Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black beans and rice - to nice to be mild

Some nights, I just want something hot and filling for dinner; and I don't really seem to care what that contains. There's a specific texture I'm looking for--silken without sauce--that always comes to mind when I think of rice and beans. I think it's a perfect dinner for any night. My SO thinks its bland. We live in two different worlds of taste. He's a fire-eater and I, alas, am not.

So this is my non-fire-eating version, which he thinks is just OK. More for me!

I like making beans from scratch, but in the spring--when the beans take 2+ hours to cook, being that they are so very old, I use canned. I drained 1 can of black beans and 1 can of navy beans and rinsed the beans well. This gets rid of a lot of salt, and I've always found the thick bean liquid in cans rather disgusting.

Once well-drained, I carefully diced up a yellow onion, red bell pepper, chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, two-ounces of medium chorizo, and 4 garlic cloves. I warmed olive oil in a pan, then added the onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally until the onions wilted.

Then I added the rest of the vegetables. I cooked the rice separately (in water). When it was done, I added the beans and rice to the pan along with 2 cups of home-made chicken broth. This replaces the bean cooking liquid required by the original recipe and adds a lot of flavour.

Stir well to incorporate, add the spices, and allow to simmer. The cooked rice will absorb a lot of the liquid. If it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and uncover to allow the steam to escape. Serve it hot topped with cilantro and lime.

1 cup dried black beans (3 cups cooked)
1 two-ounce link chorizo, diced
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarseley chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, diced
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, juiced

1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil; add the rice, reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes more. Fluff with a fork and then spoon some rice into each bowl.

2. Drain the beans. Dice the onion, pepper, and garlic. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large sauce pan, and add the minced vegetables, chorizo, and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften somewhat, about 5 minutes. Add the drained beans, cilantro, cooked rice, and 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook off any extra liquid.

3. Remove the beans from the heat and stir in the lime juice and top with cilantro. Serve hot.

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