I recently decided to make the leap. The Bean Leap. I’d long been in the habit of buying pre-canned black beans for all of my black bean related purposes. At some point, however, I realized I could buy them in dry form, and it would have dual benefits. First, less salt. Second, more dollars! The main downside, of course, being that it suddenly became much harder to spontaneously make beans. Luckily, I am (for the most part, at least) a creature of planning, and the idea of soaking things a a day in advance frightens me not.
So the night before, I dunk about a third of a bag of beans in a pot with some water, and let them soak. The next day, they’re moister. Still feel just as hard as ever, but I can delude myself into thinking that they swelled slightly. Anyhow, sometime around 3:30 pm or thereabouts, I rinse them and add more water, then let them boil. As they start looking more absorbent, I chop up an onion and add that in. I then dump in some garlic, peppercorns, and approximately one metric ton of cumin. What made these beans magical, though, was also squeezing a lime in. But then, this is because limes are inherently magical. They cooked about two hours, maybe a little bit more, with me adding water as needed.
To accompany these little bastards, I made some brown rice, chopped up some avocado, and made what I had intended to be salsa but somehow mutated into ceviche. Still not sure how it happened. I chopped up some tomatoes and onions and dumped them in a bowl. Then I chopped up some cilantro and added it. Then, as I was squeezing a lime in, I thought of how inappropriate it was to have as few chunks of tomato in this salsa as I did. And then my brain synapses crossed over each other in some strange way, and out popped the thought that I could replace the lacking tomatoes with tilapia! Meaning I had to fish the tilapia out of the freezer and zap it in the microwave to make it not-frozen. And had to bemoan the fact that I also didn’t have quite enough limes to make it really work as ceviche. And the fact that I had a total of ten minutes for said lime to make the tilapia cook the rest of the way. Luckily, the microwave had already cooked it part of the way, I guess? In essence, though, I traded the option of mediocre salsa for mediocre ceviche. C’est la guerre.
Oh, and speaking of ceviche, I need to make it my life’s goal to try out every single one of the recipes on this website. This is because ceviche is so freaking good.
In any case, here are all of my piles of items before assembly:
As I am a fan of tubes, I of course decided to assemble all of these items into a tube. I added some chipotle sauce to the top before wrapping it up, and declared it delicious.
On a final note, I’ve discovered that the cheapest grocery store near me for fresh foods is the fabulous Rancho Liborio market. Not walking distance, unfortunately (alas, King Soopers dominates that area), but excellent for getting larger loads. As well, they have an aisle chock full of sauces, including a bunch of different chipotle sauces. At some point, I became addicted to chipotle sauce, because it is so delicious. I am greatly looking forward to trying every single one of those sauces.