Jamaican rice & peas (black beans & rice)

Cheap and cheerful, and delicious. The Jamaican version of black beans and rice can pack some heat. Too much heat? Use jalepeno peppers instead of Scotch bonnets for warmth rather then fire.

  • 1 c dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 c water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1¾ c coconut milk
  • 1T canola olive or bacon drippings
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1½ c long grain rice
  • salt and fresh-cracked pepper

Place beans and garlic in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1½ hours. When beans are tender, stir in coconut milk, green onions, Scotch bonnet, and thyme, and increase the heat to a boil. Stir in the rice, add some salt and pepper, cover the pot, lower the heat, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Transfer to a large serving bowl, check seasoning, and garnish with more sliced green onions.

Serves 6-8.