Tag Archives: latin white rice

Frankenbeans! (Hot Dogs and Pink Beans in a Skillet)

18 Feb

It’s a sad irony that I finally have perfected Latin white rice (thanks to my dad’s technique) and the doctor tells me that I have to reduce carbs for my triglycerides or somesuch! Terrible.

But Leandro received no such warning, so he gets to enjoy my now fantastic rice with any number of dishes.

Here’s franks and beans with an ever-so-slightly Latin flavor. Goya’s Latin-style tomato sauce and cilantro and culantro put a little spring in the step of this easy, kid-friendly dish. My parents used to make us something similar when we were kids, so it was fun to try and recreate them. They have very little in common with the sweet gooey canned Franks and Beans you find. This are actually grown-up worthy too!

Beans and Franks

Beans and Franks

I use Applegate Farms Organic Beef Hotdogs. I prefer organic meats as a rule. These also don’t use synthetic nitrites, but it isn’t clear from what I have read that natural nitrites are any better than synthetic. They are more expensive than your standard supermarket dogs, but I feel that they are worth it.

Leandro loves these, and they reheat very well for his lunch thermos the next day. (In the morning, when I am boiling water for tea, I boil extra to pour in the Thermos to warm it up. Then I dump the water, put in the hot food, and it is still warm a few hours later for his lunch ).

 

Frankenbeanie!

Frankenbeanie!

Frankenbeans

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

½ Cup onion, minced

1 tsp garlic, chopped

3 hot dogs, sliced into ½ inch rounds

1 Tbs fresh cilantro chopped

1 tsp fresh culantro (recao; sawtooth coriander) or other green herb of your choice, chopped, optional

8 oz can Goya Latin Style Tomato Sauce

2 pinches salt

2 pinches hot red pepper flakes

½ tsp ketchup

1 Cup pink beans (soaked or from a can)

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high and add onions, Stir to coat, lower heat, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and cook an additional minute or two, until the house smells good and the vegetables are wilted. Add hot dogs and stir, then add cilantro and culantro or other herbs. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add tomato sauce, salt, red pepper, and ketchup to taste. Add beans. You will probably want to add about ¼ Cup water to thin. Simmer for 10 minutes r more and serve with Latin-style white rice.

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Classic Spanish-Caribbean Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) and Perfect White Rice

4 Dec

I have a four-year-old boy, so you know that toilet humor reigns supreme around here. I don’t particularly like all the burp and fart and poop talk, but I am a pragmatic woman; I try to make my reality work for me and try not to dwell on the way things “should” be.

So, what passes for classic poetry in my house starts out, “Beans, beans, good for your heart…” and you probably know the rest. I have no problem getting Leandro to eat beans several times a week; what preschooler could resist the lure of stinking out family and friends with such jackhammer potency? It goes much the same for asparagus; I reeled him in with the promise of sulphurous-smelling pee and now it’s one of his favorite (of very few) vegetables.

This is perhaps not the most appetizing of ways to introduce a recipe, but I’ll take my chances that you are interested enough in making fast, easy and healthy black beans that taste just as good as whatever you get in your local Cuban joint to overlook the other factors. Or, if you are a boy of any age, perhaps it is just the intro you need to start incorporating more beans into your diet!

(Note: the more often you eat beans, the better your body processes them, so some of the gassy part dissipates over time. And the low-fat, fiber, protein benefits are incredible. They are also cheap, especially if you soak your own*).

Classic Latin Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)

1 Tbs olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ red or green bell or cubanelle – Italian long sweet – pepper (about ¼ Cup), diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

28 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (4 Cups if using dried*)

½ Cup water (you can add more as needed)

1-2 stock cubes (vegetarian vegetable is fine; I use Knorr chicken)

1 Tbs dry oregano (or 1.5 fresh)

1 tbs cider vinegar (optional)

Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot at medium high until fragrant. Add onion and peppers and stir to coat. Lower heat and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic, stir to coat and cook another minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer, about 15 minutes. Serve with white rice (recipe below).

*Soaking dried beans: Rinse a pound of beans (from a store that seems to move a lot of dried beans – one of the problems is that if the beans are old, they will never soften up nicely), soak them in two quarts water overnight. Change the water in the morning and in the evening rinse and change water. Simmer them for two hours and holy legumes, Batman: 1.5 quarts of beans to play with.And talk about cheap: a pound of dried beans costs about the same as a 15.5 oz can of them and you choose how much sodium you want with it.

 

Perfect White Rice (you can halve this recipe if you are not big into carbs)

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Cups long-grain white rice (Sello Rojo, Goya or other Latin brand preferred)

4 Cups water

½ tsp salt

Place olive oil in a medium pot (with a tight lid). Begin heating to high while adding the rice. Stir to coat, Add water and salt. Stir once, then bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and allow water to evaporate until it goes below the surface of the rice and there are a couple of holes in the surface. Turn rice over once with a big spoon. Cover and cook on low another ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Mini-Fiesta Chili con Carne and Perfect Latin White Rice (Yes, all the kids ate it…eventually)

10 Oct

My friend Pam often opens her home for massive Mom-and-Kid-Family playdates on Saturday afternoons with our extended group of single mom friends. Think a dozen little maniacs — ages 7 and under — tearing around a big backyard on bikes and scooters and what have you, swinging, arguing, playing…while the moms share stories from the frontlines of parenting solo.

