Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Not Abuela's black beans and rice.

These are of my own making, and are, without boasting, the most delicious black beans that have ever been made. Please don't tell Abuela. Like most of my cooking, the measurements are imprecise and can be modified. Bear with me.

Step one: Put some rice in the rice cooker. If you are feeling sassy, add some lime zest to the water.

Step two: Pour about 1/2" of olive oil--MUST be olive oil--into the bottom of a pot. Cook on medium until the oil starts to get little wavy lines in it and smells pungeant.

While the oil is heating, chop some bells and onions and garlic and tomatoes. I use three or four each, but you can use whatever you have on hand, and can skip the bells and tomatoes if you have none.

Step three: Add the onions and bell peppers to the oil, and sautee for a few minutes. Then add the tomatoes and garlic. Turn heat to low to simmer.

Step four: Add two cans of black beans with the liquid. (You could use the dry, but you would have to prepare them early and I am not that prepared.) There will probably be a decent amount of liquid in there, so that it looks a little like a stew. (If you used dry, you will need to add about a cup of water)

Step five: These parts are the most important, so don't mess around with them:
1. Add two packets of Sazon con achiote y culantro. I use Vigo or Goya brand, but I know that Knorr makes is as well. Orange box. You can get it at Walmart, or at any Latin food store. I get it in the jumbo box at the PX.

2. Add a healthy soup spoon full of cumin. I get my cumin from Penzey's because it is the best spice store ever, and I use a lot of it.

3. Add a healthy soup spoon of beef soup base and seasoning. Also from Penzey's but the Utah Costco sell big containers of it. This is not cube kind, but it is a paste of real beef. I have not been able to find it anywhere in EP, so I get it online. (Cjane can omit this, but it adds the perfect touch. When I make it for the veg's, I just pull a few cups from the pot and set them aside, and add the beef to the rest of it.)

Step six: Let the whole thing simmer until it is thick and saucy and perfect. You can let it simmer for an hour if you want, or you can let it simmer for 15 minutes. Just until it is as thick as you want.

Serve over white rice. Please don't use Instant Rice--it hurts my soul.

I am going to go make some right now...


compulsive writer said...

Sounds divine!

I love your site, by the way. I am a frequent lurker.

And the day I received my first order from Penzey's (a couple of months ago) was one of my best days so far this year.

Even when I'm not actually cooking anything I like to open the lids and just inhale the aromas.

Stephanie said...

This sounds great and I hope to try it once I get the Goya seasoning. I got hooked on black beans when I spent a summer in Guatemala years ago. I checked my local Safeway and they don't sell the culantro y achiote seasoning so I'll need to check the local Latin grocery store. Thanks for the referral for Penzey's. I ordered a catalog. Previously I've used and liked their products.

La Yen said...

I have a testimony of Penzeys. It all started when I could smell the bay leaves BEFORE THE BOX WAS OPENED.
~J used to send her kids over to my house to look all mopey and sick and say "Can you just make me some beans?"

Stephanie said...

Just tried this recipe. It is delicious and so easy. Thanks!