chicken bouillon cube (I like cubito maggichicken flavor)
3cupslong grain parboiled white rice
meat, cheese, or eggoptionsal
The night before you want to make the meal, soak the beans. Give them a quick once over, removing any debris or stones, rinse them once or twice, and then leave them to soak in a good amount of water overnight. The next day, you'll notice the beans have increased in size considerably. Rinse them a few times, and then it's time to cook them. The easiest and quickest way to do this is in a pressure cooker. You can also cook them in a regular pot, it will just take much much longer.
Place beans and fresh water in your pressure cooker. In a medium sized frying pan, saute diced onion, green pepper, tomato, and garlic in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add chicken bouillon cube and a teaspoon each of paprika and cumin.
When the vegetables are nice and soft, puree them in a mini food processor and and add the mixture to the beans and water. Close the lid to the pressure cooker, and cook according to your pressure cooker’s directions. I cook mine for about 40 minutes and let the pressure release on it own.
Once cooked, if they are a little too watery, just pour off the extra cooking liquid. Add a generous amount of chopped fresh cilantro. I really like the flavor the cilantro adds, so I use about three or four tablespoons, you can adjust as you see fit. Give the beans a taste, add salt and pepper to taste if you need it.
Now the beans are done, so its time to make the rice. It is best to do so while the beans are cooking. In a large heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add three cups of rice and a tablespoon of salt.
Saute the rice just for a few minutes, you don't want to brown it. Add four cups of water and mix well. When the mixture starts to bubble, cover and reduce the heat to medium/medium low. Let cook for twenty minutes. The only truly important key to cooking really good rice is to use oil and salt, and don't, I repeat, don't remove the lid at all during the cooking process.
Time to eat! You can eat the beans and rice by themselves as a meal, or add a fried egg, piece of meat, chicken, or a slice of good cheese. The best part of this meal is that it’s cheap, simple, delicious, and really lends itself to so many variations. Enjoy!
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!