Island Peas & Rice – Fire Day Friday

I am trying to kick winter on it’s way by cooking summery dishes like Bahamian Grilled Chicken and the Caribbean classic side dish, peas and rice. 

Island Peas and Rice
adapted from Steven Raichlen’s The Barbecue Bible

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Basil Blend* or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, fresh cracked
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups uncooked long grain rice (not instant)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 15.8 oz can crowder peas, drained


  1. Crisp the bacon in a large 3 quart pot over medium high heat.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel covered plate.  Remove all but 2 Tbsp of the grease.
  2. Saute the onion, bell pepper, garlic, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and sugar, cook another 2 minutes.
  3. Add 5 and a half cups of water and 1 Tbsp of lime juice and bring to a boil.  Add the rice, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the crowder peas and cook covered another 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and let stand covered 5 minutes.  Then fluff with a fork and serve.

*I have NO affiliation with these people.  But I LOVE fresh basil in the summer when we grow it in our yard.  Dried basil just depresses me.  I tried this stuff for the first time this week and it’s the best “winter” basil option I have stumbled across.