Friday, January 20, 2012

Red Rice and Black Beans with Peppers and Cilantro

There are few things as simple, hearty, inexpensive, and roundly delicious as rice and beans. Here's one of our favorite versions yet.

For the rice:
Combine 1 cup red Bhutanese rice and just barely under 1 1/4 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. (You can substitute brown rice, but red is worth seeking out if you haven't tried it before.)

For the beans:
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 green bell or Anaheim pepper, chopped
Olive oil
1 can black beans
Handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese (Petaluma Creamery is still our all-time favorite)

Saute onion in a wide saute pan until translucent, then add peppers and continue sauteing until onion begins to lightly brown around the edges (more cooking brings out more flavor). Add the beans and salt to taste (unless beans are already highly salted) and stir. Turn down heat to low or very low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Serve in layers: rice, a sprinkling of cheese, beans, a sprinkling of cilantro, and the rest of the cheese over the top.

Serves 2.

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