Foods from the Dominican Republic: Moro de habichuelas (Rice and beans)
Yield: 8-10 servings
5 tablespoons oil, divided
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup celery, chopped
2 tablespoons pitted olives, sliced (optional)
1 pinch oregano
1/4 cup cubanela (cubanelle) peppers, diced
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 cups soft-boiled or canned kidney beans
2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)
5 cups water
4 cups rice, uncooked
Method of Preparation
1. Heat half of the oil in an iron pot over low heat. Add cilantro, garlic, thyme, celery, olives, oregano, peppers and capers. Stir for one minute or until ingredients release their aroma. Add in the tomato sauce.
2. Add beans and season with salt. Once heated through, add water and bring to the boil (try the mixture and add salt to taste before proceeding), keep in mind that the rice will absorb some of the salt.
3. Add in the rice and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to avoid excessive sticking.
4. When water has evaporated, turn off heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow to sit for 15 minutes. After this period of time, remove the cover, add the remaining oil, and stir.
5. Cover again for and cook over very low heat for five minutes. After this, the rice should be firm, but tender inside. If necessary, cover and leave another five minutes over very low heat. If rice becomes too dry during this step, add a quarter cup of boiling water, stir and cover until absorbed.