Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day and cutthroat Croquet

Yesterday we celebrated our dads with barbecue and a lazy day in the backyard. My Dad, my brother in law's Dad and my brother in law were our guests of honor and the day was just a lot of fun.

Now that the sod is set, we pulled out the croquet set my Mom had when she was in high school.

None of us in the younger generation had ever played. We are getting a handle of the rules (as we know them anyway, a look here would prove we have a long way to go yet). And we learned you can really screw up your opponents chances of winning by knocking them out of the way of the wickets or just plain sending them flying.

Also, my brother and my husband set up a dastardly course. And then proceed to try and prevent each other from passing the first wicket.

But we ate, we drank, we laughed, it was a great Father's Day.

I worked part of this weekend, so quite a bit of the food came from my local Mexican market, including fresh pico de gallo, carne asada and pollo asado. But I did pull together a pot of black beans that were absolutely delicious.

The recipe is one of my own, cobbled together from years of futzing with other recipes and living as a vegetarian for a bit and eating lots and lots of beans flavored with lots and lots of non meat things, veggies, spices and all variety chilies.

It is a very basic recipe and very easy to pull together, you just need to plan a little bit ahead to let the beans soak. And don't exclude the jalapeno, the quantity of beans and cooking time allows the flavor to mellow and tastes wonderful, not spicy.

Jo's Black Beans

1 1/2 pounds black beans (plus enough water to cover)

1 tablespoon oil of your choice

1 large onion, diced

1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

2 tablespoons salt and additional to taste

6 cups water

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

The night before, rinse and pick over the beans, then place in a large pot and cover with water, add the 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring beans to a boil over medium heat and allow to cook for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to continue to soak over night. The next day, when ready to finish preparing, drain the beans, but do not rinse.

In the same pot, heat the oil and saute the onion over medium heat until it is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno, cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the coriander and cumin and saute an additional minute, then return the beans to the pot and add the six cups of water to cover.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours until the beans have cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Add salt as needed to taste, yesterday I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons.

If you would like, you can use an immersion blender to blend some of the beans for a creamier texture similar to refried beans or you can leave them all whole.

Transfer to a serving dish and top with the fresh cilantro.

No comments:

Post a Comment