It is chilly in Central Florida. This morning it must have been in the lower 40’s. Tomorrow morning they are calling for freezing temperatures. I’m wondering if I should cover some of my plants! We live within blocks of the Gulf of Mexico and our temperatures are usually more moderate than other inland areas. I’m going to bet that the winds will stay up and the temperature will not get down to what they are predicting. That’s saying that I’m not going to bother. I would hate to see some of my plants get damaged by frost, but I only have some small herbs, some ornamental grasses and a couple bird of paradise plants. If they get damaged, it will give me an excuse to redo some areas.
With all this cold, I thought that I would try to spice it up a bit and have some Caribbean inspired food. That means kicking up the heat with pepper sauce and pairing it with a spicy baked chicken thigh. The two combine to make an outstanding meal.
This blog post will concentrate on the Caribbean Black Beans and Rice, and tomorrow, I will feature Yucatan Chicken. Both are excellent by themselves, but together, give you a taste of the Caribbean.
Start by making around three cups of cooked rice. You can use whatever rice you like. I used brown rice and cooked it for 45 minutes on the cooktop. White rice varieties usually take less time to prepare.
The recipe calls for a roasted red pepper. To do this, I started up my little gas grill and charred the pepper for about 10 minutes. It you have a gas stove, you can roast the pepper on your stove. Just keep the peppers over an open flame to cause the skin to roast. This really brings out the sugars of the pepper and gives a great flavor to the dish.
Scrape the charred skin from the peppers and chop into small slivers.
You can make this Caribbean black beans and rice dish as hot as you like or skip the heat if you don’t like food so spicy. Either way, this is a keeper recipe! I hope you try it. Bookmark this page to remind yourself to take a trip to the Caribbean!
CARIBBEAN BLACK BEANS AND RICE
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large roasted red pepper , slivered and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 green pepper , slivered and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 15 oz , cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp vinegar , white or cider
- 5 to 10 shakes of tabasco sauce
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste , (I added 1 tsp salt)
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat
- Add both red and green pepper and saute for 2 minutes
- Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds
- Add black beans, vinegar and tabasco, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
- Stir in rice and chopped cilantro
- Season as needed