Caribbean Peas and Rice originates here in the West Indies. Although my new friend Tay, the talented author behind Caribbean Vegan,has been schooling me that Caribbean food is so much more than rice and beans, tropical fruit and coconuts, I still find myself attracted to the more simplistic, albeit stereotypical, dishes associated with Caribbean cuisine.
This dish, Caribbean Peas and Rice, is traditionally made with pigeon peas (a type of legume), though regional variations with black-eyed peas exist due to the heavy Creole influence in the Caribbean.
Since I went for the black-eyed peas route, I also added more Creole elements to my interpretation--such as utilizing celery, a member of the "holy trinity" in Creole cuisine and adding a little tomato for complexity. I also added a bit of turmeric for color -- which I think gave the rice a stunning hue.
If you can't find Jamaican dried jerk seasoning (it's a dry spice, but not a rub -- those are salty), you can blend your own--there are plenty of recipes online and chances are you already have all the component spices in your cupboard. Mine is a mix of ginger, crushed pepper, ground pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, onion flakes, sugar and salt.
Check out this "Blooper" picture---I caught quite the reflection on my patio door!