This favorite Cuban recipe blends red beans and rice with a classic Latin sofrito—pork fat, tomato paste, onion, garlic, bell pepper, herbs, and spices—giving this dish complexity. Prepare it the night before, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate; reheat single servings in the microwave the next day. Serve with Black Pepper Corn Bread.
Cooking Light MARCH 2006
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon, and set aside. Add oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute or just until garlic begins to brown. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add rice, oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Place reserved bacon and bay leaf in pan; stir in water and 2 cans broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining can of broth and beans. Cook 5 minutes over low heat or until heated through, stirring frequently. Garnish with green onions, if desired.
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