I love the smell of white rice and beans, as much as I love bread and butter. There is just something about that pot of rice cooking over the stove, and those beans slowly reducing to a thick sauce. As much as we love rice and beans we try not to have it all the time. During the week it’s mostly “healthy” eating, and the weekends I stray away from the kitchen, unless its blogging cooking day, which after that I’m whipped out. Now, when Ali & Cassie spent the weekend with us. You know, here for the conference, and I made them Puerco Asado, and Flan for dessert…. well, what better side to have with that pork than stovetop white rice and my mother’s Dominican black beans.
Did you see I called it stovetop white rice. What else can it be called when it’s not cooked in a rice cooker?. It’s the only rice I know how to make. The only aid my mother had in the kitchen was a pressure cooker (which came into the picture much later). I learned to cook rice over the stove, precook beans, and many other meals with only using the pot, stove, and utensils. It’s how my mother learned and so she taught us. I won’t lie, I do take short cuts here and there. Use canned black beans at times, which turn out the same according to me, not according to my mother.
So to make my mother proud, I did not use canned beans for our delicious dinner. Wanted the girls to get an authentic taste of Dominican style black beans, and did not want to hear my mother in the back of my head frowning at my beans. My sisters and I were taught the trick to my mother’s beans at a young age. It was one of the main dishes we learned to cook and it all began with her sazón. I recall learning all this at the age of 12, and hovering over my mother after she arrived home from work while she taught us without any measurements. Surprised at how young I was? No, good If you were here is why we learned so young; My mother’s motto ” I have 3 girls!” she wasn’t about to do all the house work herself . We each knew what had to be done before our parents arrived home from work, and did it all without one single request or promise of an allowance. Don’t think the word allowance exists in a hispanic home. It sure didn’t at our house .
There was no babysitting from our parents regarding our “chores” or even our homework. They had rules we obeyed and we still had a very happy childhood. What happened if we did not “obey”, hell if I know, lol…we sure as heck did not want to find out. Hispanic parents (well, mothers) have a way making this happen. Now, don’t go thinking we did not have fun. There was still laughter and messing around going on as one swept, and the other cleaned. Merengue playing or MTV music videos in the background. Remember those?!?! Those were the good ol’ days. Oh MTV how I miss they way we were.
Now for a moment that will make my mother fall off her chair, and probably call me *speed dial* after she sees this.
“Ma, Yeah I know….I served the food in their pailas. sorry, pero we were hungry and I need more serving plates. But hey, no cans were opened”
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Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serving Size: 1/2 cup cooked
- 1 bag of dry black beans
- 8 cups of water
- 1 small green pepper
- 1 small red pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small white onion
- 4 culantro leaves (can substitute with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 chicken bouillon
- 2 cups of the pre boiled beans
- 2 tablespoons of spanish olives & their juice (vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 medium plantain, peeled and diced into rounds
- 3 sprigs of cilantro
- Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil, add the beans and simmer in medium-low heat until cooked. About 1 hour. Check for tenderness by eating a few beans. I would call them done when they are al dente. A bit firm, yet eatable. Set aside, or refrigerate in their juice/water until ready to cook. (can be frozen, if you choose to freeze break it into portions 2 cups each to serve 4 people)
- Clean the peppers by removing their centers
- Roughly chop up the peppers, and onion
- Add the garlic cloves (skin removed), peppers, onion, and cilantro (or cilantro) into a food processor and chop
- Keep processing until it resembles a finely chopped salsa
- Refrigerate until ready to cook
- Unfreeze 2 cups of your pre boiled black beans
- Heat a medium size sauce pan on medium-high heat
- Add the cooking oil, chicken bouillon, and 3 tablespoons of the sazón
- Heat for 2 minutes
- Add the pre boiled beans & their juice, 1 cup of water, spanish olives & their vinegar, tomato paste, plantain, and cilantro sprigs
- Boil until the sauce thickens and plantain is cooked, about 15 minutes
- Serve over rice, or eat alone
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