On these occasions I often invite myself and Leandro to stay for dinner after everyone’s gone.  These meals tend to be a collaborative effort (as the best sort of friendships tend to be). Our kids — she has two — love each other’s company and she’s got loads of toys so they leave us in relative peace to chew the fat, complain about them, worry about everything, laugh at ourselves…you know the routine.

This time I invited ourselves over again, but I had the meal already in hand. In my cooler tote went a pint of Basic Seasoned Ground Beef that I pulled from the freezer, a 28 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes, a 15 oz can of red kidney beans, chili powder, cheddar cheese (secret weapon) and a bag of rice.

I also brought a bottle of Wölffer Estate apple wine, because it’s locally produced, refreshing, tasty, good with food, and –at just 7 percent alcohol — Pam — the Lightweight Champion of the World — can have more than one glass and so can I, even though I have a drive home later. Kim and her two girls also stayed, so we popped the cork and got the party started!

Now, don’t think the kids just tucked right into it. No way. Leandro loves the stuff, but the other moms were skeptical whether their kids would go for something quite so bean-y, quite so meat-y, quite so seasoned, quite so different from what they usually have, ’cause that is how kids are.

They were right; the cute little molded mounds of rice went quickly, and they picked the cheddar cheese off the top of the chili, but they were decidedly unenthusiastic about the main part of the meal. So I told them they were hurting my feelings, offered to mix in rice and cheese to anyone who would just try the food to make me happy, and soon enough, they were eating it up. Score!

Please note: this is easy to assemble in no time at all (20 minutes or so from fridge to table), IF you have pre-made seasoned ground beef stored in pint containers in your freezer. I include the recipe here; it is a pillar of my kitchen strategy and I recommend you make it three pounds at a time!

I also include my recipe for perfect Latin white rice…Pam actually made excellent rice in her pressure cooker this time, but I include the recipe just the same. The parboiled quick stuff is just not acceptable, except in extremis, sorry.

Chili Con Carne (serves four adults)

1 pint Basic Seasoned Ground Beef (see below)

28 oz can tomato puree/whole peeled tomatoes/crushed tomatoes (Italian-style NOT recommended; basil has no place here)

15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 Tbs chili powder

hot sauce, if desired

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Monterey Jack would work too)

In a large pot, add beef, tomatoes, beans and chili powder, bring to a boil and then simmer. Begin preparing rice (see recipe below). When the rice is ready, the chili should be ready too. Just adjust for seasoning and serve rice topped with chili and cheese.

Basic Seasoned Ground Beef

You can build on this dish to make many different meals

BASIC SEASONED GROUND BEEF (this is half of what I usually do to freeze. To do 3 lbs. at a time, double everything – Note: do NOT skip the olives and capers, even if you hate them. I never eat olives — green or black –yuck! but I cook with them. In this dish they give a salty, sharp, savoriness that is crucial and the little bits pretty much disappear in the cooking. Pam and Kim and the kids all ate them without noticing!)

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 baseball sized onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced (go for more if you like – I do!)

1.5 lbs. ground beef

(Optional1/4-1/2 C. chopped red pepper fresh or roasted from a jar)

1/2 tsp adobo powder* (if desired – I generally don’t use it, but some people love the extra salt and the umami)

1 heaping Tbs capers, drained

10 manzanilla olives (pitted and stuffed with pimientos), chopped small

(optional 1/2 cup tomatoes from a can – diced, chopped, whatever or a spoonful of tomato paste you need to use up)

Heat oil on high in a large saucepan until thin and fragrant. Add onion and cook, stirring, for two minutes until well coated and getting translucent. Lower heat to fairly low and cook for five minutes, add garlic and cook for another minute. Raise heat to high and crumble in ground beef, stirring and breaking up frequently until fully-browned. Spoon out fat or pour off (don’t make it too dry!) into sink (carefully!).

Return to heat, add red pepper, optional adobo, capers, olives and optional tomato. Mix completely. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until fat begins to separate from sauce. Serve or freeze.

 *instead of adobo powder, mix 1/4 tsp salt and 1 Tbs mixed chopped fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, parsley) or 1 tsp dried

Perfect White Rice (you can halve this recipe if you are not big into carbs)

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Cups long-grain white rice (Sello Rojo, Goya or other Latin brand preferred)

4 Cups water

½ tsp salt

Place olive oil in a medium pot (with a tight lid). Begin heating to high while adding the rice. Stir to coat, Add water and salt. Stir once, then bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and allow water to evaporate until it goes below the surface of the rice and there are a couple of holes in the surface. Turn rice over once with a big spoon. Cover and cook on low another ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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