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Moros Y Cristianos (Black Beans And Rice)

Moros Y Cristianos (Black Beans And Rice)
Carol Guensburg for NPR

Black beans and white rice cook together in this mainstay of the Cuban table. Dried beans give you more control over texture, but canned black beans work well, too. You can prepare the black bean mixture in advance — excluding the rice — and freeze until needed. This recipe is adapted from Goya, the food manufacturer.

Makes 8 servings

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil or 1/4 pound slab bacon, trimmed of rind and cut into small pieces

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/2 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 to 1 1/2 cups water

2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black beans, undrained, or 4 cups prepared dried black beans with 1/2 to 3/4 cups water reserved from soaking them

2 cups uncooked converted white rice

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 to 2 tablespoons wine or cider vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Heat olive oil or saute bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Stir in garlic and continue cooking 2 minutes more. Add broth and 1 cup of the water, then stir in beans, rice, bay leaf oregano and cumin.

Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered except when stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender. Add remaining 1/2 cup of water, if needed during cooking.

Before serving, discard bay leaf. Stir in wine or cider vinegar, and salt and pepper, plus butter, if desired. Serve immediately.

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