Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet

Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet with Cocoa Nibs in glass dessert dish

During the weeklong Patricia Wells’ cooking class, my tasks ran the gamut from braising asparagus, creating compound butters, deep frying onion rings, setting lemon panna cotta, to making an amazing Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet, which won “Best Taste of the Week.”

Ingredients for Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet
Mise en Place in Paris

This sorbet is deep, rich, and incredibly satisfying. With help from my 10yr old, it was the first recipe I recreated when I arrived home and a huge hit with my family. So easy to make, the sorbet will be a standard freezer item all summer long. Enjoy!

Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet

Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 20 minutes active + 1 hour to chill, then time processing in your ice-cream maker
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*recipe adapted from Patricia Wells

Ingredients:
2 cups water
2/3 cup mild honey
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or light corn syrup)
cocoa nibs for sprinkling (optional)
chopped nuts for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions:
In a large saucepan combine water with honey, salt, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute, whisking constantly. The mixture should turn a shiny, deep brown.

Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces, vanilla extract, and syrup. Stir until chocolate is fully melted. Transfer mixture to bowl and place in freezer to chill thoroughly, about an hour.

Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. *See note below.

Serve in chilled bowls with a garnish of cocoa nibs, nuts, or your favorite topping.

*I used my Kitchen Aid mixer’s “ice-cream maker” attachment to make the sorbet. Kitchen Aid recommends 20 minutes of processing to transform the liquid mixture to sorbet. Unfortunately, after 20+ minutes of mixing, my sorbet was still soupy. Not one to give up, I just transferred the mixture to a glass storage container and placed it in my freezer. A few hours later the mixture was frozen and we had sorbet!

In Patricia’s kitchen, I used a traditional ice-cream maker. The sorbet processed while we ate lunch and was ready to serve for dessert. Please follow your manufacturer’s instructions for specific processing times.

Ingredients for Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet
Mise en Place
Water, honey, salt, and cocoa powder combined in a saucepan
Combine water, honey, salt, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil.
Whisking cocoa mixture while it simmers
Simmer for one minute, whisking constantly. The mixture will turn a shiny deep brown.
Whisking in chocolate pieces to cocoa mixture
Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces. I didn’t have a bar of bittersweet chocolate on hand, so I used bittersweet chocolate chips.
Pouring chocolate mixture into glass bowl
Pour chocolate mixture into a bowl and place in freezer to chill.
Chocolate mixture in ice-cream maker
When thoroughly chilled, transfer mixture to your ice-cream maker and process according to your manufacturer’s directions.
Scooping out the Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet
Sorry- we dug right into this bowl, before I had the chance to take a picture… leftovers went back into the freezer for another day.
Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet sprinkled with cocoa nibs and served in a glass dish.
The sorbet melts fairly quickly, so it’s best served in a chilled dessert bowl or glass. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs, chopped nuts, or your favorite topping. Enjoy!

At Home with Patricia Wells

Patricia Wells' James Beard Award medals on display

Patricia Wells is a journalist, cookbook author, teacher, and four-time James Beard Award winner. For over 3 decades, she and her husband Walter have divided their time between Paris and Provence. Every year, Patricia holds several weeklong classes at her Provence farmhouse. She also offers a few classes in her Paris cooking studio, located on the Left Bank in the St. Germain des Pres neighborhood. My friend Joanne and I attended the April 11th-15th “Cooking in Paris” class, along with five other women. Our classmates (and new friends!) spanned the US, literally from East Coast to West Coast, with a stop in Chicago, as well as Panama in Central America. In what seemed like just moments, it was clear we all shared a passion for food, wine, and the traditions and cultures that influence them.

Patricia Wells' James Beard Award medals on display
Patricia’s James Beard Award medals… #goals

Patricia was the most gracious host, welcoming us into her kitchen and life with a warm smile and open arms. She was an intuitive teacher, sensing just when to model technique or offer hands-on support. As with all good teachers, she carefully balanced direct instruction with the joy of watching her students work independently with success.

