I crave rice and beans. Ever since living with my lovely Puerto Rican and Dominican roommates in college, I have absolutely loved the aroma and the ritual of rice and beans. I made this on a Sunday, so the beans could make the whole house smell amazingly cozy.
In addition to being delicious, rice and beans are super handy for vegetarians and vegans because together they create a complex protein. It’s a good way to get the nutrients that are otherwise harder to find in a meatless diet. Don’t have to tell me twice!
I also made maduros, or fried sweet plantains, for something sweet to go with our rice and beans. They’re so easy to make, have a great crispy texture, and are a really satisfying addition to this meal. Enjoy!
For the rice
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
For the beans
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sofrito
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes
Sprinkle cayenne pepper
For the maduros
2 very ripe plantains
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
Freshly chopped cilantro, optional
In a rice cooker or a large saucepan over medium low heat, add rice, coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and pinch of salt. Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff before serving.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, sofrito, pinto beans and 1/2 cup water. Add herbs and spices, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally until reduced down and sauce is thickened.
Then, in a deep skillet, add vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. The oil should be about 1/2 inch deep. Peel plantains by scoring down one long side of the peel and using your fingers to get under the skin and peel away the skin from the flesh. Cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal. Place a test piece in the oil- if it starts bubbling, the oil is ready. Cook each piece until deep golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt.
Serve rice with beans and maduros, sprinkled with freshly chopped cilantro if desired.