Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cuban Black Beans – Not Just for Ricky Ricardo

When Lucy Ricardo got in trouble in the I Love Lucy TV show, she might have less “splainin’ to do” if she’d softened up Ricky’s heart with this Cuban black beans and rice recipe. Sauteed vegetables, bacon, cumin, and chorizo, give these beans an authentic Cuban flavor. Serve them with plain white rice and lime wedges. You can add sour cream or hot sauce, if you want, but I don’t think they need much dressing up.

You’ll want to use dried, Spanish style chorizo in this dish, not the fresh Mexican kind. My local supermarket doesn’t carry it, but they do carry a chorizo sausage made by Colosimos, an excellent local sausage company. I cook it that up to use in place of the Spanish chorizo.

The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup minced cilantro. I like cilantro, but not enough to buy it. It has a kind of  “soapy” aftertaste to me, so I’ve substituted dried parsley.

Equipment Needed
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Garlic press (optional)
Measuring cups and spoons
Dutch oven or large pot.
Large spoon

2 slices bacon, cut into small peices
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, cooked or dried and cut into 1/2 pieces
2 cans (15 oz) blacks beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsely
Ground black pepper
Cooking oil

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the onions, bell pepper, cumin, and salt. Continue cooking until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, red pepper, and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

Add the broth, bay leaves, beans, parsley, and sausage. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Spoon the beans over rice and squeeze a bit of lime juice over them.

Makes 8 servings.

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