Friday, April 8, 2011

Black Beans and Rice with Cilantro and Lime

I'm not sure it's possible to go wrong with rice and beans, but this version turned out to be particularly addictive. I suspect adding some avocado on top would do delightful things, as well.

Olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 1/2 cups black forbidden rice (or sub brown and adjust water and cooking time)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Spoonful Aleppo pepper (or sub a hot pepper, minced)
2 cans black beans, drained just slightly (or sub home-cooked beans and some of their cooking liquid)
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup grated extra sharp white cheddar
Salt & black pepper to taste
Lime wedges for garnish

Heat a glug of olive oil in a smallish pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add the black rice and saute for a minute more. Stir in 1 3/4 cups water, bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another glug of olive oil in a larger pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, then add the garlic, peppers, and a pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the black beans with their cooking liquid, bring to a simmer, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, with lid either on or off to evaporate some of the liquid, depending on how much cooking liquid is in the pot (you want just enough at the beginning so that the beans can simmer in it, and to have some left at the end without it being very soupy).

Add the cilantro, simmer another minute, then turn off the heat. Adjust cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste. (This is a dish that will do fine if you have to let it sit for a little while before serving -- in fact, it will allow the flavors to blend even more).

Serve the beans layered over the rice, sprinkled with just a little cheese and garnished with a wedge of lime.

Serves 3-4, and does well reheated the next day for lunch.

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