The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

1:49 PM

What's for dinner? Jamaican Inspired Beans and Rice

Posted by Magic of Spice

Jamaican Inspired Beans and Rice

Traditionally this dish is prepared with red beans, more specifically kidney beans.
The most famously know version here in the States is served in the Creole cuisine of
New Orleans. For me the primary difference with the Jamaican inspired version
is the flavor profile. The varied spices that are staples in Jamaican cuisine as well
as the addition of coconut milk. I will not get too far into all of the spices here
as they will be listed in the recipe, however their is one specific adjustment in my
recipe that differs from typical spices used in Jamaican dishes, and that is the
common use of the Scotch bonnet pepper I replaced this with African Devil
peppers as that is what I had on hand. They both add a unique flavor profile
and are close as far as heat index.

Now when we get to the rice portion of my recipe please note, the flavors I
chose were not specific to nor inspired by any specific cuisine. More like my
over active imagination and a deep seeded desire to Play with my Food :)
Oh and the fact that I have 9 pounds of beautiful California Mandarins
just hanging out in my kitchen...

One of the most significant difference in my recipe is the choice of both beans
as well as the rice. The reason I left the word Red out of my title is that the
beans I used here were Organic Heirloom Anasazi Beans and
Organic Cranberry Beans Both beans have a much milder and sweeter
taste than traditional pinto or kidney beans and can be found in most
health food stores. The rice is another special find, Madagascar Pink Rice.
Also organic as well as Fair Trade , and has a delightful sweetness to it.
This is an incredibly aromatic rice that could easily be enjoyed on it's own.

Note: I made both vegetarian/vegan versions as well as version where I
included uncured apple smoked bacon. If you will be using the vegan
by omitting the bacon, use 2 tablespoons of a nut based oil to sauté
your vegetables...

What you will need:
For the beans
12 ounces uncured bacon, cut into large pieces
1 small onion, medium chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bell peppers, medium chopped
(use red, yellow or orange)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon peppermint, chopped
1/2 tablespoon pineapple mint, chopped (optional)
3/4th teaspoon jamaica all spice, ground
1/4th teaspoon mustard seed, ground
1/8th teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8th teaspoon cloves, ground
1 tablespoon candied ginger, chopped
2 bay leaves
2-4 African devil peppers
(I placed the is a tied piece of cheesecloth to be easily removed)
1 1/2 pounds of dried beans, pre-soaked
1 quart vegetable stock, or enough to just cover beans
1 cup cooked and peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon raw agave or honey
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

For the rice
8 mandarin oranges, juiced
(or equivalent of 1 cup)
3 cups herbal tea
(I used mango/passion fruit)
2 cups pink rice, uncooked

Let's get cooking:
For the beans
Soak beans 8 hours to overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover
plus about 2 inches. Drain beans and set aside.
In a large French Oven or heavy stock pot add bacon, onion and garlic.
Sauté until onion just becomes opaque, then add bell peppers, herbs and spices.
Toss to coat, add beans, tomatoes and vegetable stock. Sir and bring mixture to
a full boil, reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beans
 are softened, stirring occasionally. Add agave and coconut milk, stir and remove
 from heat. Allow to stand, covered while you prepare your rice.

For the rice
In a medium to large sauce pan add mandarin juice, tea and rice.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20
or until liquid is absorbed.
Optional add crumbled pieces of bacon as a garnish.
Serves 6-8

For another wonderful recipe utilizing these Cranberry beans take a look at
my wonderful friend Roxana's recipe for Roman Beans and Beetroot Soup

Alisha~Magic of Spice

This is going over to Hearth n Soul

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

blog comments powered by Disqus