Saturday, May 26, 2012

Puerto Rican Rice & Beans



I promised Angela that I would post the recipe for Puerto Rican Rice & Beans.  Dan & I did ten years of inner city ministry and a few friends of mine from Puerto Rico would make this dish.  Nathan & Stephen grew up eating rice and beans and they still love it to this day.

Angela asked me if I use sofrito sauce.  According to About.com, "Sofrito is a fragrant blend of herbs and spices used throughout the Caribbean, especially Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. It’s used to season countless dishes of stews, beans, rice, and occasionally meat. In most cases, it is the foundation upon which the rest of the recipe is built. Sofrito mixtures range in color from green to orange to bright red. They also range in flavor from mild to pungent to spicy."

I don't purchase sofrito in the jar but just make my own.  It's cheaper and fresher as the who knows how long sofrito in a jar has been sitting on a shelf!

Sofrito (enough for 1 recipe)

1 onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, depending how much you like
1/2 green pepper
1 handful of cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

I cut the onion & green pepper in smaller chunks and then throw it all in the food processor.  You can also add tomatoes too, but I don't because for this particular recipe I use tomato sauce in the beans.  Traditionally though, sofrito does have tomatoes.

Saute the mixture until bubbly, about 10 minutes.  Use as needed in your recipe.

Puerto Rican Rice & Beans

Pinto beans (I cook a 1 lb. package of dried beans and use the whole thing but you can substitute canned beans)

2 potatoes, cut into cubes

Sofrito from recipe above

2 packages of Sazon seasoning con culantro y achiote.  (Before you scratch your head, Sazon is a seasoning mix put out by Goya.  I don't know if they make this in the U.K., Angela, but there are plenty of online recipes to make your own)

2 (8 oz.) cans of tomato sauce

Ham, cut into cubes (I always skip this as I'm trying to keep it healthy)

Cook dried beans according to package instruction.  Add in remaining ingredients and simmer until potato is soft.  Serve over rice.

Enjoy!