Cuban-Style Black Beans and Rice

I found this great recipe on  You can link to it here, but I will go ahead and reprint it here for your convenience.

Try this easy-to-follow recipe and enjoy one of Cuba’s most famous plates. Full of protein and flavor, Cuban-style black beans serve as a meal in themselves, or as a delicious side dish. By dry roasting the brown rice, you will enhance its flavor and increase its natural sweetness. (As a side note, I’ve read that dry roasting rice changes the composition of the rice so that your body uses it as a protein instead of a starch. I dry roast a big bag of rice and store it in a glass jar with a lid and just use as needed.)

Serve as a main course or side dish.

Place in a strainer and rinse under cool running water:

  • 2 cups brown rice

Heat a stainless steel or cast iron skillet over low heat and add rice. Dry roast the rice for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is dry and aromatic.

Place the roasted rice in a pot. Add:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.  Then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat. For fluffier rice, after the rice comes to a boil, place it in a covered casserole dish and place in a preheated 225°F oven for one hour.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  When pan is hot, add:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped

Saute for 2-3 minutes.  Then add:

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Saute 2 more minutes.  Then reduce heat to low and add:

  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with their liquid

Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.  Then add:

  • 3 cups (cooked) black beans, drained

Simmer 5 minutes longer to heat through.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve beans over rice and garnish with:

  • Chopped, fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut in 4-6 wedges (optional)

Though it says the limes are optional, that may very well be the ingredient that makes the most difference in this dish.  Erich and I LOVE the fresh-squeezed lime juice on the rice.  I wouldn’t skip it.


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