Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jamaican me Crazy.....with Cilanto Lime Rice, Plantain Chips, and Black Bean Patties

Yes.....this is about to happen. Get excited.
Again, apologies for the less than regular posting; I have been on the job hunt and busy with a few other things, but I promise to get back to posting more regularly soon! I have been in a rut, making a lot of the same recipes over and over again and thus have not had much to post about.....but I recently perfected a Jamaican recipe that I would love to share with you all!

The Inspiration: It's cold, cloudy, and rainy.....yep even SoCal gets winter every once in awhile. I know most people tend to crave hearty, warming foods during such weather, but I often find myself craving foods that remind of warmer times and places.......like Jamaica! So that was my inspiration, create a simple, well-rounded meal with Jamaican/Caribbean flavors.

Nutrition Note: This meal is pretty well rounded as far as nutrients go. The rice and beans provide a complete protein, and there are tons of veggies and fiber in the black bean patties and the plantains. In addition the plantains have a good amount of potassium.....and they also just taste really good.

Cilantro Lime Rice and Jamaican Black Bean Patties with Caramelized Plantain Chips

Cilantro Lime Rice
This is the rice after it has been thoroughly mixed.
- 1 1/2 cup dry white or brown rice (makes about 3 1/2-4 cups cooked rice)
- 1 3/4 cups water for white rice (or 3 cups water for brown rice)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp water or olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt

1. Rinse rice until water runs clear.
2. Add the appropriate amount of water to your rice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add salt and let steam until done. 15-20 minutes for white rice and 50 minutes for brown rice. When rice is done cooking turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes before emptying pot.
3. While rice is cooking process cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and water (or oil) in a food processor until very finely blended.
4. Place rice in bowl and pour cilantro lime mixture over rice. Mix until rice is evenly coated.

Black Bean Patties
Dived Veggies
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced bell pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cornmeal/polenta
- 15 oz (1 can) cooked black beans
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup scallions
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 minced shallot
- 2 tsp jerk spice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- juice of one lime
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Black Bean mixture after being processed, as you can
 see it is still not perfectly smooth.....and that's OKAY!
2. In a large saute pan, cook onions on medium heat until beginning to softe. (About 5 minutes) Add water as necessary to keep from sticking.
3. Add the carrots, celery, and bell peppers and cook on medium heat for another five minutes. Adding water as necessary to keep veggies from sticking.
4. Add the cornmeal to the saute pan and mix in so that all the veggies are evenly coated. Continue to cook until cornmeal has taken on a golden color.
5. Add in all other ingredients and cook for another five minutes or until mixture has noticeable thickened.
6. Remove from heat and process in a food processor until relatively evenly blended. It really does not have to be perfectly smooth, processing it for 2 minutes should be more than enough.
7. Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty tin foil and scoop the black bean mixture onto the sheet. I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scooper to make relatively equal sized patties.
8. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until outside starts to brown. Alternatively you could fry little balls of these in oil for some black bean fritters; I went the baking route but if you don't mind fryin' it up, the fritters would probably taste really good too.

Caramelized Plantain Chips
- 1 large, ripe plantain thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1-2 tbsp oil (I don't like using oil in high heat cooking, but it is a MUST for these chips)
1. Add oil to a large, non-stick frying pan and heat for a minute. Make sure the oil even coats the entire bottom of the pan.
2. Add in the plantain slices and cook on medium-low heat for five minutes or until browned on one side.
3. Sprinkle on half of the sugar and then flip plantains over onto other side to brown.
4. Once the plantains are beginning to brown on the second side (about 4 minutes), sprinkle on the rest of the sugar and leave them alone for another minute.
5. Flip the plantains over one last time, and let them cook for one more minute before removing them from the pan.
6. Let the plantains cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

All ready to go!


  1. Yes! I've been waiting to make this :) PS - Love the title Mina!

    1. Haha, so glad you appreciate the title! I hope you like the recipe, let me know how it turns out!