Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Savory Black Beans and Rice

This one also comes from another blog.

2 cups dry black beans
6 cups water
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place beans in large saucepan with 6 cups water; bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; allow to stand covered for 1 hour. Drain; set aside.

In large pot, cook bacon until golden brown. Remove bacon and all but 2 TBSP drippings. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender. Add 2 cups water, oregano, rosemary, thyme and pepper. Add drained beans and bacon.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When beans are tender, add salt and tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with grated cheese.

A few notes about cooking dry beans:
Dried beans cook faster if they are soaked. Cover beans with 2 inches of water, soak them overnight, drain, and then cook according to your recipe. Or try the quick soak method: Cover beans with plenty of water, bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover tightly and let them sit for 1 hour. Then drain and cook as usual. If you have hard water, try adding 1/4 tsp. baking soda to the cooking water to help beans soften. Also, do not add salt or acidic food, like tomatoes, before the beans are cooked---it interferes with the softening process.


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