Monday, July 19, 2010
Who Knew Rice and Beans Could Be This Good?
Having celebrated Easter not too long ago, we were on a serious ham kick (actually it was awhile ago, but with how quickly time seems to be flying maybe it just seems like it was a recent event). I was snagging them for under a dollar a pound and our poor house church was being subjected to every kind of ham dish under the sun. They’re such good sports. I am loathe to let a good ham bone or turkey carcass go to waste, and boiling the ham bone to make pinto beans is my most recent favorite application (for making turkey stock, my Minnesota roots demand to make Turkey Wild Rice Soup, but that is another post for another day…).
Pinto Bean and Brown Rice Bowls
1 ham bone
1 medium onion, quartered
1 pound bag dried pinto beans, washed and sorted
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons minced garlic, (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste, add just before serving
hot, cooked brown rice
Directions: In a large pot of water, boil ham bone and quartered onion for several hours until all the meat falls off of the bone. Strain through cheesecloth (or paper towels work pretty well too!) in a strainer into a large bowl or another pot. You can also pick through the meat and add any back to the broth, if you like. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim off any fat that has solidified at the top. Now, you have ham broth!
**you can also use chicken broth or water and a couple boullion cubes and skip this step**
For Beans: Wash and sort beans to remove any foreign debris. Soak beans according to package directions (I prefer the “fast” method of bringing beans and water to a boil, boil for one minute and then remove from heat and let soak while covered for an hour, although you can ). Drain water and rinse several times until water is clear. This will remove a lot of the “hard to digest” compounds.
In a large pot, combine broth, soaked beans, thyme and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender (about an hour). Once beans are cooked through, add salt and pepper and adjust any other seasonings (garlic powder, cumin, etc.). Occasionally, I’ll add some chili powder to taste as well.
In a bowl, layer cooked brown rice, pinto beans and desired toppings.
Topping ideas: shredded cheese, salsa, diced avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, lime wedges
Other ideas for the beans (since they make a large pot and there’s only so many rice and bean bowls you can eat in a week–no matter how tasty they may be! : ):
use as a topping for nachos
filling for burritos
put in a gallon ziploc bag, lay flat and freeze
A speedy tip: Just use a can of pinto or black beans. Stir in a teaspoon of cumin, a half teaspoon of garlic powder and a squeeze of lime juice. Heat and serve over rice and top as you wish!