Saturday, February 19

Black Beans and Rice

This is a great meal because you can make a big pot on the weekend and then eat it for lunch throughout the week.  If you want to use this for a dinner party, pair it with the Chile Rubbed Shrimp.  Just make sure to soak the beans overnight and the rest is easy!  I like to soak my beans in the same pot I plan on cooking them in so that its less dishes to wash.  Also, keep in mind you need to cook the beans for about 2 hours so start them early to have them in time for dinner!

Makes 8 one-cup servings of beans and rice

1 1b dried black beans
2 cups dried rice (whatever type you'd like)
4 cups chicken broth (or veggie if you'd like this to be a vegetarian dish)
2 bouillon cubes
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 sweet onion
3 garlic cloves - skins removed and just slightly mashed with the side of a knife
1/2 celery stalk
3 cilantro sprigs
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of coriander
Canned diced green chiles
Chipotle Tabasco

Drain the beans and put them back in the pot.  Add the broth plus 2 cups of water.  Turn on the heat and while the pots starting to heat add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, celery and cilantro to the pot (none of these ingredients need to be chopped - they are just for flavor so leave them whole and keep it easy).  Once the pot starts boiling, turn it down to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes add cumin, coriander, and a few dashes of tabasco.  Stir, recover and leave on for another 45 minutes.

Now this time your timer goes off its time to taste the beans - this is the best way to tell if they are done.  The beans should be velvety in texture - not grainy or hard.  If there is any doubt, keep them simmering for another 1/2 hour and you should be good.

While you are waiting for your beans to finish, go ahead and cook your rice.  I like to flavor my rice with the bouillon cubes, but you can leave them out if you'd prefer.

When the beans are done, taste and season with additional tabasco if you'd like.  Stir in about 3/4 can of the diced chiles.  Stir in your rice - use about a 1/2 the cooked rice if you like your beans and rice a bit soupier - or use it all if you want to make it carborific.  Save any left over rice for another purpose (maybe the Cheddar and Poblano Stuffed Portobellos)

Serve hot with garnishes like diced tomatoes, avocado, fresh grated cheddar, cilantro, or sour cream.  This will last 3 days in the fridge so enjoy the leftovers!

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