Pass on Cook's Illustrated's Cuban Black Beans and Rice.......

.....but not because it's a bad recipe.

I have been a consistent fan of Cook's Illustrated magazine. Not every article, recipe or thought - but they put  out a lot of good information.

This past weekend I made their Cuban Black Bean and Rice dish. They loaded it up with ingredients and techniques to give lots of punch to what can be a bland dish. For example, when cooking the beans, they called for fortifying the cooking liquid with half an onion, bay leaf, green pepper and probably a few more ingredients. Not earth-changing, but I've not seen too many bean recipes (can't think of any) that call for that approach. Usually the beans are cooked plain, then seasoned with whatever comes next. It also called for a handful of finely chopped salt pork. Great addition.

Anyway. The dish was delicious.  Yet I won't make it again. It was time-consuming, called for a long list of ingredients, it required cooking in multiple but separate steps, on the stovetop and in the oven.

Good recipe, nice payoff. But too much labor and elapsed time for me to go at it again. Buy their magazine, though. It's good.


notfollowingthehurd said...

Just about every Latin black bean recipe calls for adding onion and some other spices. The flavor of these spices and veggies is soaked into the dried beans as they cook and makes an amazingly wonderful smell in your kitchen as you cook it. Adding them after cooking (such as you might do with canned beans) just won't have the same effect.

I also add a pepper to "pep" it up too! :)

David E said...

I have made this recipe twice. It is time consuming, but actually very easy and pretty much fool proof. I think the flavor is outstanding, very surprising.

I'd make it for company, it is that good, but my wife says 'You can't make black beans and rice for company.'

I made it the first time with salt pork, which doesn't really have a great flavor. Second time with spicy Andouille sausage. Better.

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