When I try something for the first time and really love it, I know that I’m going to attempt to make the dish from scratch in the next few days. This has happened to me with cakes, rice, meat and vegetable dishes.
With so many tools out there for us fellow foodies to use, there’s a plethora of resources for us to find inspiration after the first bite. My favorite of them all? Yummly.com.
Anyway, I especially found this magical website useful when I tried to make a dish last weekend: Puerto Rican red beans. I originally tried these at my best friend’s house a while ago when her mom made the dish (the family is from Puerto Rico). I instantly fell in love with the flavorful beans and the complexity of the dish as a whole.
I asked my friend’s mom for the recipe but wasn’t able to write it down at the time. Luckily, living in Miami will allow you to meet lots of Puerto Ricans! I asked a co-worker who’s Puerto Rican for the recipe and, while I didn’t put it down on paper, I took note of the key ingredients: sofrito and recaito from Goya and cooking ham.
Now, the original dish I tried at my friend’s house used butternut squash, homemade sofrito (usually a mix of garlic, onions, peppers and tomatoes)and no cooking ham. But I decided to mash up these two recipes and make my own version.
I searched “Puerto Rican red beans” on Yummly and on Google and found a ton of variations until the point that I tired myself out looking for the perfect recipe. Although both search engines really helped me decide what I wanted to and didn’t want to use in my dish, I decided to fuse my friend’s mom’s recipe, my co-worker’s recipe, the variations I saw online and a little of my own twist.
The beans turned out exquisite! While not exactly how I tried them at my friend’s house, they were very close to the original flavor but unique enough that I was extremely proud of my creation. I even gave some to try to my friend’s mom and my co-worker and they both gave me a seal of approval!
While I don’t have the exact recipe that I made last weekend, here is a list of ingredients and some rough instructions for you to follow, if you want to try this absolutely delicious dish! I mean, come on, why wouldn’t you want to try these?!