Happy first day of Summer y’all! My absolute favorite season! Of course, Spring is beautiful with everything blooming and becoming green, but my gosh it messes with my allergies. I know a lot of people really love Fall with its beautiful colors and all of that, but for me it’s just a harbinger of what’s around the corner…Winter. Which I detest. With a passion. Summer’s definitely the time for me. Long, warm days with plenty of time for relaxing, cooking, reading, having a picnic, growing veggies, and all the other things that make it my favorite season.
The only little tiny thing I might not enjoy about summer is when it gets just a teeny bit too hot to want to turn on the oven. On those days, I like to make a supper that can be cooked quickly and on the stovetop only. And if it’s a one-pot meal then all the better. This Black Beans with Rice and Ham fits both those bills…a stovetop, one-pot meal. Just add salad and bread and you’re all set.
There are so many recipes from around the world that use the basic ingredients of beans and rice. There’s the famous New Orleans red beans and rice (which is absolutely delicious) and there are dozens of recipes for Mexican beans and rice along with many from the Caribbean as well. Most of those recipes do not include any meat and you could prepare this recipe without the ham if you wanted a vegetarian option. I also like to include tomatoes in my mixture as I think it rounds out the flavors nicely. Add in or leave out whatever you want to make it your own recipe. That’s what cooking should be all about, right?
Start by chopping the vegetables. The onion, red bell pepper, and celery should be about the same size pieces so that they’ll cook in approximately the same time. Just mince or crush the garlic.
In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the thyme, tomatoes, beans, ham, salt, black pepper, oregano, and Tabasco. Stir well.
I love that I can buy this cubed ham at my local grocery store and keep it on hand for when I need it in a recipe. It comes in this 1/2-inch dice and also a much smaller dice. I put it in soups and stews and it’s also great for omelets! It’s one of those convenience products that I wouldn’t want to do without any more.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook 30-40 minutes or until the beans are tender. While the beans are cooking, prepare the rice.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, salt, and butter to a boil. Add the rice, stir and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender – about 20 minutes.
Serve the bean mixture over hot, fluffy rice. Be sure to remove the thyme stems before serving.
Garnish with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and your choice of fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh chives, salsa, and/or sour cream.
For the beans:
- 2 tblsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4-5 stalks fresh thyme
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz. diced cooked ham
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 8-10 shakes Tabasco sauce
For the rice:
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tblsp. butter
- 1 cup rice
- Red wine vinegar
- Chopped fresh tomatoes
- Chopped chives
- Sour cream
- In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Add the thyme, tomatoes, beans, ham, salt, black pepper, oregano, and Tabasco. Stir well. Reduce the heat to low and cook 30-40 minutes or until the beans are tender.
- While the beans are cooking, prepare the rice.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water, salt, and butter to a boil. Add the rice, stir and bring back to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender - about 20 minutes.
- Serve the bean mixture over rice. Remove the thyme stems before serving.
- Garnish with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and your choice fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh chives, salsa, and/or sour cream.
For a vegetarian option, omit the cubed ham.
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Other bean and rice recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Black Beans and Rice from The Perfect Pantry
- Beans and Rice Salad from Eclectic Recipes
- Jamaican Rice and Peas from Simply Recipes
- Lighter Red Beans and Rice from Iowa Girl Eats
- Slow Cooker Black Beans and Rice from 5 Dollar Dinners
- Mexican Beans and Rice from Eat at Home
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Coke Floats and Vidalia Onion Gratin
- Two years ago: Refrigerator Pickles and Savory Pork Chops
- Three years ago: Riding the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
- Four years ago: Old-Fashioned Cornbread