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Black Beans & Rice

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Ingredients:

1 pound dried black beans (picked over and rinsed)
8 cups water
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 lime (sliced into 8 wedges)

Directions:

Soak beans in cold water overnight making sure all beans are covered by 2 inches of water. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add 4 cups of water, garlic, oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, approximately 2 hours. Drain beans and return to the pot or Dutch oven.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally until softened for about 5 minutes. Add cumin and jalapeno, cook, stirring until softened for approximately 1 minute more. Stir onion mixture and vinegar into beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring remaining 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve the beans over the rice with lime wedges on the side of the serving dish.

Makes 7 Cups

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