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Quick Mexican Black Beans

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I love Portuguese food, after all I am 100% Portuguese born and raised.  But, I would have to say a close second to my love of Portuguese food is Mexican.  I love the combinations of flavors and their savory smokey aspects.  Having Portuguese cooking as a good solid background makes it not so difficult to switch into the kitchens of our neighbors to the south.

This recipe is a bit of a short cut from soaking and boiling beans that is usually a good 24 hour process for me.  I don’t always have time for all that when I am looking to put dinner on the table.  A well stocked pantry should always contain a few cans of beans and I love to have black beans in there ready to go.

In this recipe, you will need a couple of fresh ingredients, but mostly you will be looking to your pantry!  It’s a great last-minute side or it can even be made into a great main dish, just double the recipe and add in some steak, shredded chicken or pork and serve over rice!

Chop 1/2 an onion.

These are sweet peppers, the come in a big bag at my grocery store. If you can’t find these, you can always use a red, orange or yellow bell pepper.

Treat them just like any other pepper, start with chopping off the top and removing the seeds.

Then dice.

Use two garlic cloves.

With my Pampered Chef garlic press, I don’t even have to peel them.

Just pop it in and squeeze!

Now you will need a can of black beans, do not drain! I know, it sounds odd, but you need all that liquid.

Use one cap full of apple cider vinegar.

Saute the onions in a small sauce pan.

Add in the peppers.

Once onions and peppers have started to soften, you can add in garlic. You don’t want to do this too soon to avoid burning the garlic.

Use about a half a teaspoon of oregano

And about 1/8 teaspoon of Portuguese Allspice… if you don’t have this, use a good sweet paprika.

Add in water.

Stir in everything, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until peppers are cooked through.

Your liquid should be reduced a bit at this point.

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

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Quick Mexican Black Beans

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, undrained

1/2 medium onion, chopped

5-6 small sweet peppers, seeded and chopped (or half a bell pepper)

1/2 cup water

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 garlic cloves, run through a press

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/8 tsp Portuguese allspice

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil to saute vegetables

chopped scallions (optional)

Instructions:

Saute onions and peppers in a small sauce pan in olive oil over medium heat. When tender, add in garlic, saute another minute and add in oregano and allspice.  Saute another minute to bloom the spices.  Add in beans, water and vinegar.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until peppers are cooked through and some of the liquid has dissipated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped scallions if desired.  Enjoy!

*This recipe is gluten-free.