It's funny what some people consider to be a failure. Technically, this dish was a total flop...or was it?
coconut beans and rice over at A Year of Slow Cooking. I made the huge mistake of not reading ALL the comments before preparing this dish. Apparently, loads of other people had trouble with their rice turning into a huge gelatinous mass.
See. the recipe says to cook the dish on low for 8-10 hours. My crockpot runs on the cool side so I thought I'd have no problem with that long of a cook time. NOPE! My rice was fully cooked after 3 hours. I thought, well the recipe says it needs 8-10 hours, it couldn't possibly be done in 3. So what did I do? I ignored it for the next 5 hours.
The result? Imagine a really stiff oatmeal. That was basically the texture of the rice.
While I did add twice the amount of beans, I also boiled them for 40 minutes instead of the suggested 10 minutes. (Red beans have a really tough skin and I wanted to make sure it got nice and soft.) I also added 1 lb of precooked sausage links, sliced into half moons. Neither of these additions I would think would make the rice so mushy. It HAD to have been the excessive cook time.
The weirdest thing about this dish?
Blockette loved it.
And by loved, I mean LOVED.
She asked for leftovers for lunch and dinner every day. EVERYDAY people!
The child that hates beans loves overcooked beans and rice.
I guess when you are a toothless wonder, mushy food is your best friend.
It's for this reason that I can't say the dish was a total fail. When your kid likes something so much, and you don't is it a fail? Probably not. The fact that Blockette enjoyed the dish so much was pretty awesome, even if I did think it was not so wonderful.
I'm not sure if I will attempt to make this again. Mrblocko hated it so much, and I wasn't too keen on it either. It is a great way to stretch a buck. I have to admit I am curious about how the dish would taste if it wasn't over cooked. If I do give this recipe another try, I'll probably just make the dish on the stove.
Crockpot beans and rice from A Year of Slow Cooking
1 cup dried small red beans (soaked overnight, then boiled for 10 minutes)
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes (I used a scant 1/2 tsp)
1 (14.5-ounce) can coconut milk (full fat is best. if you prefer to not use full-fat, add a drop or two of coconut extract to intensify the flavor)
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups long grain basmati white rice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb precooked sausage cut into half moons (optional)
2 limes, cut in wedges (optional)
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Sort beans, and soak overnight in a bunch of water. In the morning, drain the water and dump the beans into a large pot of fresh water. Boil rapidly on the stovetop for at least 10 minutes before draining and putting into your crockpot.
Red beans MUST be boiled on the stove before added to the slow cooker to kill a possible toxin that occurs naturally.
Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour in the whole can of coconut milk (the creamy stuff, too), and chicken broth. Stir in sausage, raw rice and kosher salt. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, (or 3 hours if you don't want a gooey gelatinous mass of goo) or until beans are bite tender. Before eating, squeeze on a bit of lime juice for a fun tropical twist.