Rice and beans are staples in Caribbean cuisine. This recipe is very easy and combines yellow rice with black beans to create a nice side dish or light entree. Feel free to make it with any type of bean you like.
The yellow rice gets its color from annatto (or achiote), which is included in the packet of sazón seasoning. This is a very popular salt and spice mix that is added to many Caribbean dishes, eliminating the need for a lot of ingredients. Sazón is also available without annatto, though that seasoning mix will not produce the yellow rice we're going for in this recipe.
The other key ingredient here is sofrito, a flavorful puree of vegetables and spices that is also common in Caribbean food. It's easy to make your own sofrito and the basic recipe can be adapted to suit your taste or what's in your kitchen. This will, of course, affect the flavor of your yellow beans and rice, but the ease and versatility of sofrito are what makes it a great ingredient.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sofrito
- 1 packet sazón seasoning (with annatto)
- Salt to taste
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 cups rice (white, long-grain)
- 4 cups water (or chicken broth)
- In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the sofrito and lightly fry for about 1 minute.
- Add the sazón, salt, beans, and rice. Stir to combine the ingredients and coat the rice with color.
- Pour in the water (or chicken broth) and bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for 1 to 2 minutes, then stir the rice mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid that will not allow steam to escape. Do not lift the lid during the cooking time.
- Cook on low for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice, and then cover again and let sit a few minutes before serving.
The recipe makes approximately 4 one-cup servings.