Prep time : 25 minutes plus beans' soaking time Cooking time : 2-1/2 hours Makes 6 servings
Rice can be steamed , baked or microwaved to perfection . When combined with beans in the trio of recipes below , it provides high-quality protein.
A Global Dish
Rice and bean combinations range from spicy to mild . They are popular dishes in cuisines throughout the world , including our own Southern and Southwestern states .
In Louisiana , which is famous for its long-grain rice , red beans and rice is the dish of choice . Traditionally , red beans and rice was made on a Monday to take advantage of the ham bone left over from Sunday's dinner .
2 cups dried red kidney beans , sorted and rinsed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces chorizo , sliced , or hot Italian sausage , removed from casings and crumbled
1 large onion , coarsely chopped
1 large sweet green pepper , cored , seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic , minced
8 ounces smoked ham , diced
4 cups Browned Beef Stock , canned broth or water
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme , crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram , crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups long-grain rice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste ( I use kosher salt)
1 . Soak beans overnight in water to cover . Drain beans (if cooking beans in water instead of broth , reserve soaking liquid and add water to total 1 quart liquid ); set aside .
2 . In a 6-quart Dutch oven over moderate heat , heat oil 1 minute . Add chorizo and saute until brown --- about 5 minutes ; transfer to paper toweling to drain . Drain all but 2 tablespoons of pan drippings . Add onion, green pepper , celery and garlic and saute until soft --- about 5 minutes . Add reserved beans , ham , stock , bay leaves , thyme , marjoram and cayenne pepper . Bring to a boil over high heat . Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer covered until beans are tender --- about 1-1/2 hours . Remove and discard bay leaves .
Preheat the oven to 350*F .
3 . Drain beans , reserving 1 cup liquid . Put beans and liquid into a lightly greased 3-quart casserole ; stir in chorizo , rice , vinegar and salt to taste .
4 . Bake , covered until hot --- about 40 minutes . Serve with hot red pepper sauce .
Caribbean Black beans and Rice : Makes 6 servings
Prepare as directed , substituting dried black beans for kidney beans . Add 1 large chopped cored and seeded sweet red pepper along with the onion , green pepper celery and garlic . Proceed as directed , but increase cooking time to between 2 and 2-1/2 hours . Add 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest along with vinegar and salt . Remove and discard bay leaf . Increase rice to 3 cups but do not mix in ; also do not bake . Instead , serve immediately over rice and top , if desired with sour cream .
New Mexico Chili Rice and Pinto Beans : Makes 6 o 8 servings
Prepare as directed , substituting dried pinto beans for kidney beans . Omit chorizo and increase smoked ham to 1 pound . Proceed as directed , adding two 4-ounce cans , drained , chopped mild green chilies and 1 seeded , cored and finely chopped jalapeno along with the beans , ham and seasonings . Cook as directed for Bayou Red Beans . Mix in vinegar and salt . Remove and discard bay leaf . Increase rice to 3 cups but do not mix in ; also do not bake . Instead serve immediately over rice .