Rice and beans has just a few ingredients, but for me, cooking it can be surprisingly high maintenance. It’s hard to know just how much water to add and exactly when to turn off the heat, and even with a watchful eye the bottom of the pan always seems to burn. I get it: Mastering the technique is a matter of tradition, a labor of love . . . an art more than a science. But I also just want some yummy rice and beans (or “peas” as they’re called in Jamaica). So, I caved and figured out how to make the dish in my amazing rice cooker and voila! Perfection every time. Here’s your fail proof, modernized Jamaican Rice & Peas recipe.
- ¾ cup canned red kidney beans, drained
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 scallions, chopped (white and light green only)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups long grain white rice (get the plain kind, like Uncle Ben’s
- 1 cup coconut milk
- a few dots of butter
- Kosher salt and pepper
- about 3 cups water (or, the amount of water needed to fill contents to line on your rice cooker for 3 cups rice)
Heat oil over medium heat. Sautee garlic and scallions until they just begin to brown, then gently add the kidney beans and thyme. Continue sautéing another minute, taking care not to mash or break the beans. Remove from heat.
Pour rice into rice cooker. Add coconut milk, then add the garlic/scallion/bean mixture. Add salt and pepper (about a teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Finally add water, enough water to fill the contents up to the line needed for 3 cups of rice in your rice cooker. Turn on rice cooker and cook!