Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rice and Beans

I'm back! I'm back! My computer is all better (I hope!) and I have sooo much to share with you. Here is one of my new favorites...

This was a reader request. She wanted a good rice and beans recipe. I have to be honest here. I have never had rice and beans before, so I had no idea what the flavor profile is, what it's supposed to taste like, or even what kind of beans are usually used. So, I raided the pantry and started dumping stuff in a pot. The end result was pretty tasty, in my opinion, and I ate it for dinner that night, and lunch the next few days until it was gone. Then I made it again a few days later, and again the week after that. I don't generally repeat recipes in the same month, so to make something 3 times in less than 3 weeks, well that's saying something. For me, anyway. I don't know if it was what my reader had in mind, but I hope she likes it!

What I use:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. white long grain rice, rinsed well
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz. can beans, any kind (black, pinto, black-eye, etc.), rinsed well
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. sugar*

How I do it:

1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.

2. Add the rice to the oil and saute for about 2 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, and spices. Stir to combine.

4. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed and the rice and beans are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

* I didn't use the sugar the first time, and this dish came out good but not great. I threw it in the second time just to see what would happen. Oh my goodness - what a difference! It changed everything - the beans were softer, the tomatoes were sweeter, the flavors were more defined. Definitely use the sugar.

The family says:
  • K said it was good, but not his favorite dish.
  • Andrew is not a huge rice and beans fan. The first time I made it (without the sugar), he ate it and said that he would eat it again, but he wouldn't go out of his way to request it. The second time I made it (with the sugar), he said it was really really good, much better than the first time and he liked it a lot more.
  • I really liked it the first time. I wasn't too upset that the boys didn't jump all over it, because that meant more for me. But when I used the sugar the second time, forget it - it was over. I was in love. Strong words for a little side dish, I know, but it was so, so good!

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