Congri

(Famous Cuban Beans and Rice Dish)

Ingredients:
1 lb dry red kidney (or black beans)
3 tsp. of Vegetable Oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp.salt
1 medium bell
pepper, chopped
1/4 oregano
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. long grain rice
1 large onion, chopped

Preparation:
Soak beans overnight before cooking
Cook beans in six cups of water by bringing to a boil. Remove and let stand for about 60 minutes. Do not discard the liquid.
In a cast iron or aluminum pot place the vegetable oil rice and stir until the rice grains get oily. This is prevents the rice grains from sticking to another. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, cumin, bay leaf, oregano, black pepper, and salt. Add 2 cups liquid from the beans, bring to a boil and cook on slow heat for about 15-20 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed by the rice. Lower the flame, cover the pot with aluminum foil or lid to seal in the steam. If rice is still hard, add more bean liquid, a little at a time. Cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until, rice is well done. Once rice is ready, add the beans, that have been drained and stir without baking them. Sauté one chopped garlic clove with the olive oil in a small pan, for 1-2 minutes, pour over rice to add additional flavor and shine.

Note: You can substitute the red beans for black beans to make the famous “Moros and Cristianos”

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