I knew I would be alone for supper tonight since my hubby was working the evening shift. I opened the fridge this afternoon to see what I had to work with for supper and realized that our fridge was bare (a very rare occurrence in our house!) except for a couple of fruits and vegetables - we were definitely due for our weekly grocery shopping trip! I skimmed through some of my cookbooks looking for recipes that could use some of our pantry staples without me having to go to the grocery store. I came across this recipe - it was perfect! Not only because I had all the ingredients on-hand but it was a recipe I had been wanting to make for a long time!
The recipe was perfect BUT where were all the spices?! It just sounded so... bland! It needed spice, after all ...it was a Cuban recipe, how could it NOT have spice! I decided to search the net for similiar recipes to see what could be added to jazz it up. I finally found one and decided I would add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp crushed red chili peppers, 1 bay leaf, and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
I was very surprised at how good this recipe turned out! I honestly didn't think a recipe with such simple ingredients would result in such a great dish! And, not only did it taste great, it was super easy and fast to make. It's a definite keeper recipe!
History of the recipe: Black beans and rice is a popular Cuban dish said to bring good luck when eaten on New Year's Day. In Spanish, the dish is called Moros y Cristianos or Christians & Moors, with the black beans representing the dark-skinned Moors and the white rice representing the lighter-skinned Christians.
Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos)
How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, peeled if desired, and chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups drained cooked or canned black beans
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; don't bother to drain), optional
1 cup bean cooking liquid, or chicken, beef or vegetable stock, or water
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
My additons: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp crushed red chili peppers, 1 bay leaf, and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Cooked Rice to serve
1. Place the oil in a large, deep skillet and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the pepper is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, the beans, the optional tomatoes, and the liquid. (I added the extra spices at this point).
2. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the beans are hote and most of the liquid is evaporated, 10 to 20 minutes. Stir in most of the parsley. (I took out the bay leaf here).
3. Arrange the pilaf on a platter, in a ring if you like. Spoon the beans over the rice or into the center of the ring, or pass them separately. Garnish with the remaining parsely and serve.
Per main dish serving: Calories 341; Fat 5g; Percent Calories from Fat 13; Potassium 536mg; Carbohydrate 65g; Folate 133mcg; Sodium 917mg; Calcium 118mg; Protein 10g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Cholesterol 0mg