black beans-rice with ginger lime salsa Aunt Suzy says . . .

I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit while planning a family trip to Illinois.  I sent it to Margaux’s Mom Kathleen where I’m staying and she gave it a thumbs up . . . and that was only on paper :-). I made this a couple of days ago and we both agreed it’s a Wow!  A pretty fast and easy wow at that.  We served with a green salad and a Sauvignon Blanc. My niece Malory’s kids are sick so I asked if I could get her some groceries, and she requested most of the ingredients in this recipe.  So I shared it with her and she made it last night – so not only did adults like this but it has been kid-tested also.  And, thanks for the photo, Malory!

Malory says . . . 

As Aunt Suzy mentioned I have three sick kiddos, ages 5 and under, so as you may be able to imagine I am a little worn out! Deciding what’s for dinner is never an easy task and the same recipes can get very monotonous. What I love most about this simple recipe is that it takes the same ingredients I usually have on hand and mixes it up for a great flavorful dish! My tastebuds were in heaven! My kids loved it too and even asked for seconds. Next time I will definitely be doubling this recipe!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups brown rice

3 cups water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup water

2 jalapeños or Fresno chiles (red preferred if available), stemmed, halved, seeded

1-2 garlic cloves

1 rounded tablespoon chopped peeled ginger

zest and juice of one lime

1 avocado, halved, pitted, chopped

1/2 cup or more coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup or more crumbled Cotija or feta cheese

lime wedges (for serving)

Directions

Cook the rice:  Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Saute about 1/4 of the chopped onion till soft then add the rice and saute until it has a nutty aroma.   Add the 3 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes until water is completely absorbed.  When done, add a handful of cilantro if you wish.  While the rice is cooking . . .

Cook the beans:  Saute about 1/3 of the remaining chopped onion in one tablespoon olive oil till soft.  Add the spices and saute a minute more. Add the beans and water, bring to a bubble, turn down the heat and simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing a few beans.  Take off heat and set aside.

Make the salsa:  Place the remaining onion, chiles, garlic, ginger and lime zest/juice in a blender container.  Pulse to a chunky consistency.  Pour salsa into a bowl.

Assemble the dish:  For each serving, place rice into a bowl and top with some beans.  Sprinkle with cilantro, some avocado and cheese.  Top with the ginger-lime salsa.  Pass the lime wedges.

Main Dish Spanish Rice

July 10, 2012

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This dish was inspired by a recipe in Sheila Lukin’s All Around the World Cookbook.  It was a somewhat typical recipe for the Mexican dish we know as Spanish Rice, with Chorizo and an abundance of tomatoes added.  I thought it would be even better with lots of vegetables and started building my recipe from there.  I make a vegetarian version of this just as often as I make the recipe with Chorizo – instructions and ingredients for both are included.  I thought to make this because we had an open bottle of Spanish Rioja, which turned out to be an excellent match.  A Mexican beer – light or dark – goes really well also.  I often serve this with orange and avocado salad as it complements the richness of the dish.  I made a watermelon-cucumber salad yesterday, which also was a refreshing companion.  In addition to use as a main dish, this can be served as a side to grilled fish/meat or tamales.

Please note this makes a mega amount (8-10 servings), so the recipe can be easily halved, although leftovers at a later date are delicious.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium white or yellow onion, small dice

1 large or 2 medium carrots, small dice

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Spanish-style Chorizo sausages, fully cooked, split lengthwise and sliced in half-moons (omit for vegetarian)

1/2-1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, rinsed and diced, use for vegetarian

2 cups long-grain brown rice

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (water for vegetarian)

1 summer squash (yellow or zucchini), diced

2 cups green beans, ends trimmed and snapped in half

1-2 cans black beans, use for vegetarian

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Drain the tomatoes, using a strainer over a quart measuring cup.  Add enough chicken stock or water to the strained liquid to measure 3 1/2 cups.  You may not use all 3 cups of stock/water.  Set aside the liquid and the drained tomatoes.

Steam or simmer the green beans to desired doneness.  I like just past tender crisp for this dish.  Drain and set aside.

Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  Once shimmering, add the onion and carrots.  Turn down heat to medium and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and Chorizo and saute for 2-3 more minutes.  For vegetarian, add the garlic and the chipotle pepper.  Next add the rice and saute for another 4 or so minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the tomatoes, the 3 1/2 cups of liquid and the diced summer squash.  Bring to a bubble, then turn down heat and simmer, covered, until done, 50-60 minutes.

When liquid is fully absorbed, remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  Stir to combine ingredients, then stir in the green beans, black beans if using, and any other vegetables you are using.  Let sit for a few minutes to heat up these last additions.  Finally, stir in the cilantro or parsley or pass these for garnish at the table.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS:  I do not salt and pepper this dish due to the high salt content of many of the ingredients.  I find it plenty flavorful without either, but add according to your taste.  When making the meat version, I like to use AmyLu’s Chicken Chorizo, but I have used pork Chorizo and both chicken and pork Andouille sausage in this dish.  Make sure you are using fully cooked vs. fresh Mexican Chorizo sausage.  The original recipe called for white rice, but once I started using brown rice the dish with white paled in comparison :-). I’ve been thinking this would be nice with 2 cups of diced fresh tomatoes during season (vs. the canned), but haven’t tried it.  Other vegetables can be added such as green peas or corn, and I think this would be good with thinly sliced radishes and avocado as garnish.  Lots of options!