Bahamian Peas and Rice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 6 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet onion
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, grated on a rasp or finely minced
- 2 cups rice, rinsed in a sieve until the water runs clear
- One 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 habanero pepper, pierced with the tip of a knife
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the oil, bacon, onion, bell pepper, celery, thyme leaves, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisped and the onion is tender and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and rice and toast the rice until it has a nutty, popcorn-like scent, about 10 minutes more.
3. Stir in the peas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, habanero pepper, and 3 cups water. Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce to a low simmer and cover. Cook until the rice absorbs the liquid, 35 to 40 minutes. Try to avoid lifting the lid until the 30-minute mark, as the steam helps cook the rice.
4. Serve warm.