Make some brown rice (I have an aluminum rice cooker: I wish there were an alternative to aluminum, but I love this gadget).
Now cookooks will tell you to make a mound of rice on a big plate and place the beans in the center of the mound. This is a workday dish for me, so my wife and I leave it separate: breakfast and lunch for two.
Cool the beans and rice, if you have just cooked them. Combine all the ingredients well. Add more cornmeal as needed to form a stiff dough. Form into patties. Add corn oil to a frying pan and fry, or grill over charcoal.
Cooking black beans:
Put 1 cup dry black beans in 3 cups water and store overnight (a quart canning jar works well for this). Bring to a boil in fresh water and simmer around 40 minutes.
Cooking brown rice:
Put 1 cup brown rice in 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until water is gone, about 35 minutes. Let sit with cover on an additional 10 minutes.
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: six servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 169 calories, 9 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 422 milligrams sodium, 5 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrate.
This is very pretty served in cups made from Bibb lettuce leaves.
Makes 8 to 9 Servings
This is a great Central and South American favorite that can be used as the base for many other recipes.
THE NIGHT BEFORE, place beans in a bowl, cover with 3 inches of water and soak at least 8 hours or up to 10. Or, for a quick-cook method, place beans in hot water for 1 hour before continuing with the recipe. Combine onion and oil in a 2-quart pot over medium heat on top of the stove and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook another 5 minutes. Add the drained beans, stock, thyme. Cover, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. Place beans and liquid in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot and add lemon juice and sherry. Place a dollop of sour cream in each soup bowl and sprinkle with some chopped fresh dill. Pour the piping hot soup at the table.
Simmer the black beans, garlic, and veggies in 2-3 quarts of water until reasonably tender. Add the spices to taste and simmer 10-15 minutes longer.
The veggies get a little dark-looking if added at the start, so alternatively you can simmer the black beans until tender, saute the chopped veggies in a little olive oil, and add them at the end with the spices.
Serve with cornbread or french bread. This soup freezes well, and is better the next day too.
Procedure to soften beans:
Without pressure cooker - The night before, put beans in a pot and cover with water just as in the pressure cooker method. Let sit overnight. Add a big slice of green pepper and boil covered for about 2 hours until softened.
After beans are softened:
Sautee chopped onions, crushed garlic, chopped peppers in olive oil. Add the sauteed mixture, pepper, oregano, bay leaves and salt to beans.
Cover (if you're using pressure cooker don't cook in pressure, just cover the pot without tightening the cover like a normal pot) and boil at low to medium heat for 1/2 hour. Don't let it full boil, it has to be inbetween simmering and boiling.
Add the olives and cook for 15 to 30 minutes more uncovered, until it reaches the consistency you want. Some people like the water to thicken more than others, but keep in mind that it will always thicken more after cooked and settled.
A couple minutes before they are done, add sugar, vinegar and more salt if desired. Cook for a couple more minutes. You will have to taste for salt as you cook them, but for 1lb., 2 tsp should be enough.
If you want to double the recipe, you don't need to double the olive oil, just add enough to be able to sautee the ingredients. You also don't need to double the olives. You will probably need more than double the salt. And for each lb. of beans you need 2 fingers of water over the beans (so 4 fingers for 2 lbs.).