Recipe: Moros y Cristianos

Published on: February 14th, 2024

Rice and beans are a staple in many cuisines, and they're perfect for Lent. This version comes to us from Executive Chef/Owner Melissa Araujo of Alma Cafe, a Honduran eatery on Louisa St in the Bywater.

It's rather different from New Orleans red beans and rice, in that it uses coconut cream, and it's vegan. 

Speaking of coconut cream--be careful not to confuse it with cream of coconut. The former is unsweetened, while the latter is a sugary base of pina coladas.  

Note for planning purposes: the first step is to soak dried beans overnight.

Serves: 8 
●    Two cups of Jasmine rice 
●    4 cups coconut cream, 2 to 2-1/2 cans, depending on size
●    2 cups of red pinto beans 
●    2 ounces of oregano 
●    2-ounce chives (1 cup)
●    1  ounce garlic (4-5 cloves)
●    2 tablespoons butter 

Ingredients for Pinto Beans & Cooking Process 
●    One bag or 2 pounds of pinto beans 
●    6 cups Chicken stock or water 
●    One whole Red bell pepper 
●    One whole Green bell pepper 
●    One whole Yellow bell pepper 
●    4 cloves garlic 
●    One bunch of cilantro 
●    3 bay leaf 
●    Salt to taste 
●    Cumin to taste 
●    One celery stick 

1.    Soak two pounds of dry pinto beans in a pot full of 6 cups of water overnight.
2.    The next day, drain and then add  6 new cups of water or chicken stock to the pot.
3.    Bring to a boil and cook them for one hour, stirring frequently. Be careful not to let the beans dry out completely.
4.    You can add 1 cup of water or Chicken Stock if beans are absorbing the water too quickly. Keep an eye on them. You can remove a few beans from the pot and squish them with the back of a spoon to make sure they have softened.
5.    After softening the beans for one hour, transfer 2 cups to a pot with a cup of its cooking liquid and add 2 cups of coconut cream. Let the beans soak with the coconut milk for 10 minutes and just keep the heat low. 
6.    Cook the rice according to directions on the bag. 
7.    In a medium-sized pot, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, one ounce of garlic, and 2 ounces of fresh oregano, and the chives; saute for 2 minutes.  
8.    Add the cooked rice and mix everything well.  Add the beans and mix together. Add remaining coconut cream – to taste –  and mix until well incorporated.

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