Monday, April 26, 2010
This weekend my sister Jamie and her boyfriend Matt came down to visit. We had a great time giving him the tour of downtown Corvallis, making the rounds through all of our favorite local shops. Back at our place we played a rousing game of 10,000 (Joe won) before starting dinner. They brought marinated chicken, tofu, and veggies to grill, and I made beer-glazed black beans to go with.
I use canned black beans a lot, but lately I've started using dried ones more and more. I really do think they taste better, and they are so cheap! That morning, we rinsed them and picked out any weird looking, shriveled beans and/or rocks, and started them soaking in a pot with cold water. About 8 hours later, we gently boiled them until they were tender (checking every 10 minutes, as they go from tender to mushy very quickly). Then we just added little salt and pepper and they were ready to go. We cooked a whole pound of beans, even though we only needed three cups of cooked beans for the recipe. The extra cooked beans were put into a Tupperware container (adding water to cover), and stuffed into the freezer, ready to be used for another meal.
We used a Hefeweizen for the beer, but you could also use a lager, stout, or porter. The lighter beers add more of a fruity flavor to the dish, while the dark beers add a deep, caramelized flavor.
Beer-Glazed Black Beans
adapted from Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup beer
3 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained but still moist (could also use pinto beans or black-eyes peas instead)
1 tablespoon chili powder or ground cumin
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the oil to a large skillet and heat to medium-high. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onion has softened, add the garlic, cook for another minute or so, then add all the remaining ingredients, including a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Let the mixture come up to steady simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the mixture will thicken. Check back often to make sure the liquid doesn't boil away too rapidly.
Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve hot. This dish can also be made ahead of time, stored in the fridge for up to three days, and reheated before serving.