I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Puerto Rican Red Beans and Rice

For the first seventeen years of my life I grew up in the city of Rochester NY. It was like a melting pot of ethnicities. One of my childhood friends was from Puerto Rico her name was Lourdes. Her mother made the most amazing food. Luckily she lived on my street and her mother was friends with my mother so I was able to go there from time to time for dinner. This was one of my favorite dishes
That her mother would prepare.

1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped lean ham
1/2 cup green bell peppers
1/2 cup chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (19 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 (8 ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
2 cups uncooked white rice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a large saucepan, set to medium
Add ham, chorizo, onion and green pepper, garlic and cumin.
Sauté until vegetables are tender.
Add beans, tomato sauce and Tabasco sauce.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add in remaining ingredients and 4 cups water.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender.
Don’t forget to leave the Tabasco on the table for those who want to add more heat.

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