Hello again my beauties!
It was only a few days ago I presented you with a new sofrito member Dominican Sofrito – Sazón. So today, I bring to you a healthy rice recipe most of you have been begging me to post on my facebook page… MORO.
Mmm… Moro is the most common dish within the Latino community. Dominicans are not the only Latinos that serve rice and beans, or make moro, the fact is this dish can be found on the table of just about EVERY Latino, South American and Caribbean table. Most important, you can switch up this dish with every and any bean out there. In Puerto Rico we have “Arroz con Gandules” rice and beans, in Jamaica it’s variation is “Rice and Peas” in Cuba it’s variation is “Moros y Christianos” Christians and beans (yeah, I know… sounds very religious eh?) Well, you get the idea, like I said, there are MANY different variations. You can serve this rice alone or with a side meat dish. And just about every Latino out there serves a side dish of plantains.
The secret to this dish making this dish outstanding is using the freshest dried beans you can find. I know opening a can of beans is easy and convinient but your beans will have a flat taste. You’re better off with the fresh. Of course this means soaking the beans overnight. But I promise you, the end result, as we Latinos say “tan delicioso que te lames tus deditos!”
My mothers variation is Ecuadorian inspired, she calls it “My recipe, get your own” lol she literally told me that when I asked if I could share her recipe with you guys, because there is no other rice and bean recipe out there with her added ingredients, I will be posting that recipe in the days to come.
Let’s get started…
Serves generous 8 portions. Reduce ingredients by half if you need portions for 4 people.
Prep time – overnight + 15 min to gather ingredients. Total cook time, 2 hrs
For the beans – (skip if using canned beans)
- 1 cup Drided Red Kidney Beans
- 5 cups water
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt
For the Moro
- 1 Small Spanish Onion – (diced small)
- 1 Small Cubanelle Pepper (diced small)
- 2 Garlic Fingers (minced)
- 2 tbsp FRESH Chopped Cilanto LEAVES – not the stem
- 2 tbsp FRESH Culantro leaves – Find this at local Latin or Asian markets
- 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Dried Thyme
- Pinch of Saffron
- 2 tbsp Sofrito
- 1/4 cup FRESH Sazón
- 1/4 cup Red Cooking Wine
- 1/3 cup PITTED Alcaparrados (spanish olives with capers and roasted peppers. You can find this at your local marker, look in the Spanish isle)
- 8oz can Spanish Tomato Sauce
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 4 Cups Long Grain Rice – I use organic brown rice, healthier. You can use either traditional white or OBR
- 1 Quart (4 cups) organic (or regular) Chicken Broth – Vegetarian variation substitute chicken for vegetable stock
***Note there are no artificial ingredients in my recipe. This is how it’s done, no shortcuts! Please refrain from using those evil powdered MSG, diabetes inducing packets of Adobo, Sazon or chicken bullion you see at the local markets. There is nothing healthier or tastier than hone made ingredients**
- Bowl for soaking beans
- 3 quart pot for cooking beans.
- Large cast iron or enamel cast iron pot with lid for the rice.
- Large rice ladle
Before you begin, you’ll need to soak your beans overnight. Use the next picture as reference. Take a cup of beans and fill a bowl or pot with boiling hot water. Let stand overnight. (pic 1 shows before, pic 2 shows after 14 hour soak)
1. In a the med pot add soaked beans, 1 tbsp salt and 5 cups water to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 1 hour. You should have 2.5 cups beans with broth at the end of cooking process.
2. In the large pot warm 2 tbsp EVOO, then add onion, pepper, garlic, cilantro and recao. Saute for 3 min or until veggies become translucent.
3. Mix in spices (salt, pepper, saffron, thyme)
5. Mix in cooking wine
6. Add the olives
7. Stir in tomato sauce and add Bay leaf
8. Cover and let cook for 10 min. **If you wanted to make Puerto Rican style Braised Red Beans, all you have to do is stop here. In addition to steps 1-7, add 2 cups water, 1/2 cup diced smoked ham, 1 cup diced squash and 1 cup diced potatoes to this. Cover and cook for 30 min.
9. Rinse rice ONCE and add to mix. QUICKLY add the chicken broth and remaining olive oil to the mix. Stir well to bring all the ingredients together.
**PROOFING YOUR RICE: An old grandmas trick to knowing if you have the correct amount of liquid in your rice is placing a spoon dead center of your pot. If the spoon stays straight but feels sightly loose, you’re good to go, if it falls over you have too much broth, if it feels stiff your need to add just a little bit more broth. Skip if this sounds confusing, rice lovers know what this means.
10. Proof your rice. Set your burner to med/high and bring to a quick rapid boil. Cover pot with lid THEN lower to low/med heat. (closer to low than medium) Cook for 30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
11. After 30 min check to see if all liquids are absorbed. If they are carefully fold the rice from the bottom over to the top. Do this a few times. Then cover and cook for a remaining 30 min (give or take 10 min) or until rice is soft and tender.
After the remaining 30 min turn off burner. Fold your rice once again, cover and let stand a few minutes.
Serve with a side of tostones (fried or even healthier BAKED plantains) and a salad for a healthy vegetarian meal.
Enjoy and don’t forget to leave feedback in the comments section. I love to hear what you all have to say about my recipes.