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Puerto Rican Black Beans and Rice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large tomato, peeled and cut into wedges (optional)
1 garlic clove, through the press
3/4 cup long-grain Carolina rice
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chili pepper to taste

In a casserole heat the oil and gently fry the onion and pepper
until tender. Add the tomato and garlic and simmer until they are
tender. Add the rice, toss to coat, and cover with water. Simmer,
stirring from time to time, until the rice is overcooked and mushy.
Add the cooked black beans and mix with the rice. Simmer until
the beans are thoroughly heated through. Add the salt, pepper,
and chili pepper. Stir constantly to prevent it from sticking to
the casserole. Add a little water if needed. The consistency
should be thick but not dry. Serve piping hot. Serves 4

Variations:

In Tobago, when the beans and rice are ready, it is customary to
add a fried egg to each portion. Make a ring of the beans and rice
on each plate and place a fried egg in the middle. To decorate
the dish, fry in achiote oil instead of butter.

While preparing the beans and rice, saute a chicken breast in
butter, then slice it into bite-sized pieces. Return to the pan
and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes.
Then stir into the mixture of rice and beans. Serve.

Other frequent additions to the rice and beans are boneless pieces
of fried fish, shrimp (St. Martin), or small pieces of leftover
beef, goat, or pork.

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
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Great accompanyment to a jerk entree!, February 21, 2006 - 01:18 PM
Reviewer: Mel from Huntsville, AL
We always make this recipe to accompany our favorite jerk chicken/shrimp kabobs. It's a beautiful dish and just a wonderful mix of slightly sweet and spicy. It's very easy to make, a tad easier than spanish rice in fact. I do usually throw in some additional spices (allspice, nutmeg, lots of ginger and garlic and some caribbean hot sauces that are more spice than heat). Also, using broth instead of the water adds a little more flavor (sub. a cup of white wine or spiced rum for something a little different). Garnished with a bit of shredded pepper jack cheese and Mexican crema (soured cream) just makes it that much better!

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