To me, “rice and beans” by definition is white rice with black beans (cooked with onion and bell pepper) but after living in the Alabama where pinto beans seem to be more popular and living in the Florida panhandle where there’s a lot of New Orleans influence, rice and beans has come to be a very ambiguous term.
This recipe for rice and beans refers to black beans. Although similar to my mother’s recipe, this one is actually adapted from my brother’s fiancé.
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 shakes hot sauce
- Saute onion and pepper in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Season with garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add in black beans, 1/4 can water, bay leaf, and hot sauce.
- Cook covered over med-low heat 25 minutes.
- Serve with cooked white rice and cream cheese*.
*I have a recommendation that will sound strange – serve cream cheese with your rice and beans. Trust me on this one. I think my mom was the first person to try this – she says it is common to eat rice and beans with Edam cheese. As delicious as Edam is (it’s one of my favorite cheeses) the slight tang and the creaminess you get from cream cheese compliments the bold flavor of black beans. (If you think of it like sour cream it doesn’t sound as crazy.) Take your fork, get a little cream cheese and then dig into the rice and beans! Perfect.