If you peruse our blog, you’ll notice that we try to minimize our usage of prepackaged or canned foods. I think that if you showed Selim a can of cream of <fill-in-the-blank> soup, he’d shrivel up like a vampire exposed to garlic and sunlight. Sometimes it’s unavoidable and sometimes the convenience outweighs all other factors, but we do try to err on the side of fresh ingredients. With that being said, I’m not going to lie. Soaking beans overnight in preparation for cooking them the next day just is not my cup of tea. I know there are many people out there who consider canned beans an anathema, but honestly I don’t think they taste much different and they’re SO convenient and time-saving. So we definitely use them.
Hence our quick version of Cuban black beans here. Certainly, they probably would be better (and certainly more authentic) if we used dried beans, soaked them overnight, and cooked them longer with the herbs and spices. But this quick version provides for a superior flavor to time ratio, in my opinion. You get to jazz up your black beans with just a few additions and barely any active time in the kitchen, allowing you to focus your energy (culinary or otherwise!) elsewhere.
Quick Cuban Black Beans
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1 tsp neutral oil
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15oz cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
- 1/4 cup of stock (your preference)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once warm, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Top with a few turns of fresh black pepper. Cook until softened and fragrant, approximately 6 minutes.
- Add the black beans, stock, and spices. Stir together.
- Lower heat to low-medium. Partially cover and cook for at least 10 minutes. With the heat turned quite low, you can cook long and allow the flavors to blend more!