Call me crazy. It seems to me that if you take a good thing and mash it together with another good thing, you should end up with a super good thing. What followed was a journey through my very being as a food lover. I love rice. I love beans. Join me now as I tell you my journey through the monster known as... Rice and Beans.
I didn't eat beans until recently. I love them now. little sacks of awesome. But now I eat them and I am curious how to use them better. I decided that I must love rice and beans so I set out to create it. The first attempt was with Caribbean style. Basically it is beans prepared and flavored with coconut milk, Cinnamon, assorted other spices and rice is then added.
This is an odd flavor. sweet. dessert like. in a word? unsatisfying. I didn't like it. It was just not a combo of flavor that I enjoyed. not to mention that I used a whole pepper with seeds and didn't get a bit of spice. oh and fun fact, the coconut milk burns acrid, bitter, and black if you over cook it even slightly. Ok, moving on.
I was at a grocery store chain which I will refer to in code, Hole Foods. Hole Foods has a cafe area where they pride themselves on food options for all people, including a vegan food bar. They had a rice and bean dish there and I grew intrigued. The product!? miserable. poor flavor, over spiced. The dish was savory and cold. unappetizing and disappointing. So, I heated it up. Slightly better, but on a whole, the flavor was the same. No dice.
Why was this so hard? I wanted to just get to basics. Bag of beans, check. Ham hock, check. Lets do this. I just boiled the beans with the ham hock until the beans were tender. I cut the meat from the bone and returned it to the pot and added the rice to the salty, meaty, hearty mixture. With a top off of water and a return to boil, it was ready to cook.
This was great. Delicious. Meaty, not too salty. It was just as god intended it to be. Just rice and beans. how hard was that? I think that in the end its nice to know that two rights can make a wrong and that to each his own. I may not have liked the other options but its important to keep trying. I will try more in the future, but this is a start. I will continue to delight in life's most delicious flavors.