Beans and Rice: the Crusades edition

Beans & Rice

I wanted to title this dish Bloody Moors and Christians, since it is loosely based on the cuban dish Moors and Christians, but felt that no one reading that title would really want to eat it. And given the fact that there is no real blood in this dish I felt it might let those fans of other blood dishes, such as blood pudding, down. This dish is inspired by Pope Urban II who in the First Crusade asked the Christians in Spain to not join the fight in the Middle East against the Muslims, but to take arms against the Muslims in their own country. And so began many bloody campaigns with estimates of death totaling 300,000 to 600,000 throughout Europe. So with that history lesson in mind this tomato-based dish inspired by Moors and Christians came to fruition.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp of butter, or whipped non-hydrogenated oil
  • 1 purple onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp of course ground black pepper
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 pan roasted jalapeño
  • 2 cups of long-grain rice
  • the juice and zest of 2 limes
  • salt

In a pan over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds. You know they are close to finishing when they become very fragrant. Remove from the pan and using a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder, or the bottom of a glass) crush them up into a coarse grind. Add the butter to the pan and heat to medium heat. Once melted add the onions and garlic and sweat for a few minutes. Then add the dried oregano, pepper, and cumin. Cook until tender. Add the beans and the tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. At this point you can either transfer the ingredients to a slow cooker on low and let simmer for several hours (like 6 or 7) or let simmer longer in the pan as you prepare the rice and other goodies. I used the slow cooker because I wanted things to stew for a long long long time.

In a pan heat up some olive oil to medium heat. Add the jalapeño to the pan whole. Fry it on all sides until they start to brown and the jalapeño becomes tender. This is just a faster method roasting peppers instead of on the grill on in the oven. When finished, place in a paper bag to steam for about 6-8 minutes. When finished remove the seeds, if you want to, and dice the pepper.

We have a Zojirushi rice cooker so I just prepared the rice as directed. Feel free to choose your own method of preparing the rice in this dish.

Once all the ingredients are ready add the bean mixture and the rice together along with the jalapeño, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Chow down and feast on the blood spilt on your rice in true Christian spirit! Enjoy!

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