TOMATO RICE AND BEANS

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Hot Mexican spicesn and cool cilantro add zing to this hearty dish.

Yields 6 cups; Serves 6 to 8

1 cup uncooked medium grain white rice

1  14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

6 medium clove garlic, finely chopped

1 medium fresh jalapeno, cored and finely chopped

1  15-oz, can black beans, drain and rinsed

2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves and tender stems

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

 

In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pan stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.

While the rice steams, set a fine sieve in a bowl and drain the can of tomatoes. Pour the tomatoe juices into a 1-cup liquid measure. Add enough water to the tomato juices to equal 1 cup.

Heat a 10 to 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Pour in the oil and stir fry the garlic and jalapeno until the garlic browns and the jalapeno smells pungent, about 1 minute. Add the black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder; stir two to three times to incorporate the mixture and cook the spices, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato juice and water mixture and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans absorb much of the liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cilantro, and cooked rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

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