My coworker, Liz, once commented on how she wished she could cook like me. My lunches always look so good and how she can’t boil water. I looked at her and said “of course my lunches always look good. Do you think I bring my cooking failures to work?” I don’t care how long you have been cooking or how good of a cook you are there are days when nothing goes right in the kitchen.
How do I know this? Well, I am a fairly competent cook. I have been seriously cooking for about 15 years and everything I attempted to cook yesterday failed and failed spectacularly. The first cooking failure of the day, a pot of black beans. I wanted to make black beans and rice for lunch so I threw some dried beans into a pot, covered them with water and got them cooking . I sat down to watch a little Supernatural and promptly fell asleep. I didn’t wake up until my beans boiled dry and started stinking up the house.
Cooking failure of the day #2 Since I wasn’t, obviously, having black beans and rice for dinner, I decided to make gingerbread pancakes instead. I got everything mixed up and cooking only to discover my pancakes weren’t rising. Even though I had checked the recipe twice, I forgot the baking powder. Worse yet, I was totally out of baking powder so I couldn’t even fix my mistake.
So you see even a competent, experienced cook can have an off day in the kitchen. I ate a couple of hard boiled eggs and went to bed knowing tomorrow would be a better day in the kitchen.
Black Beans and Rice
3/4 – 1 cup black beans, drained
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup white rice
1 cup water
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
Drain the beans and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice. Stir frequently until the rice begins to brown. Add the water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 – 15 minutes. In a separate saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until brown. Add the chilies, cumin and oregano. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add the beans and stir to combine. Mix beans into the rice and salt to taste. Cook 5-8 minutes or until heated through.