Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mexican-Style Black Beans

Mexican staple
Shortcut prep, all day flavor
Muy sabroso!

Mexican-Style Black Beans
Adapted from Epicurious

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp freeze dried minced onion*
4oz can fire roasted diced mild chiles*
2-15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp lime juice

*Fresh onion and Anaheim chile work perfectly, but you will add it to the pan earlier (see Step 1).

1.  Place the oil and garlic in a large saucepan.  Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to sizzle (if you are using fresh onion and/or chile, add it now and cook until softened).

2.  Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pan.  Stir to heat and combine.

3.  Add the chicken broth to the pan.  Add the onion, chiles, and black beans. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

4.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened (there will still be some liquid, as is usual with Mexican-style beans, but it will continue to thicken as it cools - you can also reduce a bit less and mash the beans for a refried consistency).  You can add more chicken broth if the mixture becomes too thick.

5.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Add salt to taste (this will vary depending on your beans, broth, and preference, but I use a 1/4 tsp).  Add the lime juice.  Stir well.

Serve OR take these beans to the next level by adding some pan-roasted corn!

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
10 oz bag frozen corn, defrosted

*You can use fresh corn here, too - just grill until lightly browned and then remove the kernels from the cob.

1.  If the corn is wet, scatter it on paper towels to absorb the extra moisture.

2.  Set a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the corn.  Cook until the corn begins to wiggle and pop.  Stir gently and continue to cook until the corn is lightly browned.

3.  Add the corn to the beans for a most delicious experience.

Top this off with some grated cheese (medium-Cheddar, pepper-Jack, and Colby-Jack all work wonderfully) to perfect your dining experience!

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