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Katie's Cucina

{Guest Blogger} Puerto Rican Red Beans (Habichuelas Rojas)

As part of vacation week here on Katie’s Cucina I’m excited to have Marilyn, from share her families Puerto Rican Red Beans recipe with us! As you read yesterday I practically lived on red beans while on vacation. I couldn’t get enough of them. I cannot wait to bring a little bit of Puerto Rico into my kitchen and cook this tantalizing recipe! Now, here’s Marilyn to share her recipe: 

One of my all-time favorite comfort food pairings is savory red beans with white rice. My mom used to make these beans as a side for a family of four, so the serving size is a little large. I can’t hope to make this dish exactly like my mother, but I can manage a pretty faithful recreation. My inner potato fiend put two potatoes in the photo, and I’ve used two small potatoes before, but one potato works well enough for this recipe. A small squash can be substituted for the potato for a seasonal touch. 

I served the beans over simple Mahatma white rice cooked on the stove with a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Me being the silly goose that I am, I remembered how to make tostones (fried green plantains) backwards — figure that one out — but they eventually made their thin and crunchy appearance. Remember to slice, fry, smoosh flat, and fry again!

Puerto Rican Red Beans (Habichuelas Rojas)

Source: Family Recipe
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 – 15 Minutes
Servings: 4

2 (8 oz.) Cans of Tomato Sauce
1 (15.5 oz) Can of Red Kidney Beans
1 Packet of Goya Sazón con Culantro y Achiote
2 Tbsp Goya Sofrito (Tomato Cooking Base)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cube Chicken Bouillon
1/4 Large White Onion, Chopped
1 Small Gold Potato, Cut into Small Cubes
1 Strip of Bacon

1.) In a non-stick pot on low to medium heat, mix tomato sauce, sofrito, Sazón, chicken bouillon, and olive oil until the sauce is smooth. Continue to stir the mixture until the sauce starts to simmer.
2.) Now, add potato cubes, chopped onions, bacon, and beans. Cover the pot and cook the beans on medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Stir the beans occasionally to prevent sticking.
3.) Serve the beans over white rice with a side of tostones.
Note: Small cubes of cooking ham may be used instead of bacon, but be cautious due of the ham’s high salt content.

Forkful is an Orlando-based resource to help locals and visitors alike navigate Central Florida restaurants through food reviews to satiate a craving, mark an occasion, or share a pint.

Forkful was created by Marilyn, a University of Central Florida alumna with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. She shares both the bitter and sweet experiences with anyone who will listen.

Always hopeful, always by the forkful.

marilyn [at]  • @mismamari  • facebook

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6 Responses to “{Guest Blogger} Puerto Rican Red Beans (Habichuelas Rojas)”

  1. Jessica posted on October 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm (#)

    Awesome guest post! Love me some Rice & Beans! 😀

  2. Marilyn @ posted on October 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm (#)

    I'm glad you liked the post! I used to eat white rice and red beans with fried chicken, but the dish is so hearty that I could go without a chicken or meat side these days. 😀

  3. Alexandra posted on August 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm (#)

    I tried making this recipe last night but unfortunately this recipe was waaaay off… I’m native Puerto Rican and I can tell you I’ve had REAL Puerto Rican beans done several different ways. This unfortunately is not at all what they should be. Beginning with the ingredients and ending with the cooking instructions (there’s a method to cooking beans starting with sautéing veggies, and choice of meat before anything else–you never just throw it all in a pot and stir for 12 min!) Plus it takes potatoes longer to cook and soften than that time (and I was cooking mine for longer than the estimated time here). All in all this recipe misses the mark big time. Unless you want to have tomatoey beans, I’d do an overhaul on this recipe. My husband and I had to add a ton real GREEN sofrito and and adobo to try and salvage this. This recipe misses the mark on so many levels, sorry!

    • Katie replied on August 11th, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Alexandra, I’m sorry to read that you didn’t like the recipe. Everyone has different taste. I love this recipe and make it at least once in a month in my home. It reminds me of the times we have visited Puerto Rico. Good luck finding a recipe that fits your tastes buds.

  4. Bethany posted on November 6, 2015 at 7:29 pm (#)

    Im sorry to say but this is not Puerto Rican beans. I’m sure you enjoy  this recipe since like you said, “We all have different tastes” but you probably shouldn’t label it as Puerto Rican.

    • Katie replied on November 8th, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Hi Bethany, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. My friend, who contributed this recipe is Puerto Rican and this is her families recipe. On multiple trips to Puerto Rico this is the exact beans we ate at multiple restaurants. If you have a different recipe I would love for you to share it with me, but this is the only type of Puerto Rican beans I’ve ever had.

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