Patricia Wells holding a rib-eye
Friday’s lunch: Patricia holding the biggest rib-eye I have ever seen!

The class ran Monday-Friday, from about 10am-3pm. While not formally identified, I would say the overarching theme of the food we prepared was fresh, seasonal, and very manageable for cooks of all skill levels. The recipes were family friendly and perfect for entertaining, as many were make ahead. Each day focused on a different cooking technique. For example, Monday’s objective was cooking with water- braising, poaching, and blanching. While Tuesday found us cooking with oil in a variety of ways- deep frying, pan frying, and emulsifying.

At Home with Patricia Wells- Monday's lesson
Monday’s lesson
At Home with Patricia Wells'- Tuesday's assignments
Tuesday’s assignments- before this, I had never made homemade onion rings OR panna cotta. Will definitely be making both again!

Upon arrival each morning, we found our assignments for the day, along with each student’s station complete with mise en place. Immediately, we donned our aprons and set to work as Patricia circulated among us. We were such a collaborative group; if one finished their task, offers of help were made to those still working. Chores were shared, dishes were washed, dried, and put away and the table set for lunch. Lunch was the BEST part of the day as we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labor, while the conversation flowed.

Patricia Wells cooking class in Paris
Hard at work…
At Home with Patricia Wells- dining room table set for lunch
Beautifully set table with Friday’s feast… rib-eyes, steak frites, and seared green beans.

But it wasn’t all “work” and no play! We took field trips… on Wednesday we strolled through the President Wilson Market followed by an unbelievable lunch at Restaurant Guy Savoy; on Thursday we headed to Poilâne, going deep underground to see one of their bakers in action as he worked the wood fired oven, and then it was off to a late morning wine tasting at the charming La Dernière Goutte.

Mushrooms at President Wilson Market in Paris
Incredible variety of mushrooms…
President Wilson Market, Paris
and seafood at the President Wilson Market
Guy Savoy and Patricia Wells
Michelin starred chef Guy Savoy enjoying a moment with Patricia Wells and my classmate, Sarah, during our lunch at his restaurant.
Poilâne in Paris
A visit to the renowned Poilâne…
Stacked baskets of rising dough at Poilâne
Dough has finished rising and is ready for the wood fired oven.
Turning the dough out onto the peel at Poilâne
During his shift, each baker bakes two batches of 75 loaves a piece in the wood fired oven.
Display of loaves at Poilâne
Display of freshly baked bread… the famous rounds are made with a sourdough starter that has been in continuous use since the 1930s.
Outside La Dernière Goutte
La Dernière Goutte is a gem of a wine shop run by Cuban-American, Juan Sanchez. The focus is mostly on organic and biodynamic wines.
Wine tasting room at La Dernière Goutte
Wine tasting room at La Dernière Goutte.
Wine tasting notes at La Dernière Goutte
Wine tasting notes…

Stayed tuned… recipes up next!

 

Paris

Eiffel Tower at night

Bonjour! Several years ago, for a significant birthday, my husband gifted me with a Patricia Wells cooking class- to be used when I felt the time was right. My kids were much younger and I couldn’t imagine leaving for a week, let alone going abroad without them. Fast forward to a Christmas party circa 2014, and a dear friend and I were chatting about our favorite subjects… food, cooking, and traveling. I mentioned that I had this cooking class and asked if she’d like go with me. With gleam in our eyes, we turned to our husbands and shared the wonderful idea… Joanne and I wanted to go to Paris for a week. On our own.  Reminder- we’re at a Christmas party where everyone is full of spirit(!) and cheer. The answer they gave was a resounding and supportive, “Yes!”

Eiffel Tower at night
View of the Eiffel Tower from our apartment.

A few days later, back in the real world and in the light of day with clearer heads, Joanne and I reconfirmed with the husbands, that yes, they were ok with the plan. With that, we booked our trip for April 2016- a year and a half out.

Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur

I returned home a few weeks ago. It was my first time in Paris, and I couldn’t have asked for more. It was absolutely incredible; everything from the apartment we rented, to the cooking class and the amazing women we met, to exploring and experiencing the culture inspired me. My biggest takeaway was to slow down… sit, enjoy time with family and friends gathered round the table. Linger over fresh simply prepared seasonal food and share your stories, thoughts, and ideas. Why do we always feel the need to hurry up and go, go, go? What are we racing towards? Most importantly, at that breakneck pace (to nowhere?), what are we missing that is right in front of us?

playing boules in paris
A Sunday afternoon game of boules.

An interesting observation was prompted by our multiple passes at the Starbucks just down the street from our apartment. Joanne pointed out the window display, “What do you see- or rather, what don’t you see?” “Travel mugs! There aren’t any travel mugs.” The window display had real espresso cups, coffee mugs, and coffee stacked decoratively, but not a travel or to-go cup in sight. No one is drinking coffee on the run; quite the opposite, people sit and actually enjoy the moment. What a novelty! I understand that a blanket statement like “no one” is a very broad generalization, but in my defense the only eating/drinking I saw on the go were a few people at the end of the workday tearing off and nibbling at the heels of the baguettes poking out of their paper sleeves.

rainbow over the Pantheon and Sorbonne in paris
A rainbow over the Sorbonne and Pantheon…

I’ll be sharing much of what I learned in the cooking class in future posts. For now, appreciate the present moment- enjoy what’s in front of you, whether it’s the company you’re keeping or the produce that’s in season in your part of the world. Ideally, you’ll get in the kitchen and find a way to do both at the same time! À bientôt!

Notre Dame at night
View of Notre Dame from our apartment.

 

Irish Stew

Irish Stew with Irish Soda Bread
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Tonight we’re celebrating not with corned beef and cabbage, but Irish Stew. Now don’t get me wrong, I love corned beef and cabbage, but to be honest, I prefer Irish stew for sentimental reasons. My grandparents, who were from Belfast, never had corned beef and cabbage growing up. It wasn’t until they came to America that they had corned beef and cabbage. According to this New York Times article, corned beef and cabbage is definitely more of an American tradition than Irish.

Knowth, Brú na Bóinne
Knowth, Brú na Bóinne

In any event, here is my version of Irish Stew. It was inspired by Nanny’s, with a little help from Darina Allen in terms of quantities. This dish can be served on any cold night; there is no need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day!

Rainbow in Donegal
Donegal

“May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
Quick to make friends.
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing
But happiness
From this day forward.”
Sláinte

Irish Stew with fresh herbs in dutch oven

Irish Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1½-2½ hours
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Ingredients:
2 pounds lamb stew meat
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3” thick
1 pound onion, peeled and sliced ½” thick
4-5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1” chunks
salt and freshly ground pepper
water
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:
In a large dutch oven, layer the meat and vegetables beginning with the lamb, followed by the potatoes, carrots, and onions. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Follow with another layer of meat, potatoes, carrots and onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add any remaining meat, carrots and onions and finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill dutch oven 2/3 of the way full with water. Add thyme and cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and reduce to a simmer. Keep covered and simmer for 1-2 hours or until meat is tender.

Just before serving, stir in fresh parsley. Serve hot with freshly baked soda bread.

Lamb, potatoes, carrots, and onions for Irish Stew
Gather your ingredients… lamb, potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Onions, carrots, and potatoes peeled and sliced on cutting board
Prep your ingredients… peel and slice onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Layers of lamb, potatoes, carrots, and onions seasoned with salt and pepper in dutch oven.
Start layering your ingredients in a dutch oven… layer of lamb, followed by layers of potatoes, carrots, and onions. Season with salt and pepper.
another layer of lamb, followed by potatoes, carrots, and onions seasoned with salt and pepper.
Add another layer of lamb, followed by potatoes, carrots, and onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Final layer of Irish Stew ingredients in dutch oven
Add final layer of lamb, and any remaining onions or carrots. Top with potato slices. Season with salt and pepper.
Adding water to Irish stew ingredients
Add enough water to fill 2/3 up the side of the pot.
Irish stew ingredients in dutch oven
Sprinkle with dried thyme or add sprig of fresh thyme. Cover pot and bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook 1-2 hours or until meat is tender.
After 1-2 hours, when the meat is tender, add chopped parsley.
Start checking meat after 1 hour. When the meat is tender, remove from heat and add chopped parsley. (Total cooking time will be between 1-2 hours.)
Irish Stew with Irish Soda Bread
A wonderful dinner any night… serve stew with thick slices of Irish soda bread.

