Throughout my travels and my culinary explorations, I have discovered that many of my favorite recipes are those that have been passed down through generations. Similar to the recipe for Tapado, which our friend Jose learned from his mother, Arroz Con Plantanos (rice with plantains) was also passed down from parent to child.
This recipe originated with the mother of my dear friend Maria who is 21 years old, warm, outgoing, and very proficient in English. She often walks with me on the beach and allows me to stumble through my Spanish, gently correcting my grammar and helping me when I don’t know a Spanish word. Maria was reared in San Juaquin, an area of the Corozal District in Belize. The recipe, however, comes from Oxaca, Mexico where Maria’s mother and grandmother spent their early years.
Maria’s family serves this rice dish with stewed meat – often chicken. I especially like it as an accompaniment to Tapado because I find it provides a sweet sense of balance to the rich, savory taste of the fish stew. Despite the simplicity of this dish, it has become a favorite in our home. I learned this as a special request from my husband who tasted “Maria’s rice “and thought it was the best he’d ever had!
Arroz Con Plantanos
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
- 4 cups water, or enough to cover the rice by about ¾ inch
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
- ⅓ cup canned coconut milk
- 2 large ripe (almost black) plantains, peeled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
Wash the rice well until the water runs clear and drain in a colander. Shake out all the water you can.
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan on medium high and then add the rice to fry it for about 5 minutes – stirring occasionally. It should not turn brown but the grains should not stick together.
Add water and salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in the plantains and coconut milk. Cover the sauce pan, and keep on medium high for 10 minutes without uncovering. Turn the heat to low, uncover and continue to cook for 2 minutes. When the liquid is absorbed, take the pan off of the burner and replace the cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
I also make this as a side dish to my Belizean chicken. Stay tuned for a post on this delicious dish – coming soon!