Rice and beans are staple foods in Latin Caribbean food. This recipe combines yellow rice with pink beans, but you can make this recipe with any type of bean you like.
What speeds this recipe up is the use of canned pink beans.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sofrito (see All About Sofrito, below)
- 1 packet sazón with annatto
- Salt to taste
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can pink beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 4 cups of water (or chicken broth)
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Add the sofrito and lightly fry for about one 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 one to two minutes, and 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.
All About Sofrito
A sofrito is a blend of herbs and spices used to season countless dishes, such as stews, beans, rice and occasionally meat.
Sofritos exist in Latin Caribbean and other Latin American countries and comes from the Spanish word which means "to fry something."
Spanish sofrito uses tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, paprika and olive oil. Caribbean versions range from green to orange to bright red and vary in heat from mild to pungent to spicy.
In the Dominican Republic, sofrito is called sazón and is made with vinegar and annatto for color. In Puerto Rico, sofrito is called recaito and it includes the herb culantro and ajies dulces (sweet chili peppers).
In Cuba, sofrito is made with tomatoes, red bell peppers, and ham. In the Yucatan area of Mexico, sofritos are extra-spicy with the addition of habaneros.
Sofritos can be added at the start of cooking but in other recipes, it isn’t added until the end of the cooking. And in yet other recipes, it's used as a topping sauce for grilled meats and fish.