Some of you have reported hunting down my bean recipes. Well here are some of my faves, all gathered in one place! Just click on the image to get to the recipe.
As much as I like my basic five-minute black bean recipe, (http://hotcheapeasy.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/five-minute-black-beans/)I do get bored with it occasionally and I also actually sometimes have more than five minutes (this prep takes maybe ten minutes).
On this occasion of boredom and time to spare, I had some chorizo and roasted red pepper doing nothing but getting old in my fridge, so I broke out of my box. The result was much, much better than I anticipated; the addition of chorizo added a silky umami sort of mouthfeel that was actually a bit like gravy. So give it a try; my son and I enjoyed the added spiciness and actually had it with rice one day and on tortilla chips topped with Monterey Jack cheese and lightly broiled the next day.
Black bean variation (with chorizo, roasted red pepper and oregano)
1.5 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3oz Spanish-style dry chorizo sausage, peeled and diced
1 Tbs roasted red pepper from a jar, drained and diced
1 29oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp dry oregano
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until fragrant. Add onion, stir to coat and lower heat to medium. Cook for five minutes. Add garlic, cook one minute. Add chorizo and cook until it starts to release color. Add red pepper, stir to coat. Cook an additional minute. Add beans, oregano and ½ cup water (more if you want more liquid for rice; about that or less for future quesadilla filling or nacho topping). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes.
Black bean soup is the perfect blend of pragmatic and sexy. Black beans may be cheap and robust and there is no shyness to their flavor or definitive color – but they have a nutty subtlety that intrigues and keeps you coming back for more and wanting to try it new ways. They are happy in the company of the spicy as well as the subdued. Try this basic recipe first (it is broken down into easy steps, so it only looks long) and then start ad-libbing and improvising according to your tastes. Black beans are very sociable and get along with all sorts of flavors!
Black Bean Soup (with vegetarian options)
2 oz salt pork in a single piece, scored – don’t cut through as you will remove it (skip if doing vegetarian soup)
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup cubanelle or green bell pepper, minced (may mix or substitute with red pepper. Cubanelles are the pale green cooking pepper, sometimes called Italian cooking peppers)
6 culantro leaves, minced (if available. If fresh from the garden, 2-3 leaves should be enough. If you can’t find it, skip or add parsley)
1 Tbs cilantro, chopped (plus another Tbs chopped and reserved for garnish)
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
2-3 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbs oregano (2 Tbs if fresh)
1 tsp cumin powder
2 Cups black beans from dried (soaked overnight, water replaced in the morning and simmered for two hours in the afternoon) OR two 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained.
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a soup pot. Add salt pork and sauté until it has rendered much of the fat. Remove the salt pork and discard. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and warm it. One at a time, stirring to coat, add onion, garlic, peppers, culantro (recao), and cilantro. Saute at medium heat, stirring occasionally.
When the sofrito elements are translucent and limp, add the vegetables and stir to coat and cook till somewhat tender.
BROTH AND BEANS
Add broth and heat to boiling. If using soaked beans, add at this time with remaining spices and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. If using beans from a can, first cook broth and vegetables for 15 minutes, then add beans and cook for another five minutes.
(Optional finishing touches: Some folks, Cubans in particular, like to add a couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar at the end to finish. You may like to serve with sliced or chopped avocado, dressed with a bit of red onion, squeeze of lime and salt. You can also serve over rice. I like to garnish with finely minced red onion, cilantro, and/or finely chopped hard-boiled egg. Sriracha is my current favorite hot sauce, but any hot pepper based hot sauce will spike this up nicely)
A rocking go-to recipe, with Latin flair and yes, a short-cut. I admit it; I use a stock cube in this one. So sue me.
1/2 Tbs olive oil
One small onion, chopped
(optional – chopped red or green pepper; if I have end bits that need to be used, I chop ‘em up and put them in too)
one 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
half a chicken bouillion cube (the whole thing, if the beans are low sodium)
Heat oil in a small pot on medium high. Add onions, stir, then lower heat to allow to soften. Add beans, 1/4 can water and stock cube and simmer up until the rice is ready. Serve over rice. Or roll up in your favorite wrap with some cheese.
Yup, that simple. We have it as a meal or a side here. And I find that, mixed with rice, it reheats wonderfully for our packed lunches…