Thursday, November 3, 2011

Black Beans and RIce

Cheap and hearty.  I make a variation of this about once a week for my boyfriend.  I often substitute bacon or smoked sausage for the Italian sausage and also sometimes add frozen peas or corn.  I also vary the spices from time to time depending on what's handy.

What you need:

1 cup uncooked rice (I think jasmine is best, but use any type you like)
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
A couple hot peppers, chopped (use less or substitute bell peppers if you don't like the heat)
Soy Sauce
White Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper, Cumin, Dried Oregano, Garlic Powder
2 cups Black Beans (I use dried ones that I have reconstituted.  You could also use a can, just rinse and drain)
Fresh Cilantro
Shredded Cheese, Cheddar or a "Mexican Blend" (optional)

Cook the rice according to package instructions.  While it cooks, you can start the rest:  Brown the sausage in a large saucepan, breaking into small chunks as it cooks.  When it is nearly cooked through, add the onion, celery, garlic, and peppers.  If there is not enough grease from the sausage to keep these from sticking to the pan, add a little cooking spray or oil.  Cook until vegetables have softened and browned a bit.  Add a couple of splashes of both the soy sauce and the vinegar.  Season with black pepper, cumin, dried oregano, and garlic powder.  Stir in the cooked rice and the black beans.  Allow to heat through.  Sprinkle the cilantro on top and it's done!  Sometimes I also add a little shredded cheese on top.

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