Rice and Beans

Image result for beans clipartMost of us go through hard times at least every now and again.  The grocery budget is always the first thing we cut.  When this happens we eat a lot of rice and beans.  Even when our budget allows for more expensive dinners, I try to incorporate one meal a week where beans is the main attraction.  In this way we are used to eating them and you can't beat a big pot of Boston Baked Beans and cornbread drizzled with honey. 

Also see the Soups section of this blog for bean soups!


Boston Baked Beans

1 pound dry navy beans
6 cups water
Pinch of baking soda
1 bay leaf
6 strips bacon cut in 1/2" pieces (or 4 oz salt pork)
1 yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Soak beans in water overnight in Dutch oven.  Add a pinch of baking soda and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain into colander reserving liquid.  Preheat oven to 300°.  Transfer beans into Dutch oven and add rest of ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Add enough of the reserved water to cover the beans.  Cover pot tightly and place in oven 1 hour.  Uncover and check liquid level.  Add more reserved liquid if needed.  Cover and cook another hour.  Uncover and test beans.  They should be starting to get tender, but if they're still firm, cover and cook a bit longer adding a splash of water if they're getting dry.  When just tender, turn heat up to 350° and continue to cook anther 30 minutes or so.  This last 30 minutes is to reduce the liquid a bit, to create a thick, syrupy consistency.  Remove when ready and serve with cornbread.

Beanie Weenies

1 package hot dogs
Leftover Boston Baked Beans
2/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Cook in skillet.  Bring to boil then cook on low heat, covered, for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mediterranean Black Bean Crostini

Combine cooked black beans, rinsed and drained, and lightly mashed with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers.  Add minced garlic, oregano, sliced scallions, 2 tablespoons olive oil, a little lemon juice and Kosher salt and pepper.  Let stand 1 hour or overnight in fridge.  Toast baguette slices then spread with feta.  Soon bean mixture on top and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Black Bean Croquettes With Feta

Combine mashed potatoes with a can of black beans, corn, peas, and feta.  The mixture should be malleable and hold together in a clump.  Form into small patties.  Coat each in flour, beaten egg, then bread crumbs.  Fry in olive oil until golden on both sides.

Meatless Sausage

1 cup soaked and cooked peas, beans, lentils, or lima beans
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup fat
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sage

Mix and shape as sausage.  Roll in flour and fry in drippings.

Refried Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
15 ounces cooked pinto beans
2/3 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Heat in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook til tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and chili powder; cook for about 1 minutes.  Stir in beans and broth and cook til warmed through, about 5 minutes.  Mash beans coarsely and season.  Great for burritos!

Spicy Black Eyed Peas

4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16-ounces) package black-eyed peas, washed, pre-soaked
1 (12-ounces) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook bacon til crisp.  Remove and crumble; set aside.  Saute onion in drippings til tender.  Add peas, tomatoes and green chilies, salt chili powder, pepper, and water.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the peas are tender.  Add additional water if necessary.  Serve with crumbled bacon.

Cowboy Beans

2 cups dried pinto beans
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 smoked ham hock or shank
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos (optional)
Grated Montery Jack for garnish
1/4 cup chopped red onion (optional)
Salt to taste
2 cups water
2 cups strong coffee

Put pintos into a large pot and add enough water to cover by an inch.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes while you prepare the onions, then drain.  Heat the bacon fat and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring often, until translucent and just beginning to brown.  Add the garlic and saute another minute.  Add the drained beans into the pot with the onions.  Add the ham hock, water, salt and coffee.  Stir and bring to a simmer.  Cook 40 to 50 minutes or longer.  Add barbecue sauce and stir.  Strip meat from ham hock.  Add jalepenos and red onion.  Top with cheese.

Boston Roast

1 teaspoon onion juice
1 cup grated cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup bread crumbs

Soak and cook beans.  Mix all ingredients together into loaf.  Baste with fat and water.  Bake 30 minutes.  Serve with tomato sauce.

Black Beans With Rice

16 ounces dried black beans
1 quart cold water
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, sliced thin and diced
2 large onions, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
Cooked white rice

Soak beans overnight.  Drain and rinse well.  Put beans in Dutch oven, cover with cold water and boil 1 hour.  Add bell pepper, onions, oil, and bay leaves.  Cook slowly for about 4 hours or until beans are tender and begin to thicken.  Add salt, vinegar, and sugar just before serving.  Best if cooked a day ahead.  Serve on rice.  Optionally serve with pork, ham, or sausage over rice.

Trail Beans

Prepare 4 cups of beans by rinsing and placing in large pot, covering with water and letting stand overnight.  Drain and rinse well.  Place into pot with 1/2 ham hock or 1 pound bacon covering with fresh water to simmer on low for 3 hours.  At start of 4th hour add 1/4 cup dark molasses, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 garlic clove minced, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 can chopped tomatoes, and a little liquid smoke.  Stir and let simmer 1 hour then serve.

Pinto Beans With Bacon and Jalepenos

1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 whole jalepenos
2-3 slices bacon
2 cups chopped onion
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cooked pinto beans
Salt to taste
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a medium skillet on high heat.  Put in jalepenos and stir to coat.  Let cook turning occasionally on all sides until nicely browned, about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Cut away and discard stem, core, seeds, and vein.  Coarsely chop.  Cook bacon slices on medium low until crispy.  Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat.  Add chopped onion to fat.  Increase heat to medium high and cook til translucent and lightly brown.  Add the garlic and cook a minute longer.  Chop bacon.  Add cooked beans, bacon, and jalepenos and stir in pan to mix.  Sprinkle with salt.  Serve with chopped cilantro and salsa.

Poor Man's Beans

1 bag pintos, soaked overnight
2 whole yellow onions
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons ketchup

Quarter 1 onion and boil with beans 1 hour.  Strain.  Replace water, remove onion.  Continue boiling 2 hours.  Season and add 1 diced onion.  Serve with Tabasco, mustard, over rice, or oyster crackers.


Mexican Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/8 cup diced green peppers

Heat oil and butter in 2-quart pan over medium heat.  When butter is melted add rice and simmer, stirring contantly for about 3 minutes until lightly browned.  Add onion and garlic and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil without stirring.  Reduce heat.  Gently stir in tomatoes and peppers.  Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes.  When done, remove from heat and fluff with fork.  Cover and let stand another 5 minutes so the rice continues to steam and absorb flavors.

Herbed Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon each oregano and thyme

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil.  Add salt, onion, sage, oregano, and thyme and stir.  Add remaining water and heat to boiling.  Add rice and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Rice Pilaf

1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil and onion in pan.  Add rice and simmer over low heat 3 minutes.  Add seasonings and beef broth.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Options: Replace beef with chicken broth and add 1/2 teaspoon tarragon.  For rice-a-roni add 1 cup broken spaghetti noodles the same time you add the rice.

Indian Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric or rosemary

Heat 2 tablespoons water to boiling in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and turmeric adn stir.  Add remaining water and stir.  Heat to boiling.  Add rice and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes til liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork, cover, let stand 5 minutes.

Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Mix rice into skillet, stirring often.  When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa.  Reduce heat, cover tightly, and simmer 20 minutes.  Don't uncover!  Liquid should be absorbed.  Add a squirt of lemon juice if desired.

Meatless Meatloaf

1 cup cooked rice
1 cup crushed peanuts
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients together.  Bake in a loaf pan for 30 minutes or until loaf is good and set.

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