Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown beans with rice

I don't know if I should post this recipe on this blog, because nothing that I used came out of the freezer. I love beans and try to eat them at least once a week: they're healthy, affordable, quick and versatile and tasty to boot, but that was not what I set out to prepare.

I pulled a pound of hamburger out of the freezer on Monday to make Dutch sausage rolls but I ended up making Brat buns instead. So I thought I'd make spaghetti tonight, but by the time I walked in the door, it was too late to get that started (plus I wanted to make sure I could catch the 6:30 pm episode of "The Office") so.....I'm rummaging through the fridge to see what I can scrounge up and here is this sad little piece of salt pork, just sitting there, all by its lonesome self. And immediately brown beans and rice come to mind: it's quick, it's tasty and mighty comforting on a cold, windy night like this one.

Brown beans and rice, or as we say in Holland, bruine bonen met rijst, is a typical dish from Suriname, a former colony of the Netherlands. Here in America, I don't have easy access to the Dutch brown beans, so I use pinto beans instead.

Brown beans with Rice
1 small piece of salt pork
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tomato, deseeded and chopped
2 cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of water

1/4 cup of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of celery leaves
1 tablespoon of sugar

1 cup of instant rice

Cut the salt pork in small dice, then fry in a Dutch oven until soft. Add the onion and the garlic. Stir until soft, then add the tomato. When the tomato has softened as well, add the beans, the water, the tomato sauce, ginger, pepper, the bouillon cube and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about twenty minutes. Taste and adjust (don't add any salt before tasting, the pork tends to be salty enough), add the sugar and the celery leaves, remove the bay leaf and stir everything together. Simmer for another five minutes while you prepare the rice.

Put the rice in a microwaveable bowl, add enough water so that the rice is covered, then microwave on high for two and a half minutes. Let it sit to dry for a minute or two, then stir.

Serve the beans on top of the rice. Nice with some crunchy slices of cucumber.

Yummmmm....that totally hit the spot. Now I have to think of what to do with that thawed hamburger meat....

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