ARROZ e FEIJÃO – Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly or as Brazilians call it, ARROZ e FEIJÃO.
If you travel through Central and South America, there’s a good chance you have eaten rice and beans. In Brazil, the combination of rice and black beans or ARROZ e FEIJÃO is on every place at almost every meal. Some people might even say that a meal is not complete without black beans and rice.
Brazilian rice, ARROZ, is a bit different than regular white rice. FEIJÃO is also made differently depending on the day of the week. On weekdays, when time is limited, black beans are pretty simple. On Saturdays and Sundays, FEIJOADA, a black bean stew with all kinds of meats is enjoyed with family and friends.
This is a staple at my house. We usually eat this combination at least 3-4 times a week. Here are the recipes for ARROZ e FEIJÃO.
RECIPE FOR BRAZILIAN RICE
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of minced onion
1 cup of rice
1 1/2 cups of water (or broth if you like)
DIRECTIONS FOR BRAZILIAN RICE
In a sauce pan, soften the onion and garlic. Make sure it does not brown. Add rice and sautée the rice until it turns opaque in color. You will notice a consistency change when the rice is ready to have water added to it. At first, the rice feels sticky. When it turns opaque, the rice will feel more relaxed and less sticky. When this happens, carefully add the water (or broth). Cook until all the water has been absorbed by the rice, but do not open the lid. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for about 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and eat.
RECIPE FOR BLACK BEANS – FEIJÃO
1 lb of dried black beans
1 tablespoon of salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
4-6 cups of water
1/2 lb of sliced smoked sausage (optional)
DIRECTIONS FOR BLACK BEANS – FEIJÃO
In a large bowl, soak the beans. Soaking the beans helps with reducing gas and cooking time. Soak beans for at least 1 hour, but over night is even better. No more than 24 hours. Rinse the beans and add to a sauce pan with at least 4 cups of room temperature water. Water level should be at least 2 inches above the bean level. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to simmer. It will take at least 1 hour for black beans to cook through and become tender. Once the beans are tender and ONLY when they are tender, add salt, pepper, and bay leaves, and sliced smoked sausage (optional). Simmer for 10 minutes. In a small frying pan, add olive oil and minced garlic. On medium heat, infuse the oil with garlic for about 3-5 minutes. Make sure not to brown or burn the garlic. Add the garlic infused olive oil to the pot of black beans, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. The longer you cook the beans, the more condensed it comes. I like my beans a little more soupy because the juices are so good on top of the rice. However, if you prefer a dried black bean, just cook a little longer uncovered.
ENJOY!
Servings: 4
Cost: Rice is about $2
Black beans is about $2 without meat
Black beans is about $7 with meat
Difficulty level: Easy
PS: Freeze leftover black beans for up to 6 months.

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