• Comfort Food: Black Beans & Rice

    by Ellen on May 15, 2007 · 9 comments

    Comfort food, quick and easy. Great leftovers. Layer it on homemade tortillas: a veritable feast.

    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
    serves 4

    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
    Vegetable spray

    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.

    { 9 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lynn Barry May 18, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Beans and rice are my faves and you’ve made it look so festive…VERY NICE…hugs

    Reply

    Allie May 25, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Hey Ellen –

    You could have been talking about me in this post since I tend to go for things that don’t have TOO many ingredients – and I actually just made a version of your recipe! It was delicious.

    I had been looking for something to do with my giant bag of Maseca too – I tried to make the tortillas, but don’t have a tortilla press – so I attempted to create a make-shift with some heavy serving plates & plastic wrap – they didn’t work that well & fell apart a bit – but tasted excellent!

    Thanks!

    Reply

    Heather June 4, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I made this recipe and it was so good! I also took it to a family gathering and passed it off as (cold) bean-dip with tortilla chips. It was good like that too.

    Reply

    Linda August 26, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I like having some easy meals and some more complicated ones. This one sounds great. I think I would go for the store bought tortillas. Thanks for participating in "What can I eat that's gluten free?"

    Reply

    thewholegang August 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    This is how we like to eat. Love it. There's nothing like the taste of your own tortillas.

    Reply

    Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) August 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I love black beans and rice. We haven't had them for so long. Your tortillas look incredible – those would go over so well here.

    You got me thinking about recipe ingredient lists. People sometimes say my recipes look too involved. I think everyone has their own comfort level when cooking – even me. Sometimes I see something new and am a little intimidated but always feel good when I take the plunge and am successful. (Sometimes I'm not and I just try again.)

    Reply

    Brian August 28, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I'll have to try your recipe out. I've never seasoned black beans like that before. It looks delicious.

    Reply

    I Am Gluten Free August 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Lynn – yup, beans and rice – how much easier can it get?

    Allie – did you ever get a tortilla press? Makes it so much easier!

    Heather – great idea to make it as a bean dip. I will definitely follow your lead.

    Linda – sometimes I buy storebought tortillas. Tonight, we had some that literally said gluten free on the front of the package. That was fab.

    thewholegang – yup, when I'm in the mood to make them (which is often), they are so good when you make them yourself. There's no contest.

    Amy – sometimes you want or need easy recipes, other times, I have the time to play in the kitchen. All depends on my mood and the amount of time I have. It's fun to have both kinds of recipes in your toolbox!

    Reply

    I Am Gluten Free August 28, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Brian – let me know when you try this recipe out. It's fun to play with all those spices. Especially when the recipe comes out well!

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: