11/25/07

The Power of Beans & Rice

It's all about the rice and beans in this house. It's the ultimate comfort food.
Beans
Here's what you need:
1 package of pinto beans
2 tablespoons of pork lard
Yes! I said pork lard, do you really want bland beans? That's a fate worse than death. Fine, you have a problem with lard, then use some bacon fat or chorizo renderings. Just use something to give it flavor.
1 medium yellow or white onion
Salt
Chili Powder Blend (I like The Spice Hunter brand because on top of having garlic in it, it has cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. That's what makes it good.)
Sort beans, making sure to get any debris. Then rinse.
In a medium to large heavy pot, add beans and fill with about 3 quarts of water or stock, if you have it. Make sure to get any beans that float. Add lard or whatever fat you choose to the pot and the onion. Bring to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer. Cover pot halfway and simmer for about 2 hours or until beans are tender. Remember to keep adding water or stock if needed.
Add about a teaspoon of salt and chili powder. Stir. Let simmer for about 10-20 minutes more. Taste. Add more if needed. Trust me it needs it. It always does.
Rice
2 1/2 cups of chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons of veggie oil or some of that bacon or chorizo renderings.
1 1/2 cups of white rice
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (also optional, you'll see why in a second)
This first part is like making risotto. In a heavy saucepan, heat oil until hot. Duh! Then add the rice and onion and cook until they turn a milky color, it takes about four minutes. You are stirring, right? Then add garlic and stir a little longer. Add stock or water, give another stir. Cover and turn down the heat to the low. Let cook for 15 minutes-20 minutes until done.
Here's why I said the onions and garlic are optional. I like to make a very crude salsa to put on my rice.
1 small white onion, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
A handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
Mix together. Add a couple squeezes of lime juice and some salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the rice.
Condiments to serve with the beans and rice (if you want):
cheese: cheddar, jack, queso fresco or cotija, (my personal favorite; salty and crumbly. mmmm)
warm tortillas
crema fresca casera or sour cream
Do you hear that?
*silence*
That is a bunch of kids eating. Quietly. Without arguing or complaining. That's the power of beans and rice. (and not that kind of power, either!)