Monday, November 2, 2009
Mexican Green Rice and Beans
Vegans don't HAVE to eat rice and beans, most of us actually like them! The Mexican Rice and Beans (p270) looked like my kind of dish from the first glance. And it would have been--if I had followed the instructions. More on that in a sec.
As expected, the sauce is excellent. The delectable aroma filled my kitchen and I hung out there while the dish was simmering just to be near it. The recipe calls for two or three fresh roasted jalapenos. I used two; I recommend three. It's quick to put together--everything goes in the food processor, and then it goes right into the pan.
Now, as to my not following directions: When Ms. Robertson calls for "long grain white rice," use it. Brown rice is not an equal substitute. Of course I know this, and I know their cooking times are different, their textures are different, and they will perform in different ways, even in the same dish. So why did I do it? Eh. I do a lot of things I probably shouldn't. Because of my rice misstep, I wound up with mush. A different rice, and/or proper rice handling (i.e., rinsing) would have solved this problem before it became one. In a repair attempt, I separated a "handful" and made it into sort of a patty. Then I sauteed that until it was nice and brown on both sides. Mr. V claimed it reminded him of late drunken nights with his old jazz buddies, and a place they used to frequent--El Presidente. Apparently the owner would open up just for them, toss together whatever was left from the kitchen that night, and provide a hearty meal to go along with their tequila.
I doubt anything could compare to the memory of El Presidente, but the flavor of this dish is excellent. The recipe calls for kidney beans, but you could certainly substitute pintos, black beans, whatever your preference. This is great as a side, an entree, or as a burrito stuffing. Just get your rice right.
--The Divine Miss V