Not too long ago, someone who likes to cook was commenting on one of the recipes on my blog. She said that it had exceded the number of ingredients she could deal with, especially on a weeknight and therefore, though it looked and sounded delicious, she couldn’t bring herself to make it. That got me to thinking about the fact that many people just don’t have the time to cook elaborate dishes or those that require ingredients not easily found in regular supermarkets. I think that this recipe for Black Beans & Rice falls into the category of “not too many ingredients”. It comes together relatively fast and utilizes pantry items to make cooking it easier.
First thing you should do is make the rice. I used my new Aroma Rice Cooker and the rice was done in 30 minutes, before I even started the Black Beans. I put 1 cup of jasmine rice in the cooker, covered it with 1 1/2 cups of water, pushed cook and then waited for the machine to beep, telling me the rice was finished. Perfect, steamed, fluffy rice. However, you make the rice, it is a great bed for the Black Beans.
Black Beans & Rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 15 ounce cans of black beans (don’t drain)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup salsa (your favorite brand or homemade)
1 cup frozen roasted corn kernels, cooked (I got this in the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s)
cilantro, chopped (optional)
hot sauce (optional)
Saute onion until it becomes translucent. Add garlic and mix until combined. Add black beans, coriander, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt & pepper, salsa, and corn (if you can’t find roasted corn, just use regular frozen corn kernels). Mix well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer until ready to eat.
Serve over rice. Have tortillas close by! Garnish with chopped cilantro. Avocado would be a lovely addition – I didn’t have any tonight. Can also add your favorite hot sauce.
Making the tortillas takes about 15 – 20 minutes. And they’re great for leftovers and for making homemade tortilla chips. BUT, if you don’t want to make them from scratch, don’t let that stop you. If you’ve found gluten free corn tortillas in the supermarket, by all means, use them. You know me, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time – I’m a stickler for making things from scratch.
Homemade Corn Tortillas
2 cups corn masa flour (I use Maseca brand)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
Combine corn masa flour, salt, and water. Mix thoroughly for about 2 minutes to form soft dough, using a spoon. Once the dough begins to come together, use your hands to continue blending the ingredients. If dough feels dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time.
Divide the dough into 16 equal balls. Cover with a damp cloth to keep dough moist. Line a tortilla press with one large sheet of thick plastic wrap, enough to cover the bottom plate and then enough again to double back over the bottom plate. It will make sense once you do it. Spray the entire plastic sheet with vegetable spray. Place one ball on the plastic covering the bottom plate of the press. Fold the extra bit of plastic wrap back over the dough. Press. Lift the press thingamajiggie off the tortilla. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap.
Preheat ungreased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tortillas for about 50 seconds. Flip each tortilla and cook until second side is finished. Remove, place on plate, cover with cloth napkin to keep soft and warm. Make them all and store uneaten ones in a sealed plastic storage bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.