Brown Soda Bread

Brown Soda Bread

Slieve League, County Donegal
The smell of freshly baked bread, still warm, cooling on in the kitchen should be bottled and sold. Nothing is more comforting and evocative of nostalgia. This bread is no exception. There are many variations of Irish Soda Bread– some with raisins, seeds, or both; some have butter, sugar, or even an egg to make them a little richer; some with white flour, or some with whole wheat. They all share some sort of flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. This brown soda bread, made with whole-wheat flour, is the most basic version.
Brú na Bóinne
Throughout Ireland, brown soda bread is offered with meals- and it is incredible! I make it here at home, and though delicious, nothing compares to the bread I’ve had in Ireland. It must be the flour- the brown soda bread in Ireland is coarser and nuttier than what I’ve been able to make in my own kitchen. I am seriously considering importing a bag of whole wheat flour, just so I can experiment!
Lough Eske, Donegal
Though not an exact replica (how could it be?), this dense, chewy and hearty bread comes together quickly and is well worth making. In less than an hour, you will be enjoying a warm slice of bread, slathered in butter, with a touch of jam. It is ideal for serving alongside your favorite soup or getting you through the late afternoon slump with a cup of tea. Add it to your cheese board with cheddar and apples. It is also delicious with smoked salmon.
Brown Soda Bread on cutting board

Brown Soda Bread

  • Servings: 2 loaves
  • Time: 45-60 minutes
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*recipe adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen

Ingredients:
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 rounded teaspoons of salt
2 rounded teaspoons of baking soda
3½-3¾ cups of buttermilk

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Mix the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and add most of the buttermilk all in one go. Working from the center, mix with a wooden spoon and add more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Turn out onto a floured surface and divide dough in half. Knead each half lightly, just enough to shape it into a round loaf. Flatten each loaf to about 2 inches deep. Put into a cast iron skillet or lined baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross and bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F for about 20-25 minutes more, or until bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from cast iron skillet or baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

Whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk
Ingredients for Brown Soda Bread- whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk
Mixing dry ingredients with wooden spoon
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Well in the center of dry ingredients
Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients.
Pour buttermilk in center of well
Carefully pour almost the entire amount of buttermilk into the well.
Mixing brown soda bread dough with a wooden spoon
Use a wooden spoon to combine the buttermilk and dry ingredients.
Brown Soda Bread dough on lightly floured surface
When dough is soft, but not sticky, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half.
Two loaves of brown soda bread dough
Knead dough just enough to form 2 round loaves about 2 inches deep.
Brown Soda Bread Loaves cooling on wire rack
Transfer loaves to wire rack and let cool.

Brown Soda Bread, cheese, and apples

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Joseph Lincoln, author and native of Cape Cod wrote, “A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for — or on — clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national Anthem. It is ‘Yankee Doodle in a kettle.’”

New England Clam Chowder

In his epic novel, Moby Dick, Herman Melville wrote, “However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

New England Clam Chowder

There is nothing more satisfying on a cold wet night than a steaming bowl of clam chowder, specifically New England Clam Chowder (not the tomato based Manhattan Clam Chowder!). We had just such night last week and this is exactly what I made…

Cook’s Notes:
*The starch released from the potatoes naturally thickens this clam chowder. Some recipes call for a flour and butter roux to thicken the soup, but I find the resulting chowder far too thick and pasty.

*Buy the smallest clams you can find, as they are the sweetest. Traditionally, quahog or large chowder clams are used, but littlenecks are more tender and sweet. Because of their small size, I like to leave the clams whole, but if you end up with larger clams, by all means chop them up.

*Soak those clams in water before steaming! There is nothing worse than biting into a clam and getting a mouthful of grit. Pick over the clams; throwing away any with broken shells or that aren’t tightly shut. Place them in a bowl of cold water and let them soak for 15-30 minutes (prep the veggies while your waiting), changing the water every so often. When the water stays clean, scrub and rinse one more time for good measure and you’re ready to go.

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hour
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*adapted from Jasper White, chef and owner of the Summer Shack

Ingredients:
4 oz salt pork, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
2 dried bay leaves
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½- inch dice
3 cups reserved clam broth (from steaming clams)
8 pounds live clams (about 5-6 dozen littlenecks)
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Prepare clams:
Place clams (in their shells) in a large bowl filled with cold water. Allow to sit for 15-30 minutes, changing the water every so often. This will help release any grit. Give clams a final scrub and rinse to remove any remaining grit.

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Gently place clams in boiling water, distributing evenly. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove lid and check on the clams. The clams are done when they have opened. Using tongs, remove any opened clams. Replace lid and continue to steam any clams that are still closed. After 3 minutes or so, carefully remove lid again… remove any clams that have opened and discard those that are still closed.

Pour clam broth into a large measuring cup, if you see any grit, pour it through a fine mesh sieve. You should have about 3 cups.

Remove clams from the shells and set aside. If you used large clams, roughly chop them. If they are small, you may leave them whole.

Prepare chowder:
Heat a large dutch oven over low heat, and add salt pork. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase heat to medium and cook until salt pork is a crisp golden brown. Remove the salt pork and set aside for another use.

Increase the heat to medium high and add butter, onions, garlic, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and turning golden, about 5-10 minutes.

Add potatoes and reserved clam broth. The broth should barely cover the potatoes; if it doesn’t, add enough water to just cover them. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover, and cook potatoes vigorously until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center, about 10 minutes. If the broth hasn’t thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot, and cook 1-2 minutes more to release the starch.

Remove pot from the heat, and stir in clams and cream. Add parsley and chives. Season to taste.

Serve with Tabasco, or your favorite hot sauce.

Steamed ClamsOnion, garlic, celery, salt pork, yellow potatoes, thyme, parsley, and chives

Sautéing onion, celery, garlic, and herbs in dutch oven
Add celery, onions, garlic, and herbs to dutch oven. Sauté over medium heat until onion softens, about 5 minutes.

IMG_0094

Adding cubed potatoes to onion, celery, garlic and herbs
When onions are just turning golden, add cubed potatoes.
Adding clam stock to barely cover potatoes
Add enough clam stock to barely cover potatoes. If you don’t have enough clam stock, add water as needed.
Boiling potatoes in dutch oven
Over medium high heat, bring vegetables to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender on the outside, but are still firm inside.
Pressing potatoes against side of dutch oven to release starch
Carefully remove the lid and check the soup. It should have thickened slightly. If not, take a few potatoes and press them against the side of the pot to release their starch. Recover and simmer for a few more minutes.
Adding clams and any juices that accumulated to dutch oven
Add reserved clams and any juices that accumulated.
Adding cream to soup
Add cream…
Stirring in parsley and chives
Add chopped parsley and chives. Check for seasonings… because of the natural saltiness of the clams and their broth, you probably won’t need any additional salt, but I love adding lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle full of New England Clam Chowder
Be sure each serving gets a good amount of clams, celery, and potato!

New England Clam Chowder

 

Jamaican Rice and Peas

Jamaican Rice and Peas in bowl

We just got back from a wonderful trip to Jamaica. This is our third visit, and it’s always such a welcome treat to dip our toes in the sand, feel the warm tropical breezes, hear birds chirping, and see every shade of blue imaginable all in the middle of winter!

IMG_9693

And the food! Amazing locally grown coffee from the Blue Mountains; fresh caught conch straight from the sea, tropical fruits dazzle with a rainbow of color, coconuts plucked right from the tree, notched open, and a straw stuck in. Sidenote… I didn’t know until our first visit that not all coconuts are brown and “hairy.” By the time a coconut has reached that point, it is already dried up inside, leaving only the meat. The green coconuts, still hanging on the tree, are full of sweet coconut water, ready for drinking. After you finish drinking the water, the coconut can be completely split open allowing you to scoop the soft flesh enjoying it like custard. My daughter loves it sprinkled with sugar before she digs in!

IMG_9668

We ate well everyday… oxtail, curry goat, fish, coconut shrimp, and of course, jerk chicken and pork. Almost every dinner included a side of rice and peas, not green peas, but beans. The rice and peas are steamed in sweet coconut milk with onions, garlic, and thyme; they are perfect to eat on their own or served as a side dish.

Scotchie's

I’ve already made Jamaican Rice and Peas since we’ve been home, and it’s definitely going into the rotation. I served it alongside pork tenderloin that had been marinated in a wet rub of jerk seasoning. But again, this dish works with a wide variety of meats and fish, or stands alone with a simple green salad as a complete meal.

Cook’s notes:  Check for salt as you go along… the coconut milk is naturally sweet, and combined with the low sodium broth, you may find it necessary to add more salt to suit your taste. The hot pepper isn’t required, but it does add the most lovely hint of fruity heat because it’s kept whole. Allspice is a very traditional component of jerk seasoning and I like bringing that flavor into the dish. This recipe uses canned kidney beans as a matter of convenience; feel free to use dried beans that you soak and cook yourself. If you go that route, be sure to save some of the cooking liquid to use for cooking the rice- just swap out an equal amount of chicken broth. Finally, the cooking method, baking the rice in the oven, is from the New York Time’s Cookbook,  “The Perfect Batch of Rice”. It’s hands down my favorite no-fail method of cooking rice.

Jamaican Rice and Peas in bowl

Jamaican Rice and Peas

  • Servings: 8-10 as a side dish
  • Time: 30-35 minutes (15 minutes active + 17 minutes in oven)
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Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, butter, or extra virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 cups long grain white rice, rinsed and drained
salt to taste
3 cups liquid (1 13.5oz can coconut milk + enough chicken broth to total 3 cups combined)
4 sprigs thyme
¼ tsp allspice or 3 allspice berries
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, left whole
1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat oil or butter bottom in bottom of ovenproof saucepan. Add the finely chopped onion. Stir and cook until onion wilts. Add the smashed garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated. Add salt to taste.

Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Add hot pepper, thyme, and allspice to the rice and let broth come to a boil.

Stir in kidney beans. Cover pan and place in the oven. Set timer for 17 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven. Let stand 5 minutes, then uncover. Remove thyme, scotch bonnet, garlic clove, and allspice berries if using. Gently fluff rice with fork. Check for seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for Jamaican Rices and Peas: rice, beans, coconut milk, chicken broth, onion, thyme, allspice and pepper

Rinsing and draining rice in mesh strainer
Rinse and drain the rice as part of your prep.
Wilting finely chopped onion in saucepan.
Melt butter or coconut oil in ovenproof saucepan. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until wilted.
Adding coconut milk/chicken broth mixture to rice
Add coconut milk/chicken broth mixture to rice.
Timer set for 17 minutes
Set timer for 17 minutes.
Jamaican Rice and Peas
After 17 minutes, remove pan from oven. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing lid.
Fluffing rice with fork
Use a fork to gently fluff rice. Carefully remove pepper, thyme sprigs, garlic clove, and allspice berries (if using). Check seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Jamaican Rice and Peas in bowl
Serve immediately and enjoy!