BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: D for Dominican Republic
Dish: Rice & Beans
We are back to South America today, to Dominican Republic. It is a nation on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean region. Chrsitopher Columbus landed in Hispaniola in 1492, during the first of his 4 voyages to America. Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean.
The first time I heard of this country was 9 years ago from a colleague who was from Dominican Republic. He was a very jovial person and had lots of stories to tell about his country. What I found interesting was he cooked his own lunch and brought it to work. I never got a chance to taste his food since it was mostly meat based but it always smelt soo good.
Dominican cuisine is typical to what can be found in other Latin American countries, but many of the names of the dishes are different. Meals tend to have meats and starches. Many dishes are made with Sofrito (a mix of local herbs) and is used as a wet rub for meats and sauteed to bring out all of a dish's flavors.
I picked a dish very commonly made all over South America. Every county in Latin & South America has their own version of rice and beans. While looking for dishes to make from Dominican Republic, I found this amazing blog called 'Aunt Clara's Kitchen' written by Clara, a Dominican herself. She has so many traditional recipes on her blog and here pictures are absolutely mouth watering and perfectly go with her beautiful write-ups.
I made this filling one pot dish from her blog. It is so simple to make and it tasted so comforting and delicious, even both my kids ate without complaint. I'm sure I'll be making this dish very often. It is also a good dish to pack for lunch boxes.
Recipe adapted here:
- 1 cup Rice
- ½ cup Red Kidney Beans
- ½ Bell Pepper pepper of / Cubanelle - a medium, finely chopped
- 1 Onion - small, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 cup Red Kidney beans
- ¼ tsp Thyme Dry
- ¼ tsp Oregano Dry
- 2 cloves Garlic
- ¼ tsp Red pepper Crushed - (optional)
- 2 tbsps Cilantro - finely chopped
- to taste Salt Pepper &
- Wash, rinse and soak rice for 15~20 minutes. Heat 2tbsp oil in a sauté pan, add onions, peppers, thyme, oregano and garlic. Once the onions are lightly browned, add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for 1~2 minutes. Next add the kidney beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice along with salt, pepper and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook covered for 15~20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Let sit for 5~10 minutes before serving.