Monday, November 22, 2010

Dinner Inspired by Cuban Beans and Rice

 Our usual Sunday Colt's football lunch is frito salad, at least that is what I grew up in the mid-west calling it. In California it is called hay stacks. Friday Gena posted a recipe for Cuban Beans and Will's Mexican Rice on her blog A Bluebonet in Beantown. It looks scrumptious. I have not had the time to try it until today. Well, sort of. Not being much of a plan ahead kind of cook, I didn't have any black beans or enough tomatoes. I can't leave a recipe alone anyway. Sorry, I don't measure spices. It works better for me to add by taste.  Here is how I made it into a ond dish meal.

Start the rice.  
Wash 1-1/2 cups short grain rice until water is clear. 
Puree 1/2 large can organic diced tomatoes. (They were in the fridge.)
Add cumin, hot chili powder, bay leaf, pepper
and powdered veggie chicken broth (McKays) to taste.
Put all of the ingredients in the rice cooker. Add water to 2 cup line.
Push start.

While the rice is cooking, 
Chop 1/4 orange pepper (that's all I had), 1 celery stalk, 1/4 cup onion.
Slowly saute in olive oil. 

While the veggies are sautéing,
crumble 3 Morning Star Farms breakfast sausages.
(Thaw in warm water first.)
Finely chop garlic to your taste. I used 5 small cloves.
Add to skillet to warm just before other veggies are soft.
Season to taste with  chicken powder, salt, pepper.

Rinse and drain 1 small can of beans.
The Cuban Beans recipe specified black beans. 
I used pinto beans. Add beans to the sautéed veggies and 
cook until they just begin to brown. It gives the beans a nutty character.
Don't over brown or the beans will be tough.

Oops, for got the carrot. Run get 2 small carrots. 
Peel and shred. Add to the bean mixture. Cook until carrot is slightly soft.

The rice is simmering.

Add to the beans and vegetables, and a handfull of crushed oregano to the rice cooker. 

The mixture was a little too dry. I added about 1/2 cup of water.

The rice was nearly done.
The beans and veggies just needed to warm and flavors to meld.

I am terrible at cleaning as I go.
There's just enough time to tidy up,
grate the cheese, set the table, and get the drink
before the rice and beans are ready.

The rice and beans are ready!

Garnished with colby cheese, sour cream and cayenne pepper.

Thanks, Gena, for the inspiration. 
If I was changing my recipe adaptation, I'd add more tomatoes.
 Mr. C prefers it just the way it is. 
This would serve 2 big eaters or 3 smaller portions.
There is enough left for a side dish for tonight's supper.
I can't wait!


Gena @ A Bluebonnet in Beantown said...

I love your adaptation!! Hmmm...I think I just may have some Morningstar breakfast sausages in my freezer...

Cotehele said...

It reheats nicely in the oven. We had some for supper tonight with corn . I forgot to add the corn yesterday. Thanks again for the inspiration!