9 Steps to Arroz con Habichuelas (Rice and Beans)

Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) on a lazy Sunday 
Rice and Beans is a staple dish in Latino and African cultures all around the globe. It’s nutritious, it’s fresh, it’s a little spicy, and it’s delicious. Best of all, like a homemade stew, it lasts multiple days. While there is not one right way to make arroz con habichuelas, I’m  partial to way it’s prepared by the Puerto Rican side of my family.  Here’s my nine step method, all in pictures. Want the recipe? Scroll to the bottom. 
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 1: Prepare the Vegetable to make Sofrito 
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 2: Chop the Sofrito
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 3: Heat Olive Oil then start w/ Ham to maximize flavor
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 4: Add in sofrito, slowly
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 5: Add the BEANS! (small white beans are my fav.)
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 6: Add the Starch (potatoes, pumpkin/squash)
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 7: Prepare Garnishes 
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 8: Cook some RICE 
Arroz con Habichuelas (rice and beans) Step 9: Eat the arroz con habichuelas! (served w NY Strip) 
Arroz con Habichuelas (Rice and Beans) Recipe

What you Need in order of cooking appearance: 
1 half inch cut ham steak, cut it into 1 inch squares
1 yellow onion, diced
1 italian pepper, diced
1 habanero pepper or 1 jalapeno pepper (if want less spicy), diced
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and used whole
8 sprigs of cilantro, diced
1 whole tomatoe, diced
3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
3 small-medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, and cut into cubes
Green olives with pits handful of them
2 cans of white beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans of water OR enough water to completely cover all the ingredients
Oregano few pinches
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Bay leaf

Rice (this will be cooked separately)

Garnishes that go well with the rice and beans:
Avocado, cut into cubes
Sour Cream
Fresh Cilantro
Tortilla Chips
Directions: (make sure stir so that nothing burns and the “sofrito” soaks up all the flavors)
Put some Olive Oil in a Pot, medium heat.
Once the heat sizzles, put in Ham Steak, let it brown a bit
Add Onion, sauté until translucent
Add Italian Pepper, a few minutes
Add Hot Pepper either habanero or jalapeno, a few minutes
Throw in the garlic, a minute or less keep stirring
Add Cilantro, sauté a few minutes
Add Tomatoe, this will give the “Sofrito” a cooling effect, I add a little salt and pepper
Add the Tomatoe Sauce
Add the Potatoes
Add the Pumpkin or Squash
Add the Olives and Stir a bit more
Add the Beans and make sure not to squish them while stirring them in
Add the water and make sure its enough to cover all the ingredients, usually 1-2 cans is enough, and the more water you put in, the longer it takes to cook
Put the Heat to High, stir
Add the Oregano
Add Salt and Pepper
Throw in a Bay Leaf
When The beans comes to a Boil, give it a stir, Reduce the Heat to Low and Cover the Pot
Make sure that when you lift up the pot to check the Beans that it is SLIGHTLY BOILING, that means you have the right amount of heat going on
This will take about 1 Hour, But it could take 2 hours or more again depending on how much water you poured in, so be patient. Let the mixture cook at the low heat, stir once every 20 minutes or so and watch the beans reduce. 

*Make your rice separately. 

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