Rice and beans is a must-have part of any Brazilian meal. Black beans are healthy, filling and have lots of protein. Fluffy white rice is perfect for soaking up their sauce.
Technique tip: If using dried beans soak overnight first, then boil in fresh water for 1 hour. You can use a pressure cooker or a slow cooker for the beans. The beans will cook faster in a pressure cooker and no soaking is required for both the pressure cook and slow cooker.
Swap option: If you don't prefer back beans you can use pinto, kidney or cannelloni beans. You can adjust the spice of the beans to your heat preference.
For the beans:
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring to making sure it doesn't burn, for another minute. Stir in the beans, vinegar, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and Tabasco. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper.
For the rice:1.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn, until it is translucent, about 1 minute.2.
Stir in the rice and salt and cook, stirring to coat the grains with the oil and garlic, for about 2 minutes.3.
Pour in 3 cups water and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low. Check the rice every 5 minutes or so to make sure there is still water and it hasn't been fully absorbed prematurely.4.
Let the rice simmer for about 15 minutes, and then check it again. It will likely be a little al dente. If the water has been fully absorbed, add another 1/2 cup and cook, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes more. After 20 to 25 minutes total cooking time, it should be tender and fluffy and the water should be fully absorbed.5.
When done, remove the rice pot from the burner and let it sit, still covered, for 5 minutes more.
Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish the rice and beans with fresh cilantro and serve.
Excerpted from At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family's Kitchen to Yours © 2018 by Natalie Morales. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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