Friday, September 4, 2015

foodie friday : rice&beans

please excuse the long hiatus, we have been enjoying summer with lots of visitors, a little travel, outside play, developing friendships, tons of books, and a couple of cleaning sprees.  I got out of my groove and I'm not apologizing for that; we had fun!

I specifically look for the combo meals at our Mexican restaurants that include both rice and beans.  But I rarely fix them at home.  The boxed rice is never that great, and the canned refried beans are just okay.  This week, I had the pleasure of taking a meal to our friends who just had their second babies, but I didn't just want to take them enchiladas.  So I searched through Yummly and Google and eventually found some super easy recipes to take along. In both instances, I made significant enough changes that I will just put my version of each on here.

Ok, so confession time.  The rice turned out a little dry.  And I would wager that it is because I let the liquid boil a little too long in the beginning, and then when it was time to pour it in, the cast iron dutch oven (I'm on a learning curve here, only second time to ever use it) was way too hot by that point and so it flash boiled to a scary degree and probably a lot of the liquid was gone from the get-go.  Also, if you didn't notice, this recipe is going to make a TON.  I needed to, since I was taking a good bit to friends, but next time I will probably half the recipe and either use only half the can of petite diced tomatoes (I did like the look of the chunks) or just a small can of tomato sauce.  You can see the original recipe here, I just changed it because I thought the extra steps were a little unnecessary.

The original recipe is for cuban style black beans over at skinnytaste.  I have never bought scallions, have never used red wine vinegar, and wasn't looking for cuban beans.  I just needed a kick-off point for how to doctor up some canned black beans.  It worked.  They were a little runny, so next time I will either add less water, or I will simmer uncovered for the entire time instead of holding in that steam.  Otherwise, Myles went to town on these things, and I kinda didn't want to share.  Not bad if you are like me and need an alternative recipe since you always forget to soak dried beans overnight for the authentic thing.

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