Back when we were vegetarian, Cuban Black Beans and Rice was a staple meal in our house. I still make it but not nearly as often as I once did. I made up the recipe from a suggestion in "Laurel's Kitchen," first edition. The meal tasted so good tonight that it was really hard for me not to take a second helping.
I usually serve the black beans and rice with a garnish of stewed tomatoes and chopped green onions. Since there haven't been any green onions available from the garden in a few months now, I used chopped red onions instead.
CUBAN BLACK BEANS AND RICE
1 cup uncooked black beans
4 cups water
1 sweet green pepper, chopped into 1" chunks
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
Bring the black beans and 4 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over a medium heat until beans are tender, about one hour. (Check water now and then, adding more water so the beans don't scorch.)
When beans are tender, add the green pepper, onion, garlic and bay leaf and approximately 1 cup more water and cook another 30 minutes using a lower heat. The consistency should be about like that of a thick chili. Before serving, stir in the oil and vinegar and remove the bay leaf.
For each serving, ladle black beans over a bed of hot rice. On top, add about 1/4 cup stewed chopped tomatoes and garnish with chopped green (or red) onion. I prefer the tomatoes at room temp but you could heat them if you wish.
I like to serve this menu:
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Lemon Pound Cake
Doesn't that sound good? We were super spartans tonight in that all we had was the main dish. No hard rolls (sigh) because of staying away from bread, no cuc salad because I don't buy cucs when I can't get them from the garden, and no Lemon Pound Cake. Such deprivation! I have to immodestly say I make the BEST Lemon Pound Cake, but you know there ain't no desserts in this here house right now. (Double sigh. The Cuban Black Beans and Rice sure were good though!) I put all leftovers (bean mixture, rice, tomatoes, onion garnish) all together and eat for lunch the next day.
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