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Simple Black Beans and Rice

In an effort to jazz up taco night, I decided to make black beans and rice as a side dish to accompany our beef tacos and green salad. This recipe was easy, and it was a big hit with adults and kids.

The Ingredients:

  • bbandr1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used jasmine)
  • 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 cups canned black beans, drained and lightly rinsed

The Instructions:

  • In a pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and then add the onions and garlic, sautéing for 4 minutes.
  • Add the rice and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the hear and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the spices and the black beans.

There were no leftovers.


Chile Pepper Knock-Off Salsa

salsaMichael is from Yuma, Arizona. From what I can gather, the only good thing about being from Yuma is a little restaurant there called Chile Pepper. Whenever Michael’s mom travels to Yuma and back, she brings back bags of burritos, rolled tacos, and containers of their signature salsa. A friend of the family developed a knock-off recipe that I have since improved slightly. Here it is:

The Ingredients

  • 8 1/2 ounces ultra crushed tomatoes – or, essentially, tomatoes pulsed to oblivion in the blender. The original knock-off recipe called for an actual 8oz can of tomato sauce and 4oz of water, but I have upgraded this to something that closer resembles an actual tomato. Whatever you use, the key is  that it’s tomato-y and it’s smooth. No chunks in this salsa.
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T Mexican oregano.
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 t chile de arbol crushed red peppers
  • 1/2 T dry minced onion

The Directions

I’ve only been able to find the chile de arbol as dried whole chilies, so I disintegrate those first in the blender. Then, I add the remaining ingredients and blend until the sauce is completely smooth. When I make this, I triple or quadruple the recipe, and it maybe lasts the week. Maybe.

Carne Asada Tacos

Michael and I could probably eat Mexican food every day. Actually, I could probably put anything inside a tortilla, cover it in hot sauce, and Michael would eat it. In any event, we’ve become quite spoiled by this carne asada taco recipe (which I have Jen Davey to thank for sharing it with me).

carne asada tacosThe Magical Ingredients:
1-1/4 pounds flank steak
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Step One: In a  bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic,  lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika.

Step Two: With a knife, score the flank steak a few times on either side. Put the flank steak in a plastic freezer bag and pour the marinade on top of it (or put the steak in a glass dish and pour marinade over the steak – either way, it’s fine). If you want to eat it later, put the freezer bag into the freezer. When you defrost it later, it will be great. The longer you let the meat marinade, the better. All day is fantastic. I’ve also only had 30 minutes to make it work. It’s still good.

Step Three: Get your grill going and grill the flank steak to your desired doneness. It doesn’t take much time because the cut is fairly thin. Discard any remaining marinade.

Step Four: Slice into small strips and serve inside warm corn tortillas. I like topping the meat with pico de gallo, but Michael likes adding shredded cheese and salsa. It’s up to you! We’ve also had them with guacamole (very good if you have avocados on hand).