Baked Brown Rice with Black Beans
While brown rice is not traditional Mexican fare this recipe certainly
qualifies as southwestern style Tex-Mex. The brown rice adds a crunchy
texture and nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with the soft, creaminess of the
beans. This recipe from
Test Kitchen makes a flavorful side dish or can stand alone when paired
with crunchy bread and a cold
||Pablano chile, minced (see notes)
||long-grain brown rice (see notes)
|1 15 oz. can
||black beans, rinsed and drained (see notes)
||minced fresh cilantro (see notes)
||crushed, dried chiles
|lime edges for
Pre-heat oven to 375o
Using a heavy bottom pan, or a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium until
shimmering, add the onions and bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally
until softened and well browned, 12-14 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and
black pepper and saute until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the water and broth and bring to a boil. Add the rice and salt,
cover and transfer the mix to the oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and
rice is tender (see notes), about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Add more liquid
and adjust cooking time if necessary.
Remove pot from oven, add beans and fluff rice with a fork to incorporate.
Replace lid and let sit for about 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and
serve with lime wedges.
- You may use a green Pablano or a red one. The green
pepper is still immature - not fully ripened - and the flavor is "grassy"
like most green vegetables. I like to use a red one (fully matured)
when I can get one because as the pepper
ripens it looses the grassy flavor and takes on it's own characteristic
Generally when someone says they don't like green peppers they'll usually
come around to the sweet colored ones (unless they are really stubborn.)
You may also use an Anaheim chile which are quite a bit less spicy that the
- Brown rice takes much longer to cook than white rice. This is because
brown rice isn't actually rice, rather it is the seeds from certain types of
field grass. Even when done it is chewy which is sometimes thought not
to be done by those inexperienced with the stuff. You can try adding
additional water and extend the cooking but don't over do it.
- Dry black beans have a superior flavor when rehydrated and cooked than
does ready-to-eat (canned) beans. If you're not comfortable with
cooking dry black beans take advantage of the quicker cooking time than the
dry ones (as long as 3-4 hours.)
- Cilantro is a standard ingredient in Mexican cooking, also used as a
garnish. If you don't like it just omit it, or substitute fresh
¼ ½ ¾