I've made this dish so many times I know the recipe by heart. It always reminds me of living with my friend Jill after college - for whatever reason we made this all the time and lived off the leftovers. Now, it's my go-to dinner when I'm trying to clean out the pantry or when it seems like we don't have anything in the house to eat. Tonight I realized it was Sunday evening and I
was too hungover never made it to the grocery store this weekend, but don't want to order takeout because I drank all my calories last night this is healthier and cheaper.
Now I'm sure everyone knows how to make rice and beans, and I'm not here to pretend like this is a creative, unusual recipe. I just want to share the secret ingredient. For years, I thought I didn't like black beans and rice because when I made it, it was, well, black beans. And rice. And that was it. Then I found a recipe online, I think on epicurious.com, and realized I was doing it all wrong. The key was to add white vinegar to the bean mixture and let it cook before mixing with the rice. For whatever reason, this makes all the difference in the flavor of the dish. So if you're not adding white vinegar to your beans and rice, try this simple addition and I guarantee it will make a big difference!
I also make this as a side dish a lot, or you could beef it up by adding grilled chicken, or ground beef or turkey.
Black Beans and Rice
1 cup brown rice
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 cup white vinegar
dash of Tabasco sauce
Cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, saute the diced onion in about a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 -7 minutes, until it becomes translucent. Add garlic. Add the diced tomatoes - I prefer to add with the liquid that is in the can, but you could drain them and add them if you want a little less tomato taste. (I've found it makes better leftovers when you use the liquid from the can because it keeps the rice moist). Add black beans, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, and white vinegar, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and season with Tabasco. This can simmer until the rice is done, then add the rice to the bean mixture, stir well, and let sit for a few minutes.
This serves 3 as a main dish, or 4 - 5 as a side.