Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beans and Rice, My Way

No food is more familiar to me from my childhood than red beans and rice. At least once a week my mom would concoct kidney beans and kielbasa to serve over buttered rice, which was ironically one of my least favorite dishes. Now that I know stuff about nutrition and have to cook on a budget, beans and rice and I have become friends. I found a way to make it right for me. Maybe it will be right for you too.

NOTE: You could use canned beans for this if you must, but I prefer the dried so that's how I'm listing it. You'll want to soak them for about 8 hours in cold water.

you will need:

2/3 cup dried black beans, soaked and rinsed
2-3 whole cloves of garlic
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Mexican seasoning (some people have their own mixtures, I buy mine premixed)
5-6 small potatoes, like French fingerlings
1 cup jasmine rice
1 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp butter
1 cup monterrey jack cheese
1 onion, chopped into small strips when separated
oil for frying

Simmer the black beans and potatoes over low heat with the whole garlic cloves, spices and chicken broth. Cook the jasmine rice with the combination of water and chicken broth provided. Heat the oil over medium and once it reaches its full temperature, put in the onion. Allow to cook until barely browned and crispy then set aside. Stir the beans occasionally and set the rice aside once it's done, the beans should cook for 40-60 minutes. Add more broth if they start getting dry or if you're low on gravy. Combine the rice with the butter once it's finished while it's still hot, throw in a pinch of salt if you want. Serve the beans over a bed of rice, topped with the monterrey jack and fried onion.

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