When you’re down on your luck and you’ve lost all your dreams there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans.Tom Waits
Early last year I found myself in Arizona – first in Scottsdale, and then in and around Sedona. As an Australian, one of the things that wowed me was the landscape. The other? The food. Especially all those Mexican flavours.
One of the things that spoke to me most, besides Chile Relleno (I still haven’t attempted to reproduce that yet) was the endless variations on beans and rice.
An Australian-Mexican friend, Leticia, gave me this recipe recently. It’s her dad Franc’s ‘Dirty Rice’ recipe, and he used to make this on the nights his wife worked at the local hospital and he had to feed all the kids. It’s super easy, cheap to make, and it is a filling meal on its own. It also makes a great side. It can be made as a vegan dish, or you can alter it to your own tastes. However you make, it, enjoy!
I can also vouch for the fact that it is great served with a squeeze of lime, some coriander (cilantro) if you like that flavour, and a sprinkle of cheese. It’s superb as leftovers, and goes well in burritos, heated with a fried egg on top for breakfast, as a side to grilled meats, or reheated with extra cheese on top.
Try it. It just might become a favourite in your house too.
Love, and a dash of hot sauce, Nicole xx
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 and 1/2 cups stock (use vegetable for vegan, but Franc usually uses chicken stock or bone broth)
- 2 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large rib of celery, diced
- 1 diced red or green capsicum (bell pepper)
- olive oil
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- ground black pepper
- A dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper if you like it spicy
- A fresh lime and a large handful of chopped fresh coriander/cilantro (or more if you love coriander)
To serve you may also like grated cheese, diced red onion, salsa, avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, extra coriander and lime wedges – but it’s also fine on its own!
- Put a slug of oil into the base of a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat the oil a little and and then add the onion, capsicum and celery and sauté (fry) for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to colour a little and become fragrant.
- Then add the minced garlic, rice, turmeric, cumin and paprika. Sauté for another two minutes.
- Now add the stock, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, a grind or two of black pepper, and the drained beans. If you like spice add in your cayenne or hot sauce now too (a little at a time until it is the heat you like).
- Bring to the boil and then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Squeeze the juice of the lime over the rice and beans and stir through half the chopped coriander. Serve with the additional coriander on top, extra wedges of lime, and some grated cheese or any other accompaniments you wish.