Sunday, September 26, 2010
I was so excited about Colombian food and how well I ate in Cartagena that I really wanted to recreate a version of the coconut rice and plantains comida that I eagerly devoured. I added some black beans for a protein boost and to make it more of a meal. This arroz coco con frijoles negros y plantanos dish can be served up for lunch, dinner, or as a dish to share at your next potluck!
I chose brown rice rather than long grain white rice, but there's a noticeable difference in taste- the heartier brown rice picks up a hint of coconut flavor, while the white rice definitely has a full-on tropical taste. Feel free to go with either, depending on how much you love coconut! You can also add more jalapenos if you want a spicier dish, but since Colombian food is relatively mild, I wanted to keep it authentic. Or at least as authentic as the Italian-American vegetarian could make it. Buen provecho!
For the beans:
* 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 2 15 oz. cans low sodium black beans, one drained & rinsed, one still with bean juice
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
* 3 tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno (or poblano, if you prefer a pepper with a little less heat)
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
* 1 tbsp. dried cumin
* 1 tbsp. dried coriander
* salt & pepper to taste
For the rice:
* 2 cups brown rice
* 1 cup water
* 3 cups unsweetened light coconut milk
For the plantains:
* 3 ripe plantains, green or yellow, peeled cut into 1 inch chunks
* 1/4 cup soy butter or olive oil
* salt & pepper to taste
1) Prepare the coconut rice: In a large saucepan, heat the water and coconut milk over medium high heat until mixture reaches a boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover saucepan, and allow rice to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and set aside.
2) Prepare the beans: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, and peppers to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the beans, coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper if using, and stir to mix. Reduce heat to medium, and cook beans for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
3) Prepare the plantains: Heat soy butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When soy butter is melted and foaming, add the plantain chunks and saute until plantains are tender and golden on both sides, about 8 minutes. Drain fried plantains on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.