Who knew that this would be one of the best things I’ve made since starting the blog? Or perhaps ever? My kitchen smells amazing. The colors and flavors jump off the plate. You guys, I am not even a big bean lover, but I had a can of black beans and some rice in the house and was in the mood for hearty winter food that I could eat over the next few days. I eyed this recipe all day, but ended up adapting Deborah Madison’s recipe from her book Vegetarian Suppers because it had prettier pictures. It’s the perfect example of how inexpensive staples can be doctored up into something amazing. Recipe after the jump.
- 1 1/2 cups of rice
- 1/2 can (1 scant cup) coconut milk.
- 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
- 4 slender scallions, including the greens
- 2 pinches of saffron threads (Note: I did not have this on hand, so omitted without consequence, though I imagine including it would have resulted in a culinary orgasm.)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Rinse the rice. Bring 2 cups of water and the cup of coconut milk to boil with the saffron and tumeric. Add the rice and 3/4 tsp of salt, cover the pan and cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed and rice is done – about 20 minutes. Stir in the chopped scallions before serving.
- 2 tsp light peanut oil
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 scant teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chile, powdered or in adobo sauce, or more to taste (I substituted powdered ancho chile, as it was in my house)
- Two 15 oz cans of black beans, with their juice.
- 1 scant cup coconut milk (the other half of the can from the rice)
- Sea salt
- 2 limes, one juiced and one cut into wedges.
Start the rice. Heat the oil in a pot. Add the pepper, onion, bay leaf, and cilantro and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, and chile, then the beans and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer until hot. Season with salt and the juice of one lime.
Makes 4 main course servings, can easily stretch to 6 if you have other dishes on the table.
Madison’s recipe says to garnish with lime wedges and some cilantro and/or pickled red onion. I say: Cut up an avocado and some scallions and season them with salt and lime and scoop some on top of the beans. And then on the side, season some mango with chili, salt, and lime.