Monday, February 7, 2011

Mexican Tomato Rice & Bean Quesadillas

I returned home from a family visit the night before the big Superbowl. Usually I would have had my menu  planned a few days prior, but I spent this particular Sunday morning catching up on a couple of blogs that I follow. Luckily, I ran across a recipe from For the Love of Cooking. It consisted of a few of my beloved staples, black beans and brown rice. However, don't let the simplicity of this dish fool you. The jalapeno adds a little heat while the cilantro and cumin razz your taste buds. It can serve as an appetizer by starring as the filling in a crisp quesadilla or as the foolproof base of a stuffed pepper. Enjoy!

  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Small corn tortillas
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
Bring the water to boil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat, add the rice, cover with lid and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.

While the rice steams, set a fine sieve in a large measuring cup and drain the tomatoes. Add enough water to the tomato juice to equal 1 cup.
Heat the olive oil a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeno to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the black beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomato juice mixture and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans absorb much of the liquid, 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cilantro and cooked rice then cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is warm, 1-2 minutes.

Spread homemade guacamole on one side of a small corn tortilla, top with rice mixture, sprinkle with cheese and top with the remaining corn tortilla. Heat in a small frying pan until filling is heated through and both sides are crisp. Try topping with fresh salsa, chopped cilantro and plain yogurt.

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