Okay, it’s not the prettiest meal, I admit that.
And we’ll be passing a lot of gas later tonight. Then again, around here, we always pass a lot of gas. Even the dogs. As a family, we have issues.
But this meal tastes good, and it takes pretty much exactly 30 minutes to make. An actual 30 minutes, not a Rachael Ray-style 30 minutes where it actually takes an hour and a half because you can’t chop as fast as she can and have to spend 15 minutes rooting around in your pantry because no production assistant has conveniently put all the ingredients you need right in front.
Back when I was a vegetarian – no, seriously, I was – I ate a lot of black beans. Black beans in chile, black beans stuffed into peppers, black beans in burritos, black beans and rice. Like, a whole lot of black beans. An assload of black beans. Literally.
I was not the world’s most creative vegetarian, which, now that I think about it, was probably a factor in my return to Team Carnivore.
Anyway, I was kinda missing the black beans this week. And missing the vegetarian-era grocery bills, but that’s neither here nor there. And I thought to myself, can it really have been YEARS since I last had a simple bowl of beans and rice? Thanks to this blog, I think it has been. It is HIGH TIME. Let’s get those bowels a-movin’!
But I have a blog to think of now, so I couldn’t just dump a can of beans over a bowl of rice and call it a day: the people expect cooking, not mere assembly. (Although, arguably, that’s all a lot of cooking really is.) So cumin-scented black beans over coconut rice, sprinkled with chopped mango and topped with a spicy-tangy chipotle yogurt.
I got things going with the coconut rice, which is really just regular long-grain white rice cooked in coconut milk instead of water. As previously stated, I make coconut rice a lot because it’s the only way I can make rice without scorching it, so when I want white rice I now have to coordinate the rest of the meal accordingly. It’s a tough life.
I started the beans with some aromatics: onion, garlic and jalapenos. After a few minutes’ saute, I added a mega-can of black beans, a few limes’ worth of juice and freshly ground cumin; the cumin is such a forward flavor here that it pays to grind it fresh if you can. While the beans and rice simmered away, I dealt with the supporting players.
Chipotle yogurt is exactly what it sounds like: chipotle pepper + Greek yogurt + FoPro = chipotle yogurt. See? It’s just assembly.
Dicing up the mango was probably the hardest part of this meal; those suckers are slippery when peeled and I was convinced I was going to lose a finger. Luckily, my knife really needs to be sharpened, so I managed to hack up my mango with digits intact.
By the time I was done scraping the last bit of yogurt from the walls of the FoPor, the rice and beans were both done and it was time for dinner. I stirred some chopped cilantro into the beans and rang the metaphorical dinner bell. I’d get an actual dinner bell, but it would probably just make the dogs bark. Besides, it’s not like my apartment’s that big. A simple “Dinner’s Ready!” in low tones will do the trick.
So yeah, like I said, it’s not pretty. The beans look like shit, and the chipotle yogurt is an unappealing peach shade that somehow manages to clash with both the brown beans and yellow mango. The mango, attractive on its own, becomes dowdy when paired with the rest of the meal.
You know what, though? FUCK IT. Cuminy black beans and rice are as good as I remember them. A little smoky, a little spicy, a little earthy; a gentle sweetness from the coconut and an insistant burst of heat from the chipotle, with pops of sweet-tangy mango scattered throughout. Totally worth the bean shits.
Y’all vegetarians ain’t got it so bad.
Cumin-Scented Black Beans
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 jalapenos, minced (leave in the ribs and seeds for more heat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 29-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. freshly ground cumin
2 tsp. kosher salt (beans suck up a LOT of salt)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until the onion is just starting to turn tranluscent, 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and saute one more minute.
Dump in the beans, juice the limes into the pot and add the cumin and salt. Let the mixture come to a simmer and cook until all the flavors have melded or until your rice is done, whichever comes first.
Stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately.
1 chipotle chile in adobo
1 tbsp. adobo sauce
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
Whiz everything together in the FoPro until smooth. The end.