Basically, I don’t like Mexican rice. Of course, as with almost everything, there are exceptions. One exception is my recipe for Mexican Rice (on this site) because it contains no tomatoes. (I don’t particularly like the taste of rice and tomatoes together.) So mainly when I place my order in a Mexican restaurant, I request no rice. But I do dearly love the combination of rice and beans. So recently I decided to work up a rice and black bean dish (sans tomato) with a decidedly Mexican flavor. And this recipe is the result.
Of course I have known for decades that rice and beans form a complete protein, so obviously this dish is perfect for vegetarians. But for those of us who are omnivores but appreciate a break from meat periodically, this dish is so filling and delicious, the lack of meat is not even noticed. And as a replacement for the mandatory Mexican rice and blob of refried beans served on every gigantic “be careful the plate is hot” entrée platter in America, there are very few rivals. (Well maybe in the Southwest, but sure as shootin’ not here in the Pacific NW!)
So next time you get a hankerin’ for Mexican food, give this dish a try. It is creamy and full of flavor. Absolutely perfect for children and adults alike. And please feel free to add your own spin to this dish. Just don’t add tomatoes. That would defeat all the hard work I put into researching and refining this dish, and that would make me sad.
- 2 tsp. butter
- 1 c. uncooked long grain white rice, washed thoroughly and drained
- 1½ c. vegetable broth
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 c. finely chopped onion
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper (small amount)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
- ½ c. sour cream
- 1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles
- 1 c. shredded cheese, divided (I use a combination of mozzarella and sharp cheddar)
- ½ tsp. dried oregano (Mexican oregano is the best)
- 2 tsp. chili powder
Heat butter in a medium sized covered saucepan. Add rice and sauté until all the rice is covered with butter and starting to brown. Add broth, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed. Add lime juice to rice, re-cover pan and continue to simmer for 2 additional minutes. Lightly fluff rice with fork and stir in black beans. Cover and heat additional 3 minutes or until beans are heated through. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream, green chiles, ¾ cup of the cheese, oregano, and chile powder. Gently stir into the rice mixture. Adjust seasoning. Scoop into a buttered casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup cheese. Bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted.
(And yes I know brown rice is better for us than white rice. But under the circumstances, I believe you should cut me some slack because of all the nutritional value contained in the black beans. Thank you.)