One thing is for sure: the combination of rice and beans is a classic favorite duo for the Brazilians, or at least most of them. The two together provide an important protein input and a nutritive dish that also tastes great. But how to vary the menu of these delicacies and bring innovation to the table? Chefs and culinary experts are constantly working to rework this double team of ingredients and find new ideas.
Expert Chefs in Brazil will probably tell you a bean’s best friends are garlic, onions, bay leaf, salt, chicken stock powder and cumin powder. Also, for those looking to prepare this rice in a true brazilian way, the rice has to be sticky; so here is a simple recipe for this side dish.
Yield: 6-10 servings
Rice and beans recipe
* 2 cups dry black beans
* 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
* 2 bay leaves
* 5 cups water
* 2 tablespoons of oil
* 5 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 cups of white rice
* Salt to taste
* 1/2 tablespoon of cumin
1) Pour the black beans in a big bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak in this water overnight. Next day, throw out the water they soaked in and replace with fresh water.
2) Using a pan (a pressure cooker greatly shortens cooking time) over medium heat with water, beans, bay leaves and chicken stock, cook the beans until they are tender.
3) In another pan, heat up the oil and saute the garlic cloves.
Add the cooked beans and the resulting broth.
4) Pour the rice in; add some salt, add the cumin and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, making sure the rice doesn’t become dry during that time.
When the rice is cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and cover the pan again until ready to serve.