Monday, April 16, 2012

The Best Black Beans Ever

The best beans I've ever put in my mouth! Try them and you'll be hooked I promise.

Chris and I took an incredible Cuban Surf and Turf class at the Institute of Culinary Education.  Along with the other fourteen people in the class plus a master chef and two assistants we created a delicious cuban feast!  They split the menu and the class into groups.  Our group worked on four yummy dishes. Two of my favorite dishes overall were none other than the rice and beans.  

The beans were so delicious I had to share this recipe.  They're surprisingly easy to make and extremely flavorful (and vegetarian).

Frijoles Negros
Black Beans Cuban Style

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 green peppers, halved and seeds removed and diced
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Make it:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pot (at least 4 quarts).  Add the diced onion  and green pepper and cook until softened.  Add garlic, and cook about 1 minute more, until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Rinse the beans well in cold water. Add the beans to the sauteed vegetables along without the bay leaves and salt in a large pot, and cover with cold water.  Bring to boil. Cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add more water if necessary to keep the beans covered.
  3. When the beans are tender, add the tomato paste, oregano, cumin and sugar.
  4. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed.

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