Friday, September 11, 2009

Eggs, Beans with Sofrito and Cornbread

Boy, that cornbread I made the other day was so good, I've been wanting to eat it at every meal! In order to incorporate it into breakfast, I thought I would serve scrambled eggs with black beans.

Black Beans with Sofrito
The Compassionate Cook

1 pound dried black beans
2 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
8 cups water
1 medium onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

Sometimes called Christianos y Moros, the combination of scrambled eggs and black beans is a great pairing. Served against a side of cornbread, you've got a double dose of protein coupled with a near dessert in the cornbread slathered with butter. Also, since the beans and cornbread are made ahead of time, the only thing you are actually cooking that morning is your eggs.

I've made black beans plenty of times before, but for this post, I wanted to explore beans made with a sofrito -- an intense flavoring sauce that gets cooked into the beans.

Cooking beans from dried isn't hard. They might not come out consistently for me every time, but it's really not very difficult to do, and, provides a more interesting bean than if you serve reheated canned beans. This especially important if the beans will be featured by themselves or served on the side, as in this dish. There are many ways to cook beans. I prefer to soak mine overnight -- not because "experts" say it produces a milder bean with less side effects, but really because it's easier on my schedule. What's easier than setting a pot of beans in some water and then going to bed?

After soaking the beans overnight, boil them until tender -- usually between 90 minutes and 2 hours. While they are going through this first cooking, prepare your sofrito. Combine a bell pepper, onion, garlic, spices, and a bit of the bean's cooking water in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the sofrito to the beans and continue cooking. Total cooking time will vary on how fresh your beans are, and how high your temperature is. Just keep watching the pot and giving the beans a quick taste every now and then. But never set the timer and walk away -- beans can boil dry very quickly, leaving you with a bad mess in your pot.

Once the beans are ready, they can be stored in the fridge and used for a variety of things throughout the week. I have used them in breakfast tacos, as a simple side dish, in chile rellenos, and in the breakfast featured below. In every dish, they will be what The Other Half calls "a spicy meatball!"

Farm box ingredients used: peppers

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When you mentioned burning the beans and having a mess in your pot, I thought to give you one of my favorite solutions about what to do with burned on food on kitchen pots&pans. Put enough warm water in the bottom of the pot to cover the burned on area. Then get the little plastic scoop that comes with Oxyclean (the powdered kind)and fill it with the powder then sprinkle it all over the burned area. If the pot has a top put it on but it's not neccessary. Let sit over night and in the morning you can get the burn out with not much "elbow grease" and a scraper sponge-the kind used on Teflon. I let running water clean out the mess and you will be able to tell if you need to repeat this or put the pan directly into the dishwasher (or soapy water). Very few times have I had to repeat. I also use this wonderful powder on clogged sinks and toilets. Sprinkle some or a lot as needed and run a bit of water into the sink drain and let it sit about 30-6o min. then run hot water through and usually the clog slips away. With toilets, just put a scoop of the powder in the offending bathroom convenince, let it sit for a while then flush. Have a plunger handy in case you didn'twait long enough. I can't remember what I did before I found this handy cleaner.