The Boyfriend Cooks: "Rice & Beans", or "How to Feed Your Starving Girlfriend (or Self)"

Sir Benjamin writes:

I love eating.  I love the taste, the spice, the texture, the temperature, and the whole "being full" thing.  Unfortunately, I'm a terrible cook [Ed. note: no, he's not]. I can mess up cereal if left to my own devices.  A while back I decided I was going to learn to cook some basic meals that could be made quickly.  Rice and Beans was my first, and seems to be a favorite.  That's the "after" picture above.  Looks good, right?

So, here are the basic ingredients that you will need:

Black Beans
I use the Goya ones from the grocery store down the street, but any kind will do.  I usually use one small can.
I usually mix white and brown rice together, one and a half cups total of dry rice.
Sofrito Tomato Cooking Base
This one is extremely important.  They sell it in either the spices or the "Latin" section of grocery stores, depending on where you live.  Again, I use the Goya brand in this recipe, but that's only because it's cheap.
This is fairly important too.
Olive Oil
Sour Cream

I also use the following (but you don't have to): white or red onion, scallions, garlic powder, black pepper, cheese (grated), and lettuce.

The important "add-ins".  Well, not the knife.
So, let's get cooking, shall we?

Step 1: Mix 1 and a half cups of dry rice (half brown / half white) into rice cooker.  Add 3 cups water.  Add a few splashes of olive oil (I add a lot of splashes).  Set the machine to "cook."

Step 2: In a medium sized pot, throw in about a tablespoon of olive oil (maybe more, depending on pot).  Set the pan to med heat.

Step 3: Start chopping up the onions.  When they're good and diced, throw them into the olive oil and lower the heat to about 30%.

Step 4: Crack open the beans and pour them in.  Put a lid on the pot (you do have a lid, right?).

Step 5: While all of this is going on, start chopping up the scallions and the tomato (and anything else you're going to put in there).

Step 6: Remember to stir the beans.  I usually add the black pepper and garlic powder here, but you can do it anytime.

Step 7: When you think the beans are halfway done, pour in about 1/3rd of the bottle of Sofrito.  You could probably use less, but why?  Also, pour in a heaping spoonful of oregano.  Don't forget to stir.

Step 8: Grab a drink, dance, tell the girlfriend how wonderful you are so she doesn't forget.

Step 9: The beans should be done by now.  I usually leave them on a little longer than I should, but use your own judgement.

Now lay down some chopped up lettuce on the bottom of a medium sized bowl, add a few scoops of rice on top, and add the bean mix.  Ask Cara nicely to please make some guacamole in the food processor I bought her.  Then add the tomatoes (sliced) and scallions and stir the whole thing.  Finally, grate some cheese on top and add some sour cream.

Now eat!

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