New home & new job has left my kitchenware feeling rather unloved. My food processor is gathering dust and my matroyshka measuring cups have become mere ornaments to pretty up my kitchen. My foot’s on the mend which means I’m out and about more now, and have less time to poke about in the kitchen like I did a few months ago.
Anyways, when there isn’t enough time to spend all day cooking, this one pot wonder is a life saver; throw everything in a pan, put the lid on it for a bit, then serve. This is a real hug in a bowl, or a bowl full of hugs… Spicy, hearty, warming, stomach filling… I could go on! And the end result is always delicious – slightly different every time I make it, but that’s the fun of it – it’s definitely food for the soul, and satisfying enough for times when you’re feeling greedy. Enough rambling, here’s (roughly) how I make my Spicy Rice & Beans…
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 1 large red chilli, sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed / finely chopped
- 1 400g tin red kidney beans – drained & rinsed
- 1 400g tin black eyed beans – drained & rinsed (or any other bean you fancy! Adzuki works well!)
- 1/2 cup frozen sliced green beans
- 225g long grain rice
- 750ml vegetable stock (preferably hot)
- 100g tomato puree
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Heat the oil in a large deep pan and add the onion & pepper – fry on a fairly high heat for around 5 minutes until the onion starts to brown
- Turn down the heat, add the garlic, chilli, paprika, smoked paprika & chilli powder and fry for a further minute
- Throw in your canned beans, frozen beans, hot stock, tomato puree and cayenne – mix well and bring to the boil
- Stir in the rice, cover and simmer gently for around 20 minutes (until water has been absorbed and rice is tender)
- That’s it – serve, and enjoy!
See, I said it was easy. If this isn’t comfort food then I don’t know what is. Best of all, it lends itself to whatever fresh/frozen ingredients you’ve got lying around – perfect for one of those ’emptying the fridge’ days. If you’ve only got one tin of beans, add more veg; I’ve made it with carrot, courgette, sometimes mushrooms – and I’ve even been known to throw in a diced potato. Yes, I make it that often!
The above quantities will make 3-4 portions (generously) as a stand-alone main dish. Use common sense; if you need to feed more people, add more stuff! If anyone tries it, I’d love to hear how yours turns out!