Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Times are Lean Rice & Bean Cuisine

Today, I dusted off an old recipe given to us years and years (decades?) ago by my sister-in-law. As it is with all well-loved and oft-used recipes, the paper is now crumpled, smeared, and grease-stained.

Times are thankfully not as lean as they were when we were students. However, with the holiday spending season here, it's always good to cut back. This is a delicious way to do just that. Yummy layered with a sprinkling of shredded cheese, some diced avocado, and a splash of salsa. Refrigerate leftovers for great quesadillas or tacos for a future lunch or dinner.

Cuban Beans
Adapted from a recipe, courtesy of E.O.

1 lb. dry black beans
10 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 large green bell pepper (I used red bell)
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)

In the morning (if you're preparing this for dinner), pick through the beans to remove stray gravel. Wash beans and put them in a pot with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit until dinnertime.

When ready to cook, bring beans to a boil again, and then simmer while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Make a sofrito by chopping the onion, garlic, and bell pepper roughly. Puree in a blender or food processor.  Fry the puree in the olive oil for 8-10 minutes until it is cooked and fragrant. Add the sofrito to the boiling beans, along with the remainder of the seasonings. Cook for an additional hour or until the beans are soft, and the sauce is creamy.

Will's Mexican Rice
Adapted from a recipe, courtesy of Luz

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white rice
1/4 cup salsa (not chunky)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
handful of frozen corn
1 carrot, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to get hot. Add rice and saute for a few minutes, until it starts to get a little golden. Add salsa and stir until the liquid starts to get absorbed into the rice. Add chicken broth. Stir in other ingredients.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and leave covered for at least 5 more minutes before serving.

Ingredient amounts above are approximate except for rice and broth.


  1. How do you kids feel about beans?

  2. Your sister-in-law's Cuban Beans and Will's Mexican Rice look delicious.
    Thanks for planning dinner tonight!

  3. The girls both love beans. However, there's a reason Pretzel Boy earned his other nickname, Mr. Picky.

    Hope you had a good dinner, Cotehele!


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