This Cuban beans and rice dish is ordinarily made with ham hock and bacon.
1/2 pound dried black beans
1 bay leaf
1/2 cubanelle pepper (in one piece) plus 1 cubanelle, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves—2 chopped and 2 unpeeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Soak beans in water to cover overnight. Drain and place in a saucepan with 5 cups water, bay leaf, and the piece of cubanelle pepper and bring to a full boil. Simmer until beans are soft. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Measure the cooking liquid and if you don't have 4 cups, add water. Discard the cubanelle.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add diced cubanelle, onion, garlic, and oregano and cook until onion is translucent. Add the beans, cooking liquid, and rice and bring to a boil. Season with salt to taste. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until rice is tender.
3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil. Add whole smashed garlic cloves and cook until browned.
4. Discard garlic and add the garlic oil to the rice and beans. Season with vinegar to taste and let stand until cool.