Mystery House

West Indian Peas & Rice

I love West Indian food.  I love peas & rice.  So I had to try this quick version when I ran across it on Serious Eats.

There’s all sorts of arguing in the comments about the authenticity of the recipe, and I agree, it’s not 100% authentic.  But it’s an adaptation that anyone can make without searching out ingredients like pigeon peas, and it’s good.  The “it’s good” part usually decides things for me.

You’ll need these things:

MRC Beans Rice 1

I was dying for some plantains to serve with this, but there wasn’t a one to be had.  So I picked up some nice collard greens instead.  In case you’re not sure, collards are the ones with the big, wide leaves.

MRC Beans Rice 2

They have great flavor when picked at the proper time.  Collards need a touch of frost; it takes off the bitter edge.  Wash them and tear them up.

MRC Beans Rice 7

Saute several cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil, and throw in the greens.  Scooch them around in the garlic and oil, then pour in a little water and some red pepper flakes, cover the pot and let them cook.  That’s it.

On to the peas.

This is a “toss everything in one pot” recipe.  Aren’t those great?  Of course, I still had several million little bowls to wash afterwards, because, well, I can’t seem to cook without making a million little bowls.  But you’re probably not as bad as I am.

So.  Throw in everything except the rice and scallions.  Yes, it will look weird.  I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.  And “Small Red Beans” instead of kidney beans, because it just seemed right.

MRC Beans Rice 3

Once it’s come to a boil, add the rice and most of the scallions (the rest are for garnish).  I covered this until the rice was almost done, then uncovered it and cooked it until it lost its soupy quality.  (One of the main arguments on the Serious Eats post, I now notice, was about the soupiness seen in the accompanying photo.  It really got people worked up.)

Add salt.  And serve with hot sauce.

MRC Beans Rice 4

Because it really isn’t right without hot sauce.  I’d say you should just move along to another recipe if you have a mortal fear of hot sauce.  The jalapenos don’t really do anything.  I think jalapenos lose most of their heat when they’re cooked, so they just add a bit of flavor.  Hot sauce makes it.  Do I need to say it again?  Hot. Sauce.

And yes, it’s good.  Inauthentically yummy.  And cheap, if you’re watching your budget, although I must say that there’s no way this is a main dish for four people, unless you have more than one side.  Three, with just one side.

Non-soupy photo:

MRC Beans Rice 5

The collards were good, too.

MRC Beans Rice 6

I could eat this again.  I probably will.  But I do want some plantains next time.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Amy says:


    Posted 9 years, 3 months ago
  2. * Chris says:

    Sounds tasty!

    Posted 9 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Lorette says:

    I have a miniature bottle of Tabasco that travels in my lunch box. I frighten the ladies in the hospital cafeteria by how much I dump on my food.
    And Little Bowls are the key to cooking. We are great fans of good prep work. If you have everything chopped and measured and in little bowls, the cooking is a snap. The French even have a name for it: mise en place.

    Posted 9 years, 3 months ago

Comments are not allowed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: