Cuban Rice and Beans, a wet, sticky rice and beans side dish with a solid base of spice, garlic and ginger. Beside a chop, chunk of chicken or as a meal with grilled vegetables, this is big Cuban flavour.
Rice and black beans make a mean side. Heavy spicing without a whole lot of heat and you’re tasting Cuba, omit the ginger, add chilies, a hint of lime zest and more chili powder and you’re leaning more Mexico. Keep the ginger, double the spice, brown it well, add a layer of heat and you’re closer to the West Indies in flavour and internal heat.
That’s what I love about the global kitchen, you can go anywhere in the world with the right combination of ingredients,without ever leaving home.
- 1½ cups rice (medium grain preferred)
- 3 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 3 – 4 green onions, sliced fine
- 1 – 14 ounce can of black beans (rinsed well)
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (plus some to finish)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Use a good sized saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Heat pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoon olive oil then add garlic and ginger and sauté lightly for about 2 minutes. Add dry spices to coking ginger and garlic and stir to create paste and keep spices from burning then add rice and stir, cooking slightly for about 3 minutes. Then add water, stir and increase heat to bring to a boil before covering and reducing heat to minimum for 10 minutes to cook.
- At the ten minute mark add tomato, green onion and black beans. Stir to combine well, return to heat, covered for another 6 to 8 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat, season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Finish with remaining olive oil and chopped cilantro and let stand, off the heat for 2 or 3 minutes before serving with a little cilantro to give it a hit of green on the plate.