Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cilantro-Lime Rice with Black Beans

I love rice.  It is one of my favorite ingredients.  You can use it in soo many different ways.  It never gets old because there is always something new you can do with rice!  I never cook rice the old fashioned way.  Bringing water to a boil, add rice, simmer 20 minutes... snoooore.  It's just boring and not for me!  I'm always looking for ways to make plain rice more flavorful.  This cilantro-lime rice with black beans is one of my favorites.  I'm not a huge fan of cilantro, but I do think it belongs in certain dishes.  You can use as much or as little cilantro as you'd like.  I don't use much at all!  Too much of it tastes like dish soap to me..blah! I just use enough to get the flavor of it but not to over power the whole dish.

1 c. rice, uncooked
1 small onion, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt TT
2 c. water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 limes, zested and juiced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
cilantro TT
1 15 oz. can of black beans, if using, rinsed

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. 

When the oil is hot add the onion and sprinkle with salt.

Allow it to sweat until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.  

Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more.  Add a little more salt.

Once the onion and garlic are nice and happy, add the rice and toast it.  

It will get light brown in color and start to smell nutty.  Don't let it burn!  If you think it is getting too dark, turn down the heat.  Toasting the rice adds another level of flavor without adding any other ingredients, and without adding any fat or calories.

Once the rice has some nice color, add the stock.  I'm using water in this tutorial but I highly recommend using vegetable stock.

When it boils, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let cook for 18 minutes.

 It appears I have some spectators from above!

After about 15 minutes, remove the lid and add the lime juice and zest, scallions and cilantro.

Drain and rinse the black beans with water, then add them to the pot and stir.

Stir everything together, turn off the heat, put the lid back on and let stand for the remaining minutes, just to warm the beans through.

Ready to serve!! This rice could stand alone as a vegetarian meal (if you use vegetable stock and not chicken stock), or you could add some shrimp, grilled chicken, or any protein you'd like.  Yum! Enjoy!

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