Thursday, September 9, 2010

Simple Black Beans (Caraotas Negras)

I have made several variations of "beans and rice" over the past two weeks, each time reminding myself how broad of a category that really is. And, with such diversity, you can always keep yourself interested in such simple basics. Here is a lovely, and simple, form of black beans.

The base recipe calls for simple flavorings in the beans, and for using canned beans. As always, I recommend starting from dried beans (cheaper, and more flavorful). Also, I cannot help myself from adding cilantro paste to any black bean dish I am making. I just love it that much.

Simple Black Beans (Caraotas Negras)
Cooking Light, June 2008

1 1/2 T canola oil
1 c onion, chopped
3/4 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 c water
2 15-oz cans black beans, undrained (or, cook from dried beans)
1 tsp white wine vinegar (opt)
2 T cilantro paste (opt)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 5 minutes, or until tender.

Stir in sugar, black pepper and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in 1 c water and beans; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thick.

 If using cilantro paste, add at any time during these 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

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