Rice Cooked in Black Beans

April 20, 2012
by Shannon Hepburn

Rice Cooked in Black Beans
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Ingredients
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or sunflower oil)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1½ cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups cooked black beans with ⅓ cup of their cooking liquid(could substitute 2 15½ oz. cans of black beans with their liquid) See about cooking black beans below.
  • 1 cup chicken stock + ¾ cup water (or all water if you don't have chicken stock on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the garlic on a cutting board and then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let it sit for a few minutes (while you start cooking the bacon). Then mince garlic and salt into a paste with a large knife. Set aside.
  2. Place the chopped bacon and olive oil in a large lidded pot over medium high heat. Saute the bacon until it renders its fat and turns a golden brown color, about 6 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking as it cooks. A little sticking is okay- in fact it's a good thing.
  3. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic paste to the bacon and saute until the veg starts to soften and appear somewhat translucent, about 7-10 minutes. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt, bay leaf, cumin oregano and rice, and stir for one minute until well mixed and the rice is coated in oil.
  4. Add the beans and their liquid, along with the 1 cup chicken stock + ¾ cup water, and the vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until all the water/stock has been absorbed by the rice. Allow the pot to sit, still covered, for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Really delicious as is, or may be served with:

*a dollop of yogurt

*chopped cilantro

*grated cheddar

*your favorite chips and salsa

*guacamole or simply some diced avocado

*leftover rice & beans would make a great breakfast with a fried egg on top

*COOKING CLASS**

Let’s talk for a bit about cooking dried beans.  We all know the benefits:  they’re super affordable, super nutritious, they have a super creamy texture, less salt – so many virtues.  Knowing this, we still often shy away from cooking our own beans for a variety of reasons, including time and convenience.  Here are some thoughts that might clarify the process:

To soak or not to soak?

Soaking these beans from FTY is not essential, they are uber fresh and cook relatively quickly. However, soaking can lead to better digestion – so this becomes an individual choice.

Start simply – only cook as many beans as you need in a recipe, such as the rice & beans recipe above –  that way, your kitchen is not overrun by beans, beans and more beans.

If you do have extra beans, they are great in salads, or added to soups or stir-frys, or can be frozen and used later.

Here’s how I cooked my beans for the above recipe:

~I did an 8 hour soak of 2 cups of beans (because I’m in the habit of soaking – next time I won’t, and do a comparison).

~Rinse well and place the beans in a pot with 7 cups of water, 2 bay leaves and 2 teaspoons of salt (salting beans is also controversial – some say it toughens their skins, I ignore this).

~Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low – simmer for about 1 hour and then check for doneness.

~My beans took roughly 1 1/2 hours

~Give it a try!  I’d love to know how your beans turned out, or any recipe for that matter,  so please leave a comment.