JAMAICAN RICE AND PEAS (rice with coconut milk and red beans, for eight)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 cups jasmine rice
one 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, well shaken
1-1/2 cups water
1 sprig thyme
1 Scotch bonnet or other hot chile (optional)
about 3 cups cooked small red beans or pinto beans (start with 1-1/2 cups dried beans or use two 15 ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the garlic and scallion and cook stirring, just until softened about 3 minutes; reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning.
2. Add the rice, coconut milk, water, thyme, Scotch bonnet, if using, beans and the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir well, reduce the heat to very low, cover tightly, and cook without disturbing for 25 to 30 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is very tender.
3. Add the black pepper and, if desired, more salt. Fluff before serving.
from Amanda Hesser, The Essential New York Times Cookbook