Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Black Beans, Saffron Rice and Corn and Avocado salsa

I craved this recipe before I had even tasted it; it just sounds that divine. Easy enough to make on a weeknight, with enough variety in taste and texture to make it special.

Make the rice first. I adapted my dad's directions for this.

He said I could make it with turmeric or saffron, and being me, I went for the most expensive spice in the world. (I got a teeny thing of it for $6.)

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a sauce pan. Add some garlic and onion, saute a few minutes. My trick for chopping onions is to have a candle in between me and the onion, it helps with the tears! Soak the saffron in boiling water while the onion and garlic are heating up.

I'd also like to mention my new garlic press, $10 from IKEA, I can't believe I was hesitant to buy this. Minces in 1 second instead of my stupidly trying to chop into teeny bits for 5 minutes.

Back to rice: Soak and drain the rice. Add the rice to the hot pan and fry lightly for 1-2 minutes. Next add 2 cups water (or stock), the saffron and some salt. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer 12 or so minutes until excess water is taken in. Take off heat, fluff with fork and cover. Rice can sit while you prep the salsa.

Beans: Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add 2 garlic cloves, pressed, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Cook for a minute, then add 2 x 15 oz (400g) can black beans. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, until the beans are heated through and have absorbed the seasonings. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

The topping is simply: 1 cup corn, 1 cup salsa and 1 chopped avocado mixed together with lemon or lime juice and salt. Top with cilantro.