Thursday, October 26, 2006

Basic Black Beans and Rice

This is a very mild version of beans and rice and that makes a perfect sidekick to other foods.

Black Beans and Rice
2/3 cup dried black beans (two cups cooked) or 1 16 ounce can black turtle beans
3 generous tablespoons olive oil
1 Vidalia onion sliced
small pepper (green, yellow or red, diced fine)
1 cloves of garlic
1 cup long grain rice
dash of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of Penzey's Adobo Seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro

Cook black beans as per directions on package but cook just slightly under done. For me, after pre-boiling and letting them sit with the heat off for a while and then draining and adding fresh water (which greatly reduces any tummy issues with beans) that's about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.

Put the cooked beans in a heavy saucepan, keeping enough cooking liquid to make about 2 cups. (If you're using canned beans, use two cups chicken broth or hot water for your liquid). Heat the olive oil in the skillet, cook the onions and pepper until softened and the onion caramalized. ( I was using leftover veggies so I think there's a little corn in the photo batch as well). Add the crushed garlic or chopped fresh roasted garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, being careful not to burn. Stir in the cilantro, salt and and other spice at this time. Just a tiny bit as this dish is not the star but the base of another meal.

Mix the contents of the skillet to the beans in the heavy sauce pan. Add rinsed and drained rice to the beans, veggies and liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat, a gentle simmer, for about 20-25 minutes. Top with additional chopped cilantro or parsley.

For breakfast, sprinkle with some cheese and let melt, then top with a fried egg or two that you haven't mangled too badly and some more cilantro. Smoked ham is also a good add in, chopped or added to the plate as a side.

Lunch it's great with some spicy grilled chicken or fish on a plate or wrapped in tortillas with your favorite salsa and crisp vegetables for a low fat sandwich wrap.

Serves 4-5 hearty appetites as a side.

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