Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Black Beans and Rice and Mexican Cabbage and Mint Salad

Home after two weeks of traveling and feasting, Black beans and rice is what I crave. This simple peasant food is always fantastic and incredibly flexible. This is the all out version but I have also made them with little more than, well, black beans and rice -they always satisfy.

Black Beans and Rice
Soak 1 1/2 c. washed and picked over black beans overnight or all day. Drain and add 5 c. water and 1 T. vegetable oil to beans in pressure cooker. You can also add a ham hock if you like, though I didn't with these. Bring to high pressure and cook 12 minutes. Quick release pressure. Of course, you can also cook the beans in a regular pot until tender, or just use canned black beans.

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 T. oil in caste iron Dutch oven and add 2 c. rinsed rice. Stir and cook until rice is dry and opaque looking.
1 chorizo link (1/4 lb) if not using a ham hock, or omit for vegetarian version.
1/2 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1-2 jalapenos, diced (optional)
1-2 t. salt (less if using canned beans)
Saute a bit but don't brown. Add 4 c. water to rice, stir a few times then cover and cook until done. Drain beans well and add to rice. This is great with cornbread or any grilled or BBQ meats, and this salad. We simply filled tortillas burrito-style with Black Beans and Rice and Mexican Cabbage and Mint Salad -very simple and satisfying.

Mexican Cabbage and Mint Salad
Adapted from Mexican Family Cooking by Aida Gabilondo
1/2 head green cabbage shredded, preferably fresh from the garden
1/4 - 1/2 c. fresh mint leaves, minced

Mix in jar or mini food processor:
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 T. white vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 t. paprika
1/8 t. cayenne
1 t. prepared yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste
To serve, pour dressing over cabbage and mint and toss well. Add 1/4 c. chopped, canned, pickled jalapenos and serve more at the table.

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