Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos)

I saw this Cuban derived recipe in the Washington Post a few days ago, then I was reading about how most of us are not getting enough fiber in our diet and beans are an excellent source of fiber. So I decided to make this today. We had it as a side with some store-bought grilled chicken. It was quite good. The addition of sherry vinegar and oregano adds an interesting taste twist to what would otherwise be a kind of boring combo.

Its Spanish (somewhat racist) name is Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians), which not only gets at the cultural collisions that led to them ending up on the same plate, but also the juxtaposition of the white rice and black beans.

Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups white rice, rinsed
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
  • 1 medium Anaheim chili pepper, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or more if needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more if needed
  • lime wedges, for accompaniment (optional)
  • cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the diced bacon and cook for about 3 minutes, until golden.

3. Add the onion, green bell pepper, Anaheim pepper, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf; cook for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened.

4. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the beans with their liquid, chicken stock, water, the sherry vinegar, and salt.

5. Stir well then taste for seasoning; add more vinegar, cumin, oregano and/or salt if needed. The liquid should be flavorful.

6. Cook, uncovered, for 8 to 12 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and small holes have formed on the surface of the rice.

7. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Remove after 20 minutes and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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