Caribbean-Style Beans and Rice

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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4 slices smoked bacon or 1 small ham hock
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup dried red kidney beans, brought to a boil and cooled, drained
5 cups cold water
1 Scotch bonnet (Habanero), halved and seeded, or 2 serrano chiles
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (14-oz) can coconut milk
4 scallions, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups long-grain rice, washed and drained


Heat a Dutch oven or large, deep pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the hot pot and cook until light brown on both sides. Add the garlic and saute until light brown. Add the drained beans along with the cold water to the bacon and garlic and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until beans are just tender, about 1 hour. Add the chile peppers, cinnamon, coconut milk, scallions, thyme, allspice, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and once the mixture has returned to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover,and cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Remove the thyme sprigs and Scotch bonnet pepper halves and serve.