Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stellar Rice and Beans

If you read my blog at all you know that beans are a favorite of mine. As I learn to work with them, seasoning them so they are tastier, I like them even more.

There is a restaurant here called Salena's. It happens to be my favorite place to go. Matter of fact, it is a lot of people's favorite place to go. It was voted Best in Rochester many times- for good reason.

I wish I had their recipe for their salsa. I am so addicted to it. Maybe I should contact Gourmet or Bon Apetit and ask them to try and get the recipe for me...

Anyway, these black beans are strikingly close to their black beans (which I also happen to love).

You can make the beans in a crock pot as well. Or you can make them on a Sunday or whatever day you have off and you have them for the rest of the week. They freeze rather well. So, if you are having some Mexican fiesta, you can certainly make them ahead of time. Matter of fact they are always better the next day.

Frijoles de Olla
based on a recipe from, The Border Cookbook, by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, The Harvard Common Press

2 cups dried black beans
8 cups water or more as needed
1 whole head of garlic, minced
1 dried chipotle
2 teaspoons dried epazote
1 plus teaspoons of salt, depending on your taste

Clean black beans, picking out any debris. Soak overnight. In the morning use the same water and add the garlic, epazote and chipotles. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and let cook about 2 hours, checking periodically to make sure the water level is good. Add the salt when the beans are tender.

You can add whatever you like afterward. I added some corn, it tasted better as well the next day when the corn had a chance to take on the flavor of the beans.


kat said...

I love black beans but mine always seem really bland so I'll have to try this version. The addition of corn is great

Mary said...

I should be ashamed of myself but I don't do a lot of work with beans black beans. I have several salsas, a Cuban soup and patties and that's about it. I have to branch out more. Your recipe is the perfect next step. Have a great day.

Lucy said...

I'm loving this technic of adding flavors to the cooking liquid, I've never cooked up beans this way... thanks for the heads up!

Grace said...

i may change my mind tomorrow, but today, black beans are my favorite bean. it's crazy how much better a dish will be when it's made with rehydrated beans rather than canned ones.

Katy ~ said...

Lori, I have to agree. I love to see ethnic cooking such as this. This looks terrific! I have not cooked with black beans so this is a treat for me.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

YUM, Lori.

I love beans too so just had to check this one out!

Fresca said...

Hi, Lori!

I LOVE black beans and recently read in a novel ("Moo") about someone serving black beans and rice over fresh slices of oranges! I thought that sounded delicious-- have you ever come across a recipe for that? (Of course one could just take this recipe and serve it over oranges....)

I don't cook much, but my sister does, and the book you mention--the Border Cookbook--is one of her top favorites ever.

Ingrid said...

Being Puerto RIcan I didn't grow up eating black beans but this past year I've broken down barriers and found that I love 'em! :)

Barbara Bakes said...

Thanks for the tip on Veronica's macs! I love that you can make a huge pot of beans and freeze them. They sound delicious!

Robin Sue said...

I do love a good rice and beans myself, so comforting and perfect for the coming cooler months.

The Blonde Duck said...

I could eat rice and beans every day.

Lori Lynn said...

Sounds good!
I love epazote. We have it fresh in town but i have to drive over to the Mexican market to get it. The smell is so intriguing. I paired it with calypso beans last February. Now you are reminding me, I need to make that again. I think I'll take your advice and add dried chipotle too.

Lori said...

Fresca- sorry for writing so late. No I have enver come across a recipe like that but I bet that would be a fabulous combination.