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Bahamian peas and Rice

Bahamian peas and Rice Categories: Import|Rice|Side dishes|Steven Raichlen
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Source: Steven Raichlen

    1 tablespoon  vegetable oil
    4 strips  bacon, cut into -inch slivers
    1 medium  onion, finely chopped
    1 medium  green bell pepper, stemed seeded, and finely chopped
    3 cloves  garlic, minced
    6  fresh basil leaves, thinly slivered, or 1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon  fresh thyme or teaspoon dried
    2 teaspoons  salt, or more to taste
     teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
    2 tablespoons  tomato paste
     teaspoon  sugar
    5 cups  water, or more as needed
    3 cups  long-grain white rice
    1 tablespoon  lime juice, fresh
    2 cups  blackeyed peas

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, basil, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and sugar and cook about 2 minutes more.

Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and lime juice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot tightly. Cook until the rice is tender about 18 minutes, but check after 15 minutes: if the rice is too wet, set the cover ajar to allow some of the liquid to evaporate; if too dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Stir in the pigeon peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Just before serving, fluff the peas and rice with fork and correct the seasoning, adding more salt or black pepper as needed.

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