Tag Archives: Black Beans

Jerk Chicken with Coconut Saffron Rice and Black Beans

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The best jerk recipe I have ever tasted, delighted the senses, as it was fragrant, fiery hot and smoky all at once.The original recipe was developed by Paul Chung, an adventurous self-taught cook who grew up in Jamaica and has sampled jerk from just about every corner of the island. Making a few adjustments, I added  fresh ginger, dark brown sugar and apple cider vinegar to the marinade. For best results and maximum flavor, let the chicken marinate overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

As side dishes goes, this saffron rice recipe cooks up pretty quickly, making it a great dish if you are in a hurry. Another added bonus is that is one of those rare dishes that gluten free and vegan. However, if you are allergic to coconut milk, soy milk is a suitable substitute.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Chicken:
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, chopped
2-3 Scotch bonnet chili peppers, stems removed, chopped (or Habaneros)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered

For the Saffron Coconut Rice and Beans:
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon plain water,at room temperature
2 cups uncooked white basmati rice (or any long grain rice)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon agave nectar, (or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
a pinch of ground nutmeg
One 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Lime wedges, for garnish

Special Equipment:
Latex gloves for handling the chilis and massaging the marinade under the chicken skin.

Directions:
For the chicken start preparing it a day or two ahead of actual cooking.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, black pepper, thyme, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Put on latex gloves and pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish. Slather the marinade all over chicken, including under skin, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with more salt and ground allspice, before proceeding.

Prepare a charcoal grill: Clean and oil grates.Light a grill and preheat to medium heat using one chimney of charcoal. The temperature can start as high as 300°F. For best results, coals should be at least 12 inches away from chicken. If necessary, push coals to one side of grill to create indirect heat. Add two large handfuls of soaked pimento (allspice) wood sticks and chips (See Cook’s Notes) or other aromatic wood chips to coals, then close grill. When thick white smoke billows from grill, place chicken on grate, skin side up, and cover. Let cook undisturbed for 35 to 45 minutes.

Uncover the grill. The chicken will be golden and mahogany in some spots. Chicken thighs may already be cooked through. For other cuts, turn chicken over and add more wood chips, and charcoal as needed. Cover and continue cooking, checking and turning every 10 minutes. Jerk chicken is done when skin is burnished brown and chicken juices are completely clear, with no pink near the bone. For large pieces, this can take up to an hour.

While chicken is cooking, begin to prepare the rice.

In a small bowl, soak saffron threads in the water, at room temperature, for 5 minutes and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat peanut oil over a medium heat until it begins to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped shallot and garlic, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice, mixing with a wooden spoon until all of the grains are coated with peanut oil. Fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly.Gently stir in the coconut milk, water, saffron mixture, agave or sugar, turmeric, cumin taking care as the oil will splatter. Season with salt, and gently stir, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom while everything comes to a boil.

Once liquid achieves a boil, reduce heat to low. Place lid on pot, slightly askew to allow some steam to escape. Stir occasionally to make sure rice does not stick to bottom of pan and the sugar in the coconut milk does not burn. Allow to simmer *very* gently for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Stir in the black beans and cook for a few minutes more until hot. Remove from heat and cover the saucepan. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when you are ready to serve.

When the chicken is done, transfer to a platter.Garnish with lime wedges and serve with the rice.

Cook’s Notes:
Pimento wood sticks and chips are available at www.pimentowood.com.

Alternatively you bake the chicken in the oven if a grill is not readily available.After marinating and you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oven to 350°F and bake chicken for 45-55 minutes, until done.

Also, if time is of the essence, you can first bake the chicken at 300°F in the oven then finished off on the grill. This will result in crispy skin, with perfect texture and flavor.

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Salvadoran Black Bean & Cheese Pupusas with Cabbage & Radish Curtido

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Photo Credit: Blue Apron, LLC
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Photo Credit: Blue Apron, LLC

Pupusas, a hallmark of traditional Salvadoran cuisine, are thick, handmade corn tortillas stuffed with beans, cheeses and other savory ingredients. Popular in El Salvador for centuries, pupusas made their way to the United States around the 1980s, and here they have been enjoyed ever since. These pupusas are made with authentic queso Oaxaca and beans seasoned with onion, cilantro and a blend of authentic spices.

