PUERTO RICAN RICE AND BEANS
Boricuas (i.e., people from Puerto Rico) eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans every day because it is flavorful, simple to cook, and affordable! Arroz con Habichuelas, known on the island, is an all-in-one meal along with juicy yellow plantains or served as a complement to any meat. This is the new staple of your weeknight meals!
CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE CANNED KIDNEY BEANS?
I love how adaptable this recipe can be. If kidney beans aren’t your cup of tea, you can replace them with almost every other canned bean. Try chickpeas, white, black, or pink beans to make it island-inspired. If you’re working with dried beans, make approximately 3/4 cup of dried beans to substitute for 15 ounces.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE WHITE RICE?
Since middle-grain white rice is cooked in its cooking pot, substituting it with other rice is easy. Make sure to rinse the rice as it eliminates starches that aren’t needed and prevents the rice from becoming a clump. Additionally, it would be best to roast it in oil, which imparts a nutty flavor and lets the rice cook faster since it’s already warm. The only thing you need to alter is the quantity of water used to cook the rice since the different rice grains need different amounts of liquid to cook properly. Follow these simple rules:
Brown Rice 1 cup rice = 1 3/4 cups of water
Basmati Rice 1 cup rice 1 3/4 cups of water
Jasmine Rice: 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water
The Long Grain White Rice is 1 cup of rice up to 2 cups of water
Small grain White Rice: 1 cup equals 1 1/2 cups of water
Short White Rice Grain 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups of water
REHEATING BEANS AND RICE
There are several options for the process of reheating. I prefer an oven-safe pan for the rice as I enjoy the crunch it adds to the grains at the bottom. Also, I sprinkle water over the rice (about 1/8th of one teaspoon for each cup) to help the grains rehydrate. In the end, I cook rice in an oven-safe dish until they start to steam. Of course, you could heat it in the microwave, too. Remember to add a sprinkle of water.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS
If you’re ready to make it a complete meal, prepare equal portions of beans and rice to prepare ” Arroz Mamposteao.” Most Puerto Ricans make it with leftover beans and day-old rice, and it’s a JOY. It is best to use 1 part beans for two parts of rice. The first step is to cut the salt pork into about 1/4 cup and cook it in an enormous pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of sofrito once the pork is crisp and golden. Cook until it is fragrant. Add the beans and cook until they’re bubbling while the sauce is thickened, approximately 10 minutes. Add your rice mix, and simmer until the rice absorbs the sauce. Boom! You’re welcome!
4 Tbsp cooking oils, divided ($0.16)
1 packet sazon ($0.17)
1 cup of salt pork Small dice ($1.83)
One onion chopped ($0.42)
1TBSp garlic, chopped (about three cloves) ($0.14)
8 oz tomato sauce ($0.59)
4 Tbsp sofrito ($0.72)
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base* ($0.12)
2 Tbsp white vinegar that has been distilled ($0.07)
One large sweet potato, large dice ($0.74)
One bell pepper green, cut into pieces ($0.79)
2 15 oz. kidney beans in cans, drain ($1.68)
Two cups of white, medium-grain rice washed ($0.76)
3 cups hot water ($0.00)
Two teaspoons salt, and more depending on your taste ($0.05)
Add two tablespoons cooking oil to a large, heavy-bottomed, medium-sized pot at medium-high temperatures. When warmed up, it is time to put in the salt and sausage. Cook until the fat has been rendered while the pork has turned cooked through, which takes about 4 minutes.
Reduce temperature to moderate, and put in the onion. It should be cooked for about 2 minutes, and then you can add garlic. Cook for one minute until the garlic is fragrant.
Mix in the tomatoes, sauce, chicken bouillon, and vinegar. Then cook for five minutes on moderate heat, decreasing the sauce while forming flavors.
Include the bell pepper with a green color and the sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.
Add the beans along with enough water to fill them up. Stir the soup and taste it. Add salt if desired.
Cover the sweet potato and cook on medium temperature for 20 minutes or till the sweet potato is softened. If, halfway through the cooking the, liquid inside the beans decreases too excessively, add 1/4 to 1 cup water.
Put the pot with a heavy-bottomed lid on medium heat to cook the rice. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the rice, blend it with it, and let it cook for about a moment. After that, add the boiling water and two teaspoons of salt, and stir.
Cook in a covered pot until the water evaporates and small steam holes appear on the rice’s surface in about 5 minutes. Stir the rice a few times, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and then secure the pot by putting it over with a lid heavy enough so that steam cannot escape.
The rice is cooked without stirring until the rice is tender, around fifteen to twenty minutes when you’ve finished portioning out of the rice, scrape the crispy bits on the surface of your pot and serve over your rice.