last week I made my first real cooked meal, meaning not pasta with red sauce or scrambled eggs I just posted a few hours ago. I was proud to serve baked panko coconut shrimp, green beans with shallots, and Caribbean-style red beans and rice. In our previous post, I shared the recipes for the panko shrimp and green beans, but what I didn’t share was how stressed I was making all three dishes! At the same time! In the same kitchen!
Hats off to all you chefs out there who are able to cook multiple foods at once without burning, under or overcooking anything. And extra kudos to the food bloggers who are able to take photos of it all! I was dashing around my kitchen like I was in Kitchen Stadium with only 2 minutes left on the clock (and hardly any pictures to show for it)!
What made this meal slightly more complicated was cooking the rice – stove top style! This method is a bit more work than what I’m used to – I’ve mastered plugging the rice cooker in and pushing the lever down to “Cook.” However, this time when the rice was done on the stove, I felt much more accomplished than when the rice cooker lever pops up to “Warm.” This feeling of accomplishment may wear off quickly if I start to cook rice regularly…
I first tried Caribbean rice with red beans at a small restaurant, CA called Back-A-Yard Caribbean American Grill. The infused coconut flavor was different than the plain white/brown rice we are accustomed to and paired well with spicy jerk chicken. I remembered this type of rice when thinking of a side to pair with the panko coconut shrimp. Jon and I enjoy coconut flavors so the coconut in the rice and in the shrimp worked well for our palates. If you prefer a little less coconut, you should probably eat these dishes separately!
Note: We halved the recipe to serve just the two of us. Even with half the recipe, we definitely had enough for two nights (4 servings)!
Caribbean-Style Red Beans and Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6 – 8
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Shallots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup water1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 whole Habanero chili pepper (more authentic to use Scotch bonnet chili if you can find it)
1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to brown on the edges.
2. Add garlic and uncooked rice. Stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add grated ginger, salt, water, stock and coconut milk and stir well. Add the kidney beans and sprinkle the thyme over everything. Add the whole Habanero (or Scotch bonnet); it will season the rice similar to a bay leaf; it does not make the rice super spicy (and I have a super sensitive tongue!). Bring pot to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cover.
4. Allow rice to continue simmering in the pot – important: do not lift the lid to peek! The rice should be done in about 15-20 minutes; it may take longer as some long-grained rice takes longer to cook. Check rice after 15 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. To serve, fluff with a fork. Discard the Habanero (or eat it, if you like spicy!)