Mexican Rice W/Black Beans: Mexican Food and Marriage

Mexican-Rice-With-Black-Beans There are certain compromises that everyone makes when they get married.

For example, my husband folds his T-shirts a certain way and when our households merged, I was expected to comply with this strange, and to me, ridiculous, rule.  He in turn, hand washes all our knives separately and without complaint because he knows that I don’t like to put them in the dishwasher.

But most wouldn’t label ‘eating large amounts of Mexican food’ as much of a compromise in a relationship.  I do.

Yes, I like Mexican food.  Tacos?  Sure.  Queso dip?  More please.  Churros and flan?  Bring it on.  But when it comes down to the actual Latin flavors-peppers, onions, cilantro-I am not much of a fan.  If given a choice, I will pick just about anything else before Mexican food.  When my husband was stationed in San Diego I learned to eat it and smile, as it is EVERYWHERE in southern California.  I even learned to like it a little bit and secretly dream about returning one day and eating every meal of our vacation at Roberto’s in Clairmont.  But I digress…

Quick little story:  When Mike was still in the Navy and the submarine was in port and he was home, I would bring him dinner sometimes if he was on duty all night.  Sometimes it was reheated leftovers, sometimes I cooked something new.  And sometimes I would surprise him with Mexican food.  He would stand at the end of the pier watching me walk out from the parking lot, and if I had a bright white paper bag in my hands (he could spot it-and smell it!-from a mile away), he would break into a huge grin and cheer “You brought me Roberto’s!”  The two of us would sit on the end of the pier, dangle our feet over the water of the Pacific and watch the lights of San Diego across the Bay and eat shredded beef tacos and cheese enchiladas with the absolute best refried beans I have ever had.

But anyway…
Because I love my husband dearly and would do just about anything for him, I cook him Mexican food.  Not often, mind you, but sometimes.  And when my Father-In-Law is visiting, that makes two fanatics in my house, so I give in and make it.  This past weekend of experimentation led to my new favorite side dish to serve with tacos, fajitas, taquitos or baked enchiladas.  Really, anything from the Latin category.  It was easy to throw together, tastes fantastic and is very, very good for you.  I can’t wait to make it again, so if you are headed to my house anytime soon, expect to find it on the menu.  It is my new favorite.

No traveling required.

Mexican Rice With Black Beans
Adapted from Ellie Krieger

2 c instant brown rice (such as Minute Brown Rice)
1 3/4 c chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Cook the rice and broth according to package directions.  Alternatively, cook 1 c of regular brown rice in 2 1/4 c chicken broth until done, about 30 minutes.  Fluff rice with fork.  Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, and carrot in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent and carrot is getting soft, about 7 minutes.  Stir in spices and heat through.  Add beans and heat through.  Add veggie and bean mixture to cooked brown rice and toss together.  Toss in parsley, taste for seasoning and serve.
Note: This is fantastic inside a tortilla.