦁ 1 tsp smoked paprika

⦁ 2 tsp black pepper

⦁ 2 Sazon Goya seasoning packet

⦁ 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Place black beans in a dutch oven or stockpot. Cover the beans with water. Add salt to the water. Heat on the stove until boiling. One the water reaches a boil, cover the pot and remove it from heat. Allow resting for 3 hours to overnight.


Drain the beans and set aside. Discard the soaking water. Return the saucepan or dutch oven to the stove over low heat. Add the bacon and cook over low heat to render the fat. Remove the bacon and set aside reserving the fat in the bottom of the pot. Add onions and bell peppers. Increase the heat to medium. Stir onions and peppers occasionally to saute and lightly brown or caramelize. Once the onions are slightly browned, add garlic. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until the garlic releases an aroma, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Then add bouillon, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and Sazon Goya. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes to coat the sauteed vegetables. Add reserved beans. Cover with water plus 1 to 2 inches of water. Stir and increase the heat to high. Bring the beans to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Allow simmering for 2 to 3 hours until tender. Check water levels and add water as needed to prevent scalding during cook time. Remove from heat. Add reserved bacon and cilantro. Serve over rice.


Rice

⦁ 1 1/2 cup long-grain rice

⦁ 2 Tbsp butter

⦁ 3 1/2 cup water

⦁ 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules


Heat butter in a pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add rice. Cook stirring over medium heat until the rice is slightly browned. Add water and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Place a lid on the pot. Allow rice to simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.




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