Queso Oaxaca is a delicious, stringy, semi-hard cheese from the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Made using many of the same cutting and stretching techniques as for Italian mozzarella, queso Oaxaca is delicately rich and durable, yet melty when heated. It contains cow’s milk, as opposed to water buffalo’s milk. It’s terrific in tortilla dishes, like quesadillas and the local tlayuda (similar to a quesadilla, but cooked open-faced).

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Instant Masa Harina
1½ cups Black Beans
8 Ounces Green Cabbage
2 Ounces Radishes
1 Lime
1 Red Onion
1 Large Bunch Cilantro
2 Ounces Queso Oaxaca
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Pupusa Spice Blend, to taste

For the Pupusa Spice Blend:
2 Tablespoons Ancho Chile Powder
2 Tablespoons Chipotle Chile Powder
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder

Directions:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Drain and rinse the beans; transfer to a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Remove and discard the cabbage core; thinly slice the leaves. Cut the radishes into matchsticks. Quarter the lime. Peel and halve the onion; thinly slice one half and small dice the other. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; mince the stems and keep the leaves whole. Grate the Oaxaca cheese.

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the diced onion, cilantro stems and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the mashed beans and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Set aside to cool.

To make the the radish curtido:
While the beans cook, blanch the cabbage, onion, and radish before dressing it.Turn off the heat under the boiling water as soon as the vegetables are added, then after one minute, drain the vegetables in a colander and quickly rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, radishes, sugar, as much of the sliced onion as you’d like and the juice of all 4 lime wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To make the pupusas:
In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and ¾ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. (The dough should be slightly damp and easy to shape. If it seems too dry, add up to an additional ¼ cup of water.) Using wet hands, divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized balls; carefully flatten into rounds, each about 5 inches in diameter. Divide the cooked beans between the centers of 2 of the rounds; spread into an even layer, leaving a small border around the edge of each (you may have extra beans). Top with the Oaxaca cheese and remaining dough rounds. Using your hands, carefully press down to seal the edges of the pupusas around the filling.

To Cook the pupusas:
In a large cast iron skillet, heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add the pupusas. Cook, gently pressing down to ensure even browning, 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface.

To serve,carefully slice the pupusas in half. Divide the sliced pupusas and radish curtido between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve with any remaining cooked beans on the side.

Cook’s Note:
If queso Oaxaca cannot be found in your local area, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella or White Cheddar will work as a great substitute for the cheese.

Octopus with Black Bean-Pear Sauce

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Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert is a master at weaving together unexpected ingredients, like this tender  cooked octopus with a sauce of salty fermented black beans and sweet pear. Finding a wine pairing for such a complex dish, however, is a challenge. “It needs a very aromatic wine, just to stand up to all the flavors,” says wine director Aldo Sohm.

I used a fresh baby octopus that was available at the Asian Market in my local area. Cooking the octopus by this method ensure a very tender protein.

Given the amount of salt in the various components of this dish, I omitted the squid ink. I also added a pinch of brown sugar just give a little more sweetness to the dish and to balance out the acidity of the lemon juice and the balsamic vinegar.

Enoy!

Serves 4
Ingredients:

For the Octopus
6 garlic cloves, halved
2 parsley sprigs
One 2-ounce piece of prosciutto
1 teaspoon salt
4 octopus tentacles (about 2 pounds total)

For the Black Bean–Pear Sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Chinese fermented black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño
1/2 small Bartlett pear, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced chives

For the Miso Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon white miso
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon squid ink (optional)
2 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To Finish:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons hot paprika
Salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
16 baby arugula leaves
1 small Anjou pear, cut into very thin wedges

Directions:
In a large, deep skillet, combine 2 quarts of water with the onion, garlic, parsley, prosciutto and salt. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the octopus to the broth, cover partially and simmer over low heat until tender, about 1 hour; drain and pat dry.

In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the black beans and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and shallot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and jalapeño and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pear and remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and chives.

In a small bowl, whisk the miso with the balsamic vinegar, oil, squid ink and 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the paprika and rub it all over the cooked octopus; season with salt. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the octopus and cook over high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer the octopus to a carving board and slice it crosswise 1/3 inch thick.

Spread the vinaigrette on 4 plates and top with the octopus. Spoon the black bean–pear sauce over the octopus. Garnish with the arugula and pear wedges and serve.