VIBES: Mary J Blige: “MY LIFE” (Whole Album)
- 1 ½ green peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over to remove any stones
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon turbinado or other brown sugar
- Cut 1 green pepper into 1-inch squares. Smash and peel 4 of the garlic cloves. Put the green pepper and garlic into a large pot with the (unsoaked dried) beans, bay leaves, Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender, an hour or more.
- Meanwhile, make a sofrito. Cut the remaining ½ green pepper into ¼-inch dice. Peel and finely chop the remaining garlic. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green pepper and onion and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, black pepper and 2 teaspoons salt and stir for another minute. Pour in the vinegar and scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. This is your sofrito.
- When the beans are cooked, discard the bay leaf. Transfer 1 cup of beans to small bowl, mash them into a paste with the back of a fork and return to the pot. Add the sofrito, then the sugar. Then salt to taste.
- Stir the beans well and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so, skimming any foam from the top.
This recipe is a vegetarian adapted version of this NY TIMES recipe which uses bacon and ham, definitely add the meat for more flavor if you have it. These beans will taste even better the next day, and they freeze well. Serve with rice + avocado, in a grain bowl, with roasted veggies, make a veggie burrito, or huevos rancheros.