Rice and Beans (Cuban Inspired)
A good rice and beans recipe is the perfect staple dish—easy to make, filling, delicious, and relatively inexpensive. I eat it as a meal all on its own, perhaps paired with mango, sliced avocado, or a tomato salad. It also makes a great side as part of a larger meal. Rice and beans tastes even better as leftovers, so make a big batch and have some all week.
This is what I came up with after searching the web for “arroz congrí” and “moros y cristianos” recipes. There are many deviations from the authentic dish, perhaps biggest is the use of canned beans instead of dried beans. The idea is to save significant time. The end result is still delicious (I think).
Chop up cilantro (optional).
Remove lid from pot. Ensure all liquid has been absorbed—rice should feel fairly “dry.”
Pour beans evenly over top. Season beans with additional salt (optional). Squeeze half a lime over top. Pour in ¼ cup quality olive oil. Add cilantro.
Turn over rice until beans are evenly mixed in.
Taste. Add more lime and olive oil to taste. You probably can’t add too much olive oil.
When serving, drizzle olive oil on top. Include a slice of lime for a nice touch.
- Black beans (canned)
- Dried oregano
- Spicy Hungarian paprika (optional)
- Cheap olive oil
- Quality olive oil
- Stock (chicken or vegetable)
- Bay leaf (optional)
- Cilantro (optional)
I tried a variation with tomato paste and didn’t care for the sticky, starchy texture. I do like a good “dirty” rice dish, but not with this particular set of ingredients. Rinsing the rice and heavy use of olive oil are in support of keeping the rice grains separate.
Similarly, I like distinctly different texture between the beans and the rice, hence saving the beans out and only combining everything at the end.
I suggest Hungarian paprika specifically just because it is easy to source and adds a nice spice profile to a dish. You can substitute with anything that adds background spiciness.