BLACK BEANS AND YELLOW RICE

THIS CUBAN STANDARD IS ELEVATED BY COOKING THE RICE WITH SAFFRON, WHICH NOT ONLY GIVES IT A INVITING YELLOW HUE BUT A FLAVOR WHICH ONLY SAFFRON CAN PROVIDE.  YOU CAN MAKE THE BEANS WITH WATER INSTEAD OF CHICKEN STOCK, BUT THE STOCK ENRICHES THE FLAVOR.  AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PICTURE I ACCOMPANIED THE RICE AND BEANS WITH SHRIMP SAUTÉED WITH LOTS OF SLICED GARLIC.  BUT THE BEANS ARE RICH ENOUGH TO BE SERVED ON THEIR OWN AS A VEGETARIAN DISH (WATER, NO CHICKEN STOCK) OR AS A HARDY ACCOMPANIMENT TO PORK CHOPS, CHICKEN OR FISH.  

BLACK BEANS
 1 cup DRIED BLACK BEANS (1 CUP WILL SERVE 4 PEOPLE)
 1 RED ONION
 1 LARGE RED BELL PEPPER
 4 cups CHICKEN STOCK
 CILANTRO OR PARSLEY FOR GARNISH
SAFFRON RICE
 1 cup LONG GRAIN WHITE RICE (UNCLE BEN'S)
 1 SMALL BROWN ONION
 2 cups CHICKEN STOCK
 1 tsp SAFFRON THREADS OR POWDERED SAFFRON
SHRIMP
 20 LARGE SHRIMP, CLEANED AND DE-VEINED
 5 GARLIC CLOVES
 1 LEMON

BLACK BEANS
1

PLACE THE BEANS IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN. COVER WITH WATER BY 2 INCHES.

BRING TO A BOIL, COVER, TURN OFF THE HEAT. ALLOW THE BEANS TO SIT FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE RECIPE.

DRAIN THE BEANS IN A STRAINER. PICK THROUGH TO REMOVE ANY STONES OR MISSHAPEN BEANS.

RETURN TO THE POT. ADD ENOUGH STOCK TO COVER BY 2 INCHES. BRING TO A BOIL. REDUCE TO A SIMMER. COOK FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE BEANS ARE TENDER. COOKING TIME WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE AGE OF THE BEANS. SO ALLOW TWO HOURS TO COOK.

MEANWHILE, TRIM, PEEL AND DICE THE ONION.

CORE THE PEPPER. CUT LENGTHWISE ALONG THE RIBS. DISCARD ALL THE SEEDS. TRIM OUT THE WHITE PITH. DICE THE PEPPER INTO 1/4 INCH CUBES.

IN A FRYING PAN OR AU GRATIN DISH, COOK THE ONIONS AND PEPPERS ON A LOW FLAME UNTIL SOFT. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

SPOON THE BEANS INTO THE ONIONS AND PEPPERS. USING A FORK, MASH ABOUT 1/ 2 CUP OF BEANS IN THE PAN. ADD ENOUGH LIQUID TO GIVE THEM A SLIGHTLY SOUP CONSISTENCY.

SAFFRON RICE
2

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325º

PEEL, TRIM AND DICE THE ONION.

MELT A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL AND 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER IN A SMALL CASSEROLE.

ADD THE ONIONS, COVER AND COOK FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES ON A LOW FLAME TILL TRANSLUCENT. STIR IN THE RICE.

MEANWHILE, BRING THE CHICKEN STOCK TO A BOIL IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN.

GRIND THE SAFFRON THREADS TO A POWDER IN A MORTAR AND PESTLE.

POUR TWO CUPS OF BOILING CHICKEN STOCK INTO THE MORTAR AND PESTLE, THEN IN WITH THE RICE. SALT. RETURN TO THE BOIL. COVER AND PLACE IN THE OVEN. COOK FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES. FLUFF THE RICE WITH A FORK WHEN DONE. LEAVE THE LID OFF. TURN OFF THE OVEN.

SHRIMP WITH GARLIC
3

PEEL AND DE-VEIN THE SHRIMP. ARRANGE THE SHRIMP ON LAYERS OF PAPER TOWELS AND DRY THOROUGHLY.

TRIM AND PEEL GARLIC. SLICE INTO THIN SLIVERS.

