Wednesday, February 21, 2007


An Ode to my leftovers that I forgot to bring to work with me today but wish I could eat right now...

I presume that everyone has a meal or two in their repertoire that they go to most often. That one meal that you almost always have the ingredients for, is easy to make, and tastes really good, at least to you. The first time you made it, everyone seemed to like it, and you might have even made it for guests once, twice, or 500 times. You've got one like that, right?

For me, at the top of the list of dinners that I've most likely burnt my husband out on is this tomato black bean conglomeration that I think I originally got off the side of a can of generic black beans the first year we were married. I've long since stopped being able to buy that brand of beans, but I've made this dish so many times that a recipe is hardly necessary.

In case you're curious...

1. Crushed garlic, diced onion, and diced green pepper sauteed in some olive oil. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and some sort of spice if you want.
2. Add a can of black beans & a can of diced tomatoes. (We prefer the tomatoes w/ the green chilies.)
If you had cilantro around, now would be the time to add it. Cilantro adds a bit of flare.
3. Stir it up, make it hot enough to bubble, then turn it down to simmer for a bit. It can cook for 10-30 minutes. Just make sure it doesn't get too dry.

There may have been more to it originally, but that's pretty much what's its evolved into at our house.

Now what do you do with it?
Its good in a hard taco shell, good on a bed of chips like nachos, good in place of taco meat for that Taco Ring recipe that uses crescent rolls, tastes good in a burrito shell, and I like it on a taco salad.

Top it like you would a taco -- salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc.

Last night, I threw in some Trader Joe's Mexican Red Sauce (like an enchilada sauce but better) that I had in the fridge, and it was like my favorite stand-by recipe had been born again. Mmm!

Feel free to supply your own quick stand-by recipe of choice for the sake of my husband, whose shoulders can't sometimes keep themselves from drooping a bit when he comes in to find this dish on the stove top...again! (Although, in my defense, I think last night was only the 2nd time we've had this dish in 2007. Quite an improvement from 2005, when we probably had it once a week.)

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