Recipe: spiced black beans

(Photo from Closet Cooking, check it out — awesome food blog!)

This week I was getting ready to make dinner for Ben and a friend of ours, Jocelyn, and I wanted to make something fun. I had some frozen shrimp I’d gotten on sale so I thawed out about a pound of it and cooked it in a little oil, adding sauteed onions, cumin, lime juice, fresh cilantro, salt and fresh-ground pepper. I made rice to go with it and black beans as well.

Here’s where the recipe comes in. I love black beans but I never plan ahead enough to soak and cook the dried kind — and I wasn’t sure what to do with canned black beans, so I usually would just rinse and drain them and serve them cold to add to tacos, etc. (except when I’m making my black bean soup, which I will blog about another day — it deserves its own post, it’s that good). I wanted to try heating the beans, but the one time I tried that they turned into a gooey glob. And I don’t particularly like gooey globs.

Closet Cooking to the rescue: I found a recipe for black beans with onions and spices, so I said to myself, “Let’s do this.” The worst case scenario would be another gooey glob and a wasted 50-cent can of beans. I know, the stakes were really high. (Cue the suspenseful music.) I made the recipe with a few changes, and folks, I’m telling you it was really easy to make.

Spiced Black Beans

Olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
salt and pepper
fresh cilantro leaves, torn, optional

In a small saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add beans, water, ground cumin and cloves, and simmer until thick and bubbly. It’s up to you how thick you want the beans to be. Simmer with the lid off to reduce the liquid if you want them thicker. Either way, it shouldn’t take long. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve.

Now this recipe may seem simple, but it’s ridiculous. Reeeeally flavorful, and not gooey or globby at all. Promise. And it was really easy to make — just takes a few minutes, and you have something that’s so much better than just plain black beans. You could make these to go with a lot of meals, for example, serve them with rice, chicken, and whatever-else-you-want on tacos or burritos or whatever.

Give em a try, K?

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