Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cuban-style Red Beans and Rice

8 bacon slices
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cups chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 (16-ounce) cans red beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced green onions (optional)

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon, and set aside. Add oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté over medium-low heat 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute or just until garlic begins to brown. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add rice, oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Place reserved bacon and bay leaf in pan; stir in water and 2 cans broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining can of broth and beans. Cook 5 minutes over low heat or until heated through, stirring frequently. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

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