My week of Caribbean food continues with a new version (for me) on a food I will always adore: Rice and beans. I’ve had versions from various regions of the Caribbean and Southern U.S., but I don’t think I’ve ever tried it with coconut milk. Of course, it’s possible I have and didn’t know it, but I highly doubt it. Reading this Caribbean Rice and Beans recipe was a Doh! moment because coconut makes everything better in my book, so why not beans and rice? You know I had to give this one a try!
Seasoned with garlic, onions and creole spice. Infused with bay leaves, thyme, Scotch bonnet and coconut milk.
The list of ingredients for this Caribbean rice and beans recipe wasn’t too long, and I had several items on hand. There were a few choices to be made, and here’s what I decided:
- Canola oil instead of vegetable oil (because I had it on hand)
- 3 garlic cloves instead of 2 (because I love garlic)
- Prepared creole seasoning instead of homemade (because I had it on hand)
- Dried thyme instead of fresh (because I had it on hand)
- Chicken broth instead of water (for more flavor)
- And I added the optional chicken bullion and paprika (for more flavor)
I had to buy a few items (onion, coconut milk, kidney beans, chicken broth, and the scotch bonnet pepper), but they were all easy to find and inexpensive staple items.
I have to say this recipe was pretty easy to make. It took exactly 35 minutes, just as listed on the recipe. The directions were easy to follow, but there were a couple of things that almost tripped me up.
First, the recipe gives you the option of using water or chicken broth as the liquid. Step 2 specifies water, so be aware of that if you are using broth. I added 1 cup of water before I realized that and then used chicken broth for the remaining 2 cups.
Second, the recipe notes give you the option of using more water/broth to get a creamier consistency. The quantity listed with the ingredients is 2 1/4 cups, which is for the less creamy version. However, the quantity in Step 2 is 3 cups, which is for the creamier version. I intended to cook the less creamy version and ended up with the creamy one (the creamy version was incredible, BTW).
Other than that, things went very smoothly. I did watch and stir my Caribbean rice and beans throughout cooking instead of just setting it on simmer and waiting for the timer to go off. I suppose that makes it more work than regular rice, but it was worth it and then some.