I’m a little late blogging last week’s recipe. I made the Spicy Black Beans Wednesday, but didn’t have time to write before our family camping trip this weekend. This recipe was a very simple dish to prepare. This has been one of the quickest things to cook from the selections so far. I think it took all of 15 minutes to put together. She makes mention of it being easy enough to make with a toddler underfoot. I second that opinion, as I had a 3 year old and a dog under my feet the whole time. The idea wasn’t completely original though. I’ve made dishes very similar to this many times before. In fact, my best-friend/former-neighbor makes a righteous version of black beans and rice. She uses ham in hers with tons of chopped veggies and spices. That was always one of my favorite bowls of leftovers to get from her.
I opted to make this as a side dish (sans the rice) to go with our pork burritos. I didn’t have any chorizo. To be honest, I forgot about it when I did the weekly grocery run. I also forgot a jalapeno and red bell pepper. Since it was 5:40 and I was NOT going to the store, I improvised with some green bell pepper and a few shakes of crushed red pepper. I kept the spice fairly mild for Little Guy. Had I known he wasn’t going to touch his beans, I would have made them much spicier. The only seasoning she called for was oregano, cumin, and salt along with the sauteed aromatics. I didn’t want to stray too far from her idea, so I left the seasoning with that.
I found the flavor of the end result to be a little bland. She suggests hot sauce to taste. I thought the beans really needed it. And some more salt. And pepper. I think these beans would have been much better if they had time to simmer longer or even sit overnight. Having the chorizo or even some sausage probably would have helped impart more flavor. Would I make this dish again? Yes, but more in my own way with extra cumin, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, and black pepper. Oddly enough, she calls for lime juice in every other recipe except this one. This is one place the lime would have really come in handy.
One option she suggests is topping the black beans and rice with a fried egg. Before reading this cookbook, I never thought of so many things to top with a fried egg. This woman will stick a fried egg on anything. The idea is starting to grow on me though. The next time I make black beans, I want to try the egg idea.
The pork burritos I made deserve a mention all of their own. I fashioned them after one of my favorite burrito combos from my favorite burrito spot, Caliente Grill. I love to get their pork burrito with pinto beans, cilantro lime rice (sometimes), corn salsa, chipotle bbq sauce, cheese, and lettuce. Flavor party in your mouth. The one I made at home started with some leftover boston butt my neighbor smoked. I topped it with sauteed frozen pepper mix, corn, bbq sauce, salsa (made from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe), cheese, sour cream (for Big Guy, not me) and lettuce. Almost as good as the original. Maybe that would be good topped with a fried egg too? I wonder.