Mmmm.……beans and rice. Another way to serve the perfectly balanced pair. Either or both of these recipes go really well as a side for Mexican dishes, or the two of them are great together as their own meal served with tortillas.
Just the beans alone are an excellent filling for bean and cheese burritos, or as a dip for tortilla chips.
They both can be made well ahead of time if needed, which makes them excellent for pot-luck or parties as well.
This rice started out as America’s Test Kitchen’s Mexican Rice. I love the method of rinsing and frying rice before cooking. You really get a great finished texture. The recipe has been altered to fit my need for a faster prep and the fact that 90% of the time I don’t have good, quality tomatoes to use. Only when I can get them ripe out of my garden do I use fresh. Then the recipe recommends 12 oz. of tomatoes cored and quartered. My family loves this dish and its leftovers.
1 ( 14.5) oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion–rough chopped
2 jalapeno chilies–1 with the seeds removed from half and left whole, and 1 with the seeds removed from all and minced
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon table salt
2 cups long grain rice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (14.5 oz)can chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup mexican blend or colby-jack cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a blender or food processor, place the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno with 1/2 of the seeds removed, garlic, cumin, and salt. Blend well. Set aside.
Put the 2 cups rice into a fine mesh strainer and rinse very thoroughly under cool running water. Rinse until the water runs clear. Set rice aside until it is well drained. Any water left on the rice will spatter in the oil.
In a large, cast iron pan (12 inches) or dutch oven, heat the oil until a test grain of rice sizzles in the oil. Add the rice and fry, stirring to prevent burning, until rice is coated in the oil and starting to turn a light, golden color.
Stir in the tomato-onion-jalapeno mixture, the chicken broth and water, and the tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
Remove from the stovetop and cover with a tight-fitting, oven-proof lid.
Place into preheated oven on the middle rack.
Bake for 15 minutes. Take pan out and stir the rice. Cover again and bake another 15–20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Right before serving, stir in the cilantro and top with the shredded cheese and place in oven, uncovered, 5 more minutes until cheese is melted.
I can’t say enough about the yumminess of this bean dip! The cheese all melted in is a fantastic addition that takes it over the top as far as bean dips go. It’s also amazing in seven-layer dip in place of the typical can of refried beans. There really is no need for the pack of taco seasoning that everyone throws into the sour cream!
4 cups dry pinto beans (soaked overnight or use **quick method below**)
1 large onion
10 cups water
Cook in crockpot 6 hours on low. (it can be done for 2–3 hours on high, but the longer method is recommended).
Remove 1/3 of the beans and blend with some of the liquid from the pot.
Take the remaining 2/3 of the beans and drain. Mash them with the back of a spoon.
1/4 tsp. garlic powder salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
*spices and salt are to taste. Use more or less as desired*
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups pecante sauce or salsa
**Boil beans for 2 minutes and remove from heat and let soak, covered, for 1 hour**