Perfect lunch: strong autumnal sunshine, a seat outside, US Weekly and a bowl of black beans. Well, hello America.
The start is a bowl of beans, simmered away with onions & chilli & garlic & vegetable stock, half mashed and served piping hot. Then topped with salsa, sour cream, avocado, chopped coriander (cilantro), grated cheese – Jalapeno Jack, and fresh sweetcorn, and eaten scooped onto organic corn chips. With a little bit of prep, this is the perfect quick lunch. Made extra delicious by using New Jersey tomatoes and corn so fresh it just needs slicing off the cob and into the bowl.
It does require a bit of pre-thought tho: The beans need to be soaked overnight. But that’s a matter of tipping them into a bowl, covering them in water and hopping off to bed. (Of course you can use tinned ones if you want.)
The next day, drain the beans, tip them into a pot and cover them in cold water & cook the beans for about 1-2hrs, depending on how long your beans have been sitting around in your larder. I know it sounds a shag, but you just leave the beans simmering away whilst you get on with stuff.
Once the beans are soft, drain them again. Chop an onion & sweat (cook over a very low heat) two thirds of it (reserve a quarter) in olive oil, add a minced garlic clove, and a tsp of ground cumin. When the onion is soft, tip in the beans, a heaping tsp of bouillon/stock powder (I use Marigold) and a couple of cups of hot water. Take a potato masher and mash roughly half the beans. Add lots of salt, freshly ground black pepper and chilli sauce – I used sriracha – to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Serve in a bowl. Top with a handful of grated cheese – I like Pepper Jack as it melts properly and has a kick, but in the UK I use a Mature Cheddar; a tablespoon of sour cream (you cld use yogurt); chopped tomato mixed with the reserved chopped onion; a handful of sweetcorn, half a lime; half a chopped avocado. Garnish with chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves and serve with tortilla chips.
And of course there were my ever-optimistic companions:
Ingredients (serves 2-4):
2 cups black beans (just under a pound)
Vegetable stock cube (I use Marigold bouillon powder)
Grated cheese – I like Pepper Jack or mature Cheddar
Sweetcorn – I sliced fresh corn off the cob, but you cld use canned
Tortilla chips – plain