Monday, January 7 Venezuelan Black Beans & Yellow Rice with Garlic (Viva Vegan) Rating: 4.75

This is one of our favorite meals and I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s normally a weekend meal since the beans need 2 ½ -3 hours to cook, but I started it right after work and we had a late supper. Now, this recipe makes a lot. Like a lot a lot. So be prepared for leftovers, which make awesome lunches. If you have Viva Vegan and haven’t made these beans (what the hell is wrong with you?!) make them. Now. Also, be sure to make the sofrito – onions, peppers, garlic cooked down into a soft, yummy mixture – to go in the beans. I always reduce the amount of oil I use in the sofrito because the recipe calls for sort of a lot. The flavor of the sofrito isn’t as prominent as you’d think once it’s in the beans, but you can tell it’s in there and your house will smell awesome for a day or so after you make it. The Yellow Rice with Garlic is best friends with the Venezuelan beans so we always make them together. I made extra rice this time so we’d have more lunches. Yes. I did. Now, we both love garlic way too much. I generally look at a recipe, see that it calls for 3 cloves of garlic and assume they meant 7. Or 9. Predictably, I always add extra garlic to the rice and I’ve found you can cut the annatto-infused oil a little bit too, but not too much or your rice won’t be yellow enough. And it must be yellow. Our favorite way to eat this pair is sort of like deconstructed nachos  - a layer of rice, then the beans, then fresh salsa that Seth makes, then some chopped lettuce, all surrounded with chips. This time, we had some of the Avocado-Tomatillo sauce (Candle 79 cookbook) left from about a week ago that really needed to get used up, so we drizzled some of that on top too. Serve this with a dark Mexican beer like Negra Modello (which is actually a style of Austrian lager made nowhere else in the world now) and a lime wedge. 


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