Welcome to post number three for Vegan MoFo 2013! My first two posts focused on Puerto Rico and I felt it was time to sprinkle in a recipe. John was excited for this as well because I pushed him out of the kitchen to create. We generally cook together, but during MoFo I like to do the creation and cooking. Mostly because I am a bit of a control freak. :-) Today's post will be a Jamaican Rice and Beans dish!
You might be wondering why I am including a Jamaican dish in a Latin theme for MoFo. One might not think of Jamaica as being a Latin country, but it was once owned by Spain. The small sampling that I have had from Jamaican food reminds me of a Latin influence. I thought about doing several different versions, and still I came back to thinking of this Jamaican inspired dish. Out of all of the versions of rice and beans, this dish usually comes to mind. The flavors of lime and cilantro were so present and vibrant in each bite. I have enjoyed so many different versions of rice and beans, but I have felt most fond of the one that I tried to recreate in this post.
Years ago when John and I were in undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, we were invited by a friend to his family home for dinner. His parents originated from Jamaica and his Mom was excited about making a vegetarian dish for us that highlighted her culture. The meal consisted of rice and beans along with plantains and wonderful conversation. The flavor of that dinner stuck with me and over the years John and I have tried to recreate it. We were struck by the simplicity of the dish, but that it was full of taste. I could tell I was going to be in love with the dish before even trying it as I saw a large bottle of hot sauce on the table. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a hot sauce fanatic.
It has been well over 10 years since that dinner and I expect that my version is nothing like the original. I am also expecting that it is not authentic either. My hope in creating this was not to imitate it exactly, but to create something that we both enjoyed and reminded us of that nice evening with our friend and his Mom. I feel that the dish was successful because it was simple and still very flavorful. I enjoyed my dish with extra hot sauce that we picked up in Puerto Rico. If you recreate this, feel free to add in your favorite hot sauce. And for those of you who do not enjoy heat, feel free to leave out hot sauce all together.
Jamaican Rice and Beans
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups cooked black beans or 15oz can
- 1 tbsp water or oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Hot sauce, to taste (and if you are like me, add a lot!!)
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
Heat a skillet with water or oil on medium. When hot add onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in garlic and jalapeno and saute 2 minutes more. Add in the beans and half of the vinegar and saute until beans are warm. Add in cooked rice, cumin, the remainder of the vinegar, hot sauce (I used about 2 teaspoons), and lime. Stir and cook until the rice is warmed up. Add salt, pepper, and taste for seasonings. Turn off heat and sprinkle with cilantro and serve.