HEAT 2 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUTÉ PAN TILL ALMOST SMOKING. ADD THE SHRIMP. SALT AND PEPPER GENEROUSLY. COOK ABOUT 1 MINUTE A SIDE. TRY NOT MOVING THEM AROUND IN THE PAN TOO MUCH SO THEY BROWN.

ONCE YOU'VE TURNED THE SHRIMP, ADD 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER AND THE GARLIC. STIR TOGETHER TILL YOU SMELL THE GARLIC. TURN OFF THE HEAT. GARNISH WITH LEMON WEDGES.

Ingredients

BLACK BEANS
 1 cup DRIED BLACK BEANS (1 CUP WILL SERVE 4 PEOPLE)
 1 RED ONION
 1 LARGE RED BELL PEPPER
 4 cups CHICKEN STOCK
 CILANTRO OR PARSLEY FOR GARNISH
SAFFRON RICE
 1 cup LONG GRAIN WHITE RICE (UNCLE BEN'S)
 1 SMALL BROWN ONION
 2 cups CHICKEN STOCK
 1 tsp SAFFRON THREADS OR POWDERED SAFFRON
SHRIMP
 20 LARGE SHRIMP, CLEANED AND DE-VEINED
 5 GARLIC CLOVES
 1 LEMON

Directions

BLACK BEANS
1

PLACE THE BEANS IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN. COVER WITH WATER BY 2 INCHES.

BRING TO A BOIL, COVER, TURN OFF THE HEAT. ALLOW THE BEANS TO SIT FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE RECIPE.

DRAIN THE BEANS IN A STRAINER. PICK THROUGH TO REMOVE ANY STONES OR MISSHAPEN BEANS.

RETURN TO THE POT. ADD ENOUGH STOCK TO COVER BY 2 INCHES. BRING TO A BOIL. REDUCE TO A SIMMER. COOK FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE BEANS ARE TENDER. COOKING TIME WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE AGE OF THE BEANS. SO ALLOW TWO HOURS TO COOK.

MEANWHILE, TRIM, PEEL AND DICE THE ONION.

CORE THE PEPPER. CUT LENGTHWISE ALONG THE RIBS. DISCARD ALL THE SEEDS. TRIM OUT THE WHITE PITH. DICE THE PEPPER INTO 1/4 INCH CUBES.

IN A FRYING PAN OR AU GRATIN DISH, COOK THE ONIONS AND PEPPERS ON A LOW FLAME UNTIL SOFT. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

SPOON THE BEANS INTO THE ONIONS AND PEPPERS. USING A FORK, MASH ABOUT 1/ 2 CUP OF BEANS IN THE PAN. ADD ENOUGH LIQUID TO GIVE THEM A SLIGHTLY SOUP CONSISTENCY.

SAFFRON RICE
2

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325º

PEEL, TRIM AND DICE THE ONION.

MELT A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL AND 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER IN A SMALL CASSEROLE.

ADD THE ONIONS, COVER AND COOK FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES ON A LOW FLAME TILL TRANSLUCENT. STIR IN THE RICE.

MEANWHILE, BRING THE CHICKEN STOCK TO A BOIL IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN.

GRIND THE SAFFRON THREADS TO A POWDER IN A MORTAR AND PESTLE.

POUR TWO CUPS OF BOILING CHICKEN STOCK INTO THE MORTAR AND PESTLE, THEN IN WITH THE RICE. SALT. RETURN TO THE BOIL. COVER AND PLACE IN THE OVEN. COOK FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES. FLUFF THE RICE WITH A FORK WHEN DONE. LEAVE THE LID OFF. TURN OFF THE OVEN.

SHRIMP WITH GARLIC
3

PEEL AND DE-VEIN THE SHRIMP. ARRANGE THE SHRIMP ON LAYERS OF PAPER TOWELS AND DRY THOROUGHLY.

TRIM AND PEEL GARLIC. SLICE INTO THIN SLIVERS.

HEAT 2 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUTÉ PAN TILL ALMOST SMOKING. ADD THE SHRIMP. SALT AND PEPPER GENEROUSLY. COOK ABOUT 1 MINUTE A SIDE. TRY NOT MOVING THEM AROUND IN THE PAN TOO MUCH SO THEY BROWN.

ONCE YOU'VE TURNED THE SHRIMP, ADD 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER AND THE GARLIC. STIR TOGETHER TILL YOU SMELL THE GARLIC. TURN OFF THE HEAT. GARNISH WITH LEMON WEDGES.

BLACK BEANS AND YELLOW RICE
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