Dominican Rice and Beans

As Angel Ferreras from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine.

Note: Along with meat and fried green plantains, these rice and beans make up the classic Dominican lunch called La bandera (the flag). It's named after the flag, Angel explained, because the meal is as Dominican as the flag and it's served everywhere in the country. These rice and beans are so easy to make and delicious, my family has this dish probably every other week. 

Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the beans:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning (main ingredients: salt, turmeric, garlic powder)
  • 1/4 green pepper, cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 slice red onion, sliced into thirds (small segments)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained (black, white, pink, or red work, too) 
  • 4 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

For the rice:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil 
  • 2 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Put all the ingredients for the beans in a medium sauce pot. Bring up to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes. 

2. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil with 2 tsp vegetable oil and 2 tsp salt in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with lid.

3. In a separate bowl cover the rice with water by a couple inches. Drain rice in a mesh strainer. Repeat three more times so the water is no longer cloudy. 

4. Add the drained rice to the boiling water, stirring with a wooden spoon. After five minutes or so, when spoon stays standing up in the cooking rice, turn heat to low, and cover the pot with tinfoil and a lid.

5. After ten minutes, turn the rice so that the rice that was on top is on the bottom. Recover. Cook another ten minutes.

6. Serve the fluffy rice in one bowl and the concon - the crispy rice at the bottom of the pot - in a separate dish. (if you submerge the bottom of the rice pot in cold water, it makes it easier to get the rice up from the bottom.)

7. Serve beans, rice, and concon in separate bowls family style. Serve with Dominican tostones and meat for the popular lunch: la bandera