I’ve had a lot of exposure to Jamaican foods. I worked at JAMWEST Caribbean foods for a while and the best part was getting to eat all the delicious food everyday and listening to Jamaican Patois that I could barely understand, and listening to stories from Chef Patrick while he cooked corn meal porridge :). It was truly amazing watching the giant pots of rice and barrels of jerked meats being cooked, and that rum cake from Miss Verona was so divine. Oh and how could I forget about the patties, and fresh juices and hiding in the walk in fridge to ‘sample’ dishes and getting locked inside hehehehe. Good times!
- 8 ounces small dried red beans or 8 ounces red kidney beans
- 1 quart water
- 16 ounces chicken broth or 16 ounces chicken stock or 16 ounces water
- 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (left whole) or you can slice it if you want lots of heat!
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 1⁄4 cups uncooked long grain rice
- Rinse and sort beans and place in a stockpot.
- Cover with several inches of water and soak overnight,-or- bring to a boil, boil gently for 3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 hour.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Bring to a boil with chicken stock, water, and coconut milk.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender and creamy.
- Add the thyme, allspice, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet, brown sugar, uncooked rice, salt and pepper.
- Check the level of liquid over the rice and make sure there is at least one inch of liquid (if not, you may add water or broth to cover).
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Serve hot as a side dish.
- For vegetarian,use water not the chicken broth or stock.
I served the rice and peas, along side jerk pork, which is cooked pretty much the same way as jerk chicken and a tropical salsa! Put some calypso music on in the background and I felt like I was back at home 🙂