Sunday, September 16, 2007

Black Beans and Rice

Beans and rice is a staple in our home. There are so many variations and bean/vegetable combinations that it never gets tiring. And so economical and healthy! Tonight I made my standard black beans, seasoned only with onions, garlic, peppers, salt, and tomatoes. Such basic ingredients yet so flavorful! Sometimes simple is really nice.

For my rice, I usually toast a bit of garlic and rice in a saucepan until fragrant, before adding water to cook. Today I added green onions also. This really enhances the flavor of the rice and the garlic is great with the beans. I love garlic! I really like these beans with smoked sausage also but opted for no meat tonight. Continue for Basic Beans recipe.

Basic Black Beans

1/2 onion, finely chopped
about 3 cloves minced garlic
1 green pepper, chopped (I used 2 mild hatch chilis tonight; red is also good)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans**

Heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook several minutes.
Add garlic and pepper and cook until soft.
Add tomatoes, salt, and beans.
Cover and simmer until heated.

**Often, I use dried beans: Soak overnight with a bay leaf. Cook with water (and sometimes I like sausage) in a large stock pot or all day in the crockpot. Saute vegetables and add to beans along with the tomaotes after they haved finished cooking. Simmer about 15-30 minutes to combine flavors.

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