Black Beans & Rice
This is a variation of the classic black beans and rice dish which is a favorite of my family. While I have never been a big fan of beans, for some reason I can’t keep myself away from this particular dish, so I make sure to cook plenty as it only gets better as the leftovers sit. For those who want to limit the fat content, the rice can easily be made without the coconut milk and this dish is just as good.
Ingredients for the beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 16 oz can black beans (or 1 1 lb 13 oz can)
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 cube of chicken bouillon (for a vegetarian version vegetable bouillon can be used)
Ingredients for the rice
1 cup uncooked white rice ( I prefer Basmati, but any rice will do)
1 can of coconut milk (approx 13 oz)
water (usually 2x the amount of rice)
Directions for the beans
1. Cut the onion and garlic into small pieces and saute at a low heat until the onion is translucent. The garlic can be pressed if desired instead of cut. This will impart a more spicy garlic flavor.
2. When the onion is translucent, add the beans including the liquid in the can (a lot of protein has leached out into the liquid and this will add to the creamy mouth feel of the dish if it is included).
3. Add the bouillon cube and simmer the beans at low to medium heat for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer as they will get softer the more they cook. There is no need to cook them more than an hour, though. As they cook, periodically stir the beans, and crush a few of them against the side of the pot if you wish to impart more creaminess to the dish. When the beans are done to your satisfaction, remove from the heat and serve over rice.
Directions for the rice
1. The key here is to replace some of the water with the coconut milk, so check the instructions for your rice and if you require 2 cups of water for 1 cup of uncooked rice, add the coconut milk to a measuring cup and top off with water to reach the desired volume of liquid. If you would prefer to not use coconut milk for any reason, just use the required amount of water instead.
2. If you have a rice cooker, put rice and liquid in and turn on. If you are using a pot, bring the liquid to a boil and then stir in the rice.
3. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer (very low boil), and let cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
4. When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and let sit covered, in the pot for 5 minutes. If you can’t wait to eat because the beans look so good, feel free to put the rice on a plate or a bowl anyway and cover with beans and eat.
In most cases this will serve four people. However, in my house, two of us manage to eat this all in one sitting. You can easily double or triple the recipe with